A Blade of Grass Fellow for Socially Engaged Art
Taja Lindley is a New York-based visual and performing artist with a history of working with nonprofits, research institutes, and government on policies and programming that impact women and girls and communities of color. Her Bronx Birth Justice Tribunal builds upon the groundwork she established while participating in the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Artist in Residence program (PAIR) at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene working on the issues of maternal health and racial justice. For this project, Lindley will work with Bronx residents who are pregnant, parenting, or of reproductive age to share their stories of racism and systemic oppression they experience navigating their sexual and reproductive health to an audience of local medical providers, administrators, and policymakers. Lindley envisions The Tribunal as offering a different dynamic where the nature of its creative presentation can touch healthcare stakeholders and decision makers more profoundly than statistics and traditional listening sessions can. The Tribunal is an opportunity to center patients and their experiences in the development of policies and practices for addressing inequities in maternal mortality specifically in the Bronx and generally in NYC; and to shift maternal health outcomes from solely a public health issue to a racial equity issue that will be addressed by diverse stakeholders.
Artist portrait by Jim Tripp.