Somebody Almost Walked Off Wid Alla My Stuff

Dianne Smith

Image taken from Essence article listed below



One day, while working on her ‘for colored girls’ installation — a visual interpretation of the poem, Somebody Almost Walked Off Wid Alla My Stuff—a light-bulb went off. “I re-read the poem and realized that it’s about a woman taking agency over herself. If I was going to do justice to the work, I had to be authentic. I had to talk about what happened.”


Harlem-based artist Dianne Smith had already sketched out the visual element of her piece, now it was time to create a video component. She chose three. For the first, she shows photographs of all the stuff in her apartment, while reciting the poem, Somebody Almost Walked Off Wid Alla My Stuff.’ In the second, she shares actual images of her bruised face, while sharing domestic violence statistics. In a third, she interviews a diverse group of girlfriends from throughout the Diaspora. They share powerful stories of stuff they’ve given away, lost or gotten stolen.


Smith’s installation premiered at the Schomburg Museum in New York and showed at both the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Houston Museum Of African American Art. Ultimately, Dianne hopes that her work will continue to open minds. “That woman in San Bernardino was murdered by her estranged-husband while teaching in her classroom. Domestic violence impacts the entire community, it’s not just a woman’s issue.”


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