Shani Jamila is a Brooklyn based artist whose work explores identity, genealogy and the idea of home. Her travels to nearly fifty countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean deeply inform her painting, photography and collage practice. She has exhibited and performed at the Manifesta European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery, Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Brooklyn Museum, New Museum, Smack Mellon, SCOPE Art Fair, Corridor Gallery and Princeton University.
Shani lectures internationally, having spoken about the arts and society at institutions including Harvard, NYU, Odeon Firenze, the New York Times and the United Nations. In addition, she’s facilitated live conversations at organizations such as the Aperture Foundation, Soho House, Schomburg Center, Harlem Stage, New York Live Arts and the Lincoln Center. Her podcast Lineage features curated dialogues with fellow creatives about making socially engaged work in NYC.
A prolific curator of initiatives that merge culture and human rights, Jamila has worked with museums, government agencies and non-profits on issues including organizational strategy, program development and grant administration. She currently serves as a mentor for NEW INC, the first museum-led cultural incubator. She was also the first alumni member to sit on the national selection committee for the New Voices fellowship, which allocated resources to rebuild the post-Katrina Gulf Coast.
An Aspen Institute Scholar and TED Resident who was once named “One of our 35 Most Remarkable Women” by ESSENCE magazine, she’s been awarded fellowships and residencies to support her work from MASS MoCA, the Ace Hotel and the J. William Fulbright Foundation. Her portrait and quote are featured in “A Choice to Change the World,” a mural of socially engaged artists and advocates at her alma mater Spelman College. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of California Los Angeles and certification from the International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.