The verb “to conjure” is a complex one, for it includes in its standard definition a great range of possible actions or operations, not all of them equivalent, or even compatible. In its most common usage, “to conjure” means to perform an act of magic or to invoke a supernatural force, by casting a spell, say, or performing a particular ritual or rite. But “to conjure” is also to influence, to beg, to command or constrain, to charm, to bewitch, to move or convey, to imagine, to visualize, to call to mind, or to remember. —Rachael DeLue 2012, para 1.
When we create with our Brown hands, feminine energy, and full spirits, we conjure. To exist, survive, and thrive in these bodies is a continuous act of conjuring. Our walks conjure. Our smiles conjure. Our tears conjure. Our laughs conjure. Our words conjure. Our artworks are conjurings. We, a Black/Filipina-American woman, a Dominican-American, and a Black-American woman, are guided by our solidarity with one another and all other Black and Brown female identifying persons whose raced and gendered subjectivities exist both inside and outside of colonization, white supremacy, and patriarchy. We bring to life our colored imaginations and curiosities, and share them with the world. We are united by our need for safety, autonomy as beings, dissolution of trauma, and desire to ask, “What would happen if I…?” Imaginative, curious Women of Color (WoC) founded the underground railroad, guided captured Africans and Tainos to the mountains, ignited the Civil Rights Movement, organized laborers and immigrants, birthed the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, conceived the #MeToo Movement, and so much more. Like our kindred counterparts, we have an unrelenting urge to examine, question, wonder, desire, speak to, lead, be curious, and “conjure.” As practicing artists and art educators, our critical arts-based practices are grounded in intersectional feminisms like Womanism, Black Feminist Theory, and Chicana Feminist Theory, which allow us to do these very things.