American Chameleon is an invitation into the creative process, hosted by poet and performance artist, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko.
This fall's mini-season will include sound-rich conversations with: Tracy K. Smith, Season Butler, Miguel Gutierrez, Joy Kristen Kalu and more.
Visit jaamil.com/podcast for more information.
American Chameleon: Ep 5 - On Cruel Optimistic Attachment and "Cygnet"
We've all heard the term "Living the American Dream." For me, this dream of a possible future beyond the poverty embedded inside my Black inner-city youth, was all I had as a child and teenager. But as I've grown older, I've come to realize that dreams have power and manifest in strange ways throughout our daily decisions to either fulfill our dream-self or not. But what happens when you learn that what you thought was your dream was really only social conditioning? In this conversation with author, scholar, and performance maker Season Butler, we discuss her debut novel "Cygnet" and the cruel optimistic circumstances that inspired the story and frames the psychic state of its protagonist.
*Cruel Optimism is a term coined by American theorist Lauren Berlant and refers to the way the modern human clings to such fantasies of the "good life" even when the conditions for surviving the modern world have become increasingly more compromised due to climate change, economic failure, social injustice, political unrest, and more. Learn more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppdd2R46Eh4
STANK by jaamil olawale kosoko featuring mayfield brooks
composition by Everett Asis Saunders. STANK is a spoken word piece written and performed by jaamil olawale kosoko
American Chameleon: Ep 4 - Building Bridges in the Dark
Marking the last episode of American Chameleon for 2019, I have the pleasure of chatting with artist Miguel Gutierrez. We recorded this conversation during the summer of 2018 while in residence at Bates Dance Festival. We discuss the inspiration behind his newest work "This Bridge Called My Ass", as well as themes around sustainability and resisting production based process. We'll be back in Spring 2020 with all new episodes.
American Chameleon, Ep: 3 - Poetry as a Different Kind of Sense (Part 2)
On this week's episode of American Chameleon, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and poet Tracy K. Smith continue their conversation unpacking themes of race, loss, and the power of poetry to connect across borders and difference.
Additionally, we at American Chameleon would like to take a moment to acknowledge the National Day of Mourning. Annually on the fourth Thursday in November, the organizers of this observance consider Thanksgiving Day as a continued reminder of the *democide and suffering of Native American peoples.
"Democide" is the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.
American Chameleon: Ep. 2 - Poetry as a Different Kind of Sense (Part 1)
For this week's episode of American Chameleon, I sit down with poet Tracy K. Smith. We discuss the poetics of loss and what it means to be American in this contemporary moment.
American Chameleon: Ep 1 - My Black Body as a Matter of Fact!
In Episode 1, "My Black Body as a Matter of Fact!" Jaamil discusses the real life circumstances that led to the creation of American Chameleon Podcast. Jaamil did an interview with Nora McInerny (Terrible , Thanks for Asking) in 2017 where he goes into much more detail around those circumstances, post traumatic enlightenment, and the his own continued journey towards healing. Here's a link to that show: https://www.ttfa.org/episode/ttfa/2017/11/what-does-all-this-loss-mean
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A Perfect Podcast
Jaamil Kosoko is a brilliant artist and thinker, and these conversations, poems, and excavations about artistic process, conceptions and realities of race in America, trauma and grief, and liberation are rich, hopeful, and beautifully produced. Kosoko is a wonderful interviewer, opening space for their conversation partners to be honest and vulnerable. Kosoko’s voice is loving and powerful, challenging us to see the cracks in the world we’ve built and undertake the important work of rebuilding a better, more beautiful, more radically inclusive world in its place.