if i ruled the world by press press
W/ BMORE ART & OPEN SPACE’S PUBLICATIONS AND MULTIPLES FAIR
If I Ruled The World is a publication that takes inspiration from the Nas classic, "If I Ruled The World" (It Was Written, 1996), in order to facilitate artistic collaborations and conversations between a range of Baltimore-based creatives and activists. In their responses, contributors present their most positive visions of the world, and by doing so are able to thoughtfully analyze and investigate the nuances within the struggle for equity in our city and the active role of artists within the pursuit for social change. This project came out of conversations happening throughout the Uprising of 2015 and ultimately took the form of a conference as part of the Publications & Multiples Fair at the Baltimore Design School, a printed publication, and a digital publication.
The prompt for this project, taken from Nas’ song “If I Ruled The World” (It Was Written, 1996) featuring Lauryn Hill, is a contradiction itself; on one hand, it asserts that everyone has the right to take up space and envision the world as they want it, but on the other, it claims an old-school, hierarchical way of structuring life. However outdated this question might be, it provoked a series of collaborative, artistic responses and conversations by Baltimore-based creatives and activists, who attempted to find a contemporary way of asking the question itself.
Artistic collaborators who stepped into this project did not only contribute content but also defined the direction of the entire project and identified new collaborators to pull in. Thus, this collection of unique voices, works and conversations grew organically over the past few months and will continue to exist in various forms: as an ongoing series on BmoreArt, on a digital platform, as a printed publication and as a conference at the 2016 Publications and Multiples Fair organized by Open Space.
Contributors include: Khadija Nia Adell, Jared Brown, Person Ablach, Amy Reid, Greydolf, Bonnie Jones, students of the Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project, Kursten Pickup, Besan Khamis, Rahul Subhash Shinde, Bryanna Jenkins, Get Your Life! Production, Loring Cornish and Kate Khatib.