Boonoonoos: English Translation: something nice, or a special person (e.g. sweetheart)
Our Boonoonoos Children (*a terms of endearment, an expression of beauty, wonderfulness, ecstatic joy) is about affirming that our children are special individuals and that they should be protected, they should be listened to, and most importantly they should be allowed to speak.
I am debunking the aphorism “Children Should be Seen and Not Heard.” I want these children to be seen as they are, and seen as something else, endless possibilities. Utilizing Photoshop, I purposely go about distorting, highlighting, transforming, and altering.
I am asking viewers to look at these children in the flesh, in the raw, and look at them again, in this other reality/medium.
They are not flat, nor are they one dimensional. Who they are and what they can become is endless.
I am forcing viewers to shift the gaze from what they think they see to what is possible, but more so to the layers that comprise these children.
This series, accompanied by poems, sayings, flash stories, speak back to the that wonderful Jamaican term, Boonoonoos, which is not just a term of endearment, but a public acknowledgment of all that is possible.
Boonoonoos affirms, and as a result, opens the door for other possibilities. In these photos, I tried to capture the spontaneity, the natural impulse of the children.
October 15, 2016
Opal Palmer Adisa, Ph. D, diverse and multi-genre, is an exceptional talent, nurtured on cane-sap and the oceanic breeze of the Caribbean. Writer of both poetry and prose, playwright/director, professor, educator and cultural activist, Adisa has lectured and read her work throughout the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Germany, Spain, France, England and Prague, and has performed in Italy and Bosnia. An award-winning poet and prose writer, Adisa has sixteen titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), that Rick Ayers proclaimed as one of the most motivational works for young adults.
She has been a resident artist in internationally acclaimed residencies such as Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assis, Italy), El Gounda (Egypt), Sacatar Institute (Brazil) and McColl Center, (North Carolina) and Headlines Center for the Arts (California, USA). Opal Palmer Adisa’s work has been reviewed by Ishmael Reed, Al Young, and Alice Walker (Color Purple), who described her work as “solid, visceral, important stories written with integrity and love.”
Following in the tradition of the African “griot” Opal Palmer Adisa, an accomplished storyteller, commands the mastery and extraordinary talent of storytelling, exemplary of her predecessors. Through her imaginative characterizations of people, places and things, she is able to transport her listeners to the very wonderlands she creates.
A gifted diversity trainer, literary critic, and proud mother of three accomplished children, Opal is the former parenting editor and host of KPFA Radio Parenting show in Berkley, California. Columnist for The Graduate Parent for the “Healthy You,” website and wrote a bi-monthly poetry column for The Daily News, St. Thomas. Adisa has published hundreds of articles on different aspects of parenting, writing and poetry and is currently completing a book on effective parenting.
A Distinguished professor of creative writing and literature in the MFA program at California College of the Arts, where she teaches in the Fall. She has been a visiting professor at several universities including, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of the Virgin Islands. Her poetry, stories, essays and articles on a wide range of subjects have been collected in over 400 journals, anthologies and other publications, including Essence Magazine. She has also conducted workshops in elementary through high school, museums, churches and community centers, as well as in prison and juvenile centers.
Opal Palmer Adisa is a vivacious, motivational speaker who will enthrall and mesmerize you with her words.