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Queer Art Workers Reflect: Mo Romney Is Archiving “Uncharted Areas of Black Art History”

The month of June is a time to celebrate LGBTQ communities. It’s a moment to reflect on the rich history and culture of the queer community, as well as more recent advances made in the realm of civil liberties. This year, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many queer individuals are navigating greater risks to their health, safety, and livelihoods.

Cognizant of the need to stay connected and elevate queer voices amid uncertainty, Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one queer art worker per day on our website and asking them to reflect on what this time means to them. If you identify as a queer art worker, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to learn more about how to participate. 

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What’s your name?

Mosie (Mo) Romney

Where are you based currently? 

Ridgewood, Queens

Describe who you are and what you do.

I am an artist and an archivist at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Tell us about your greatest achievement or something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of.

Working with Mimi Lester to organize the museum’s 50-year institutional history into an archive is something I’m feeling very proud of these days. Once the archive is accessible, it will guide researchers into uncharted areas of Black art history and magical territory.

Favorite ways to celebrate your queerness and community?

I love having conversations with queer folks about history, art, and the future.

What’s been top of mind for you lately?

I’ve been thinking about new ways of connecting and serving each other without the police. I want to aide in the abolishment of corrupt police [forces] and the systems that uphold white supremacy.

Talk to us about your immediate queer community/support systems. (Feel free to shout out other folks or organizations you think are doing important work.)

I’m really grateful to witness Kamra [Hakim’s] magic and fearless work at Activation’s residency. They have been creating a diverse intergenerational support system that
I’ve been yearning for. I also love Playground Coffeeshop, a community spot in Bed-Stuy run by Zenat Begum. They’ve got hot coffee and a burning passion for education and community.

How are you celebrating Pride Month this time around?

I’m celebrating this pride month by reading books, painting and radicalizing my thought.

Are there ways you think queer artists and art workers could be better supported?

There needs to be more paid opportunities.

In the communities that you’re part of, what are you hoping to see shift in the future?

I want to see mutual aid or reparations become more effortless and consistent — a quick spreadsheet and monthly auto payments is a good way to start!

What’s the first thing you’re planning to do when it feels safer to physically gather again?

Hitting the dance floor