Living Room Salon | 'Dirty Computers', Voice & Visibility

Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monae’s critically acclaimed album, Dirty Computer and emotion picture of the same title is based on the musical artist wanting to tell her story “before it was erased.” In the current sociopolitical climate, Janelle Monae was inspired to create an album for Black women, LGBTQIA, immigrants, people with disabilities and other marginalized communities. She not only wanted to represent for these communities but as an artist felt it was her responsibility to represent for the aforementioned communities. 


Like Janelle Monae, the elements of hip-hop culture (emcee-ing [rapping], dj-ing, breakdancing and graffiti-ing) have given voice and visibility to marginalized urban youth who do not feel valued. Although hip-hop is a male-dominated culture, women also played a role in the cultures’ creation and global expansion. However, in some hip-hop conferences, curricula and conversations, women have been minimized or omitted. We'll discuss why this is and how this album is helping to facilitate a change.


In this Olio, we will examine Janelle Monae’s work, its relationship to hip-hop and the significance of visibility in the past and the future when it comes to women. We will address othering and “dirty computers” along with crisis of representation and “nevermind” structures, which erases memories of the past. Inspired by Janelle Monae, Robin G. D. Kelley and la paperson, we will address why it is important to “take a byte” out of the dominant narratives and carve out spaces for untold legacies and possible futures because if we don’t tell these stories, who will?

*This Olio will take place in an apartment in Bed-Stuy. Exact address will be given upon rsvp*




Location: Living Room

Address will be shared with attendees.

Living Room Salons take place in a Think Olio member's apartment to provide an intimate learning environment. We'll email you the exact address upon rsvp.




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