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Zuri Dispatch 11.16.21 // Batiks are backkk!!

We couldn't be more excited for our latest collection of hand-dyed batiks to make their debut! Our design process, like much of what we do is somewhat random and driven by the moment (we're working on getting better at planning!), and so when we were brainstorming what would be fun to wear, in addition to the beautiful geometrics we love so much, we took some fun inspiration from things in our everyday lives.

We're so proud of these gorgeous prints made by Edwina and her team in Accra, and for those of you new to the batik-dying process, here's a bit about how they made our Electric Slide print:

The design is first stamped onto plain white cotton fabric and set to dry (upper right). It's then soaked in a dye bath (literally, a bath tub!), and the colors set (upper left). Then it's placed in a heated bath where the wax melts, leaving the final design! 

 

Plus! New posters from Dennis Muraguri!

Our favorite matatu-centric, Nairobi based artist is back with new prints that we are SO excited to share with you! Each print is signed by the artist and comes rolled in a cardboard tube.

Unfamiliar with Dennis's work or not sure what a matatu even is? Check out this video about Dennis and his creative process!

WHAT WE'RE READING // Oldladyvoice by Elisa Victoria
Narrated by 9-year-old Marina in 1990s Seville, this novel is hilarious and heartbreaking, and takes you right back to being a little kid and kind of knowing how the world works, but not yet knowing how to work it yourself. While Marina may be unique in her foul language and wild imagination, living with her grandmother during a hot, lonely summer while her mother is receiving treatment for a mysterious illness and feeling powerless and a little bit lost are entirely relatable and make for a surprisingly fun read!  

 

WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING // @matwanaculture
@matwanaculture is all about the latest in matatu trends and while some pop culture references are totally beyond us, we're always eager to learn! Plus, the creative vision and skill of these matatu artists is pretty unparalled and really fun to see!  

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Gyakie
Born into a family of musicians, Ghanaian singer Gyakie grew up in the studio. The daughter of 80’s highlife music legend Ernest 'Owoahene' Nana Acheampong, she's established herself as one of the top afrobeats artists on the scene today, and we can't wait to hear what she comes out with next.

 

GIVING UPDATE // University Settlement

Like we say all the time, we have the coolest customers, and we're really proud that Melissa Aase, director of University Settlement is a Zuri sister! We'll be donating proceeds of our mask sales this month to University Settlement, and we wanted to share a bit about their work in her own words:

At University Settlement, we always begin by honoring difference and insisting on the value of complexity. We know that human variety is infinite, we believe that human connection can create exponential value, and we know that engaging the full human complexity of our neighbors helps build stronger communities than transactional, short-term or single-discipline social services ever could.

This is the heart of our approach, which we’ve honed on the Lower East Side for the last 135 years, and which has made settlement houses effective engines for social reform for generations. It’s the power of US.

But this does mean we can be hard to sum up. We have programs for expecting mothers, and newborns, and children under five. We work with young people in after-school, and summer camp, and college prep. Every year more than 400 adults build English and civic literacy with us. We run the programming at community centers in the heart of three bustling neighborhoods, not to mention the spaces we operate for distinct communities of adults over 60. We engage our neighbors with dedicated mental health and art-making programs, while also weaving those resources into everything we do. And even as we provide direct services to address immediate needs, we connect our neighbors through civic engagement and to the fight for greater equality – pushing the needle of the possible while doing what needs to be done now.

Doing all the seemingly disparate things we do as one organization, with teams that approach their work from a shared perspective, who are empowered and encouraged to connect the dots, makes everything we do more successful.

We are proud to be part of Zuri’s community - to learn more about how you can get involved with University Settlement’s work building community strength in NYC, please subscribe to our updates here.

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