Marc Bamuthi Joseph: What soccer can teach us about freedom
Marc Bamuthi Joseph - Arts activist, spoken word artist
TED Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a curator of words, ideas and protagonists. His bold, poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity. Full bio
rising up against gravity
on the soccer pitch.
to revive the dead,
at a contemporary arts center,
that doesn't bleed or sweat or cry.
are going to live in a time
are fresh water and empathy.
and majestic sculpture
to turn that inspiration
who loves sports.
my latest piece /peh-LO-tah/
was a means for my own immigrant family
and normality and community
and assault on immigrant identity,
as an affirmational tool
and immigrant kids,
movement patterns on the field
across social and political borders.
play on endangered ground.
that they use to plan the next goal
to navigate the next block.
and even divisively,
"build this wall,"
that are beautifully designed
back to something that exists inside
part soccer tournament,
field of inquiry
political action for young people.
"Moving and Passing."
for the urgent question
a 15-year-old kid from Honduras
to two Nigerian immigrants.
dribbling through cones
a marching band comes down the field.
with the exuberance of culture,
would explain Black Lives Matter,
would explain gun control,
is the perfect metaphor
that we can all agree to do together.
of this spinning ball.
to connect the joy of the game
in sight of a better position.
to connect their families' histories
after the ball beats the goalie,
About the speaker:Marc Bamuthi Joseph - Arts activist, spoken word artist
TED Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a curator of words, ideas and protagonists. His bold, poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity.
Why you should listen
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a steadfast believer in empathy as the most valuable currency in building community, and he seeks to spark curiosity and dialogue about freedom, compassion and fearlessness through pioneering arts stewardship and education. A 2017 TEDGlobal Fellow, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine as one of America's Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences; artistically directed HBO's "Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices"; and is an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s greatest living artists. Dance Magazine named him a Top Influencer in 2017.
Bamuthi's evening-length work, red black and GREEN: a blues, was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for "Outstanding Production (of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form)" and he has won numerous grants including from the National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Capital Foundation. His noted work /peh-LO-tah/ is inspired by soccer and Bamuthi's first generation American experience, intersecting global economics, cross-border fan culture and the politics of joy.
Bamuthi is the founding Program Director of the non-profit Youth Speaks, and he is a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals which activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life. His essays have been published in Harvard Education Press; he has lectured at more than 200 colleges, has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford and Lehigh, among others, and currently serves as Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph | Speaker | TED.com