All Projects

Bilphena Yahwon: Residency

June 24, 2021 - September 1, 2021

[Research & Development]

WPA’s Project Space, 2124 8th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

“rememory as in recollecting and remembering as in reassembling the members of the body, the family, the population of the past,” – Toni Morrison

Bilphena Yahwon was in residence at WPA to support her research on pre-civil war Liberia, and the connections between Baltimore and Liberia. Bilphena is a Baltimore-based archivist and restorative practices practitioner born in Liberia, West Africa. Her work is concerned with the uses of memory for Black folks: “how we inherit it, how we preserve it and how we pass it down.”

Yahwon writes about her research,

“It was while neck deep in the archives doing other research that I learned of this relationship between Baltimore and Liberia. Not only does the history of Liberia (as a colonial project) begin in Maryland, but Baltimore and Gbarnga, Liberia are sister cities. 

After my family fled Liberia for Côte d’Ivoire, we received refugee admission to the United States in 2001. We began our American journey in Virginia and in 2006 we found our way to Baltimore. I have called Baltimore home ever since. There was something chilling and exhilarating and profound about stumbling upon this connection between my birth home and the place I now call home — a full circle of sorts. I have spent the past year attempting to map out this relationship not just with historical documents but with images as well. 

While so much of archiving is personal for me, this research allows me to offer a possible missing piece for Black folks in Baltimore who may have gaps in their family albums and documents. There is a possibility that so many Black Marylanders have walking, breathing relatives in Liberia right now.”

About the Artist

Bilphena Yahwon is curator of the online library, The Womanist Reader, and is a collective member of the interdisciplinary publishing initiative, Press Press. She has recently launched Archive Liberia, a personal archival project chronicling Liberian history. This new archival journey began as a way to assist her memory and rememory.


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Letting Go, Holding Space, & Moving Through
Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 5-7pm
Currency: An Exchange of Artist Solidarity
SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2024 | 6 - 11pm
2024 Collectors’ Night Gala
Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 8–8:45pm
Film Screening: ‘Land of Friends’ by Carolina Caycedo
Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 7:30–8:30pm
Artist Talk with Vyette Tiya, and Theresa-Xuan & Antonius Bui
Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 7:30–8:30pm
Artist Talk with Akela Jaffi & Emily Ames
Thursday, September 10, 2020 | 7:30–8:30pm
Artist Talk with Jamie Garcia & Juliana Pongutá Forero
January - March 2021 |
Friday, March 12, 2021 | 8–9pm
Radical Disobedience
Thursday, March 11, 2021 | 7–8pm
Moving Verse
Thursday, February 18, 2021 | 7:30-9pm
El Fondo Como Protagonista (The Background as Protaganist)
Friday, January 23, 2021 | 6:30-7:30pm
Virtual Arepera with Mercedes Golip
Friday, November 17, 2023 | 7-8pm
meta-meta: Conversation with Colby Chamberlain
Thursday, November 2, 2023 | 7-8pm
meta-meta: Performance with Joshua Coyne
Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 6-7:30pm
meta-meta: Workshop with Some People Press
Saturday, March 11, 2023 | 1:30pm
Destroy the World
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 | 5:30-7pm
Queer Life Force: Breathwork + Embodiment Practices
Thursday, March 2, 2023 | 7-9pm
How to build a world (one kiki at a time)
Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 1:30pm
Abolition of Policing—A Critical Theory of Police Power
Saturday, September 9, 2023 | 1-4pm
2023-2024 WPA Season Kick-off & BBQ
Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 7-9pm
2023 Wherewithal Research Presentations
Thursday, July 27, 2023 | 6–7pm
Ama BE: We (too) Grow On Water
Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 1-4pm
Ama BE: Open House
Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?
Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?
Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?