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Imani Jacqueline Brown


  • Imani Jacqueline Brown
  • Area

    School of Architecture


    Visiting Lecturer

  • Biography

  • Imani's work investigates extractive environmental and economic practices to expose the violence and resistance that comprise the foundations of US society. Imani is the founder of New Orleans’ Fossil Free Festival, is a member of Occupy Museums, and was a co-founder of Blights Out.

    In addition to her position at RCA, Imani is currently an Economic Inequality Fellow with Open Society Foundations, a Visiting Researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, and an AFIELD Fellow with COUNCIL.

    Imani holds an MA with Distinction in Research Architecture from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths (2019) and a BA in Anthropology and Visual Arts from Columbia University (2010).
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Selected work


Research interests

My practice investigates extractive environmental and economic practices through what could be called public action research and, most recently, what I’m calling cartographic unraveling––essentially disentangling, deconstructing, and analyzing the cartographic lines and points used to make geography, unmake communities, and break the earth’s geology. I’m currently building a digital platform to view fossil fuel wells and pipelines in Louisiana’s wetlands by company in order to make a case for corporate accountability and the payment of reparations for crimes against more-than-humanity. In addition, I am involved in a few collective projects: 

Fossil Free Fest is a free, public festival of art, music, films, food, and complex conversations about the ethical entrapments of fossil fuel philanthropy, presented by Antenna, a New Orleans-based arts incubator. The Fest celebrates the imminent end of the Fossil Fuel Era and opens public space for Louisianans to imagine and design a fossil fuel-free culture (2018 to present).

Occupy Museums is an artist-activist collective formed during Occupy Wall Street to challenge the commodification and financialization of art and culture. Our project, Debtfair, reveals the layers of extraction within the walls of all institutions under capitalism by grouping artwork into “bundles” according to the banks to which they are indebted and installing work between the studs within gallery walls alongside stories of the artists’ economic realities. (2011 to present).

Blights Out was a collective of artists, activists, and architects who worked to demystify and democratize development in post-Katrina New Orleans. For four years, we investigated the policies that lead to displacement and gentrification by attempting to purchase “blighted” property outside the predatory auction system (2014-2018).