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Cultural worker interrogating the cybernetic and temporal entanglement embedded within societal dynamics... more



Zainab Aliyu ("Zai") is a Nigerian-American cultural worker based in Brooklyn, New York. Her transdisciplinary practice leverages critical pedagogy, contextual inquiry and the human side of technology to interrogate societal, historical and institutional forces against individual and collective identity. She seeks to use speculative storytelling and thoughtful interventions to catalyze resilience, resistance and radical hope within communities.

recent engagements Co-organizing programming around the intersections of code, design, hardware and the critical theory of technology at the School for Poetic Computation · Facilitating community (de)programming to heal generational trauma and the collective consciousness at Black Girl Magik · publishing an anthology of one-act plays about identity and anonymity in digital and physical realms recent listens

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    Curriculum Vitae
    education

    2017 Carnegie Mellon University, BFA with Honors, Communication Design & Human-Computer Interaction

    Panels, Workshops & Talks

    2020 "LA Art Book Fair" Printed Matter, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA

    2020 "Common Field Houston Convening" Common Field, Houston, TX

    2019 "Diversity in Tech Panel: On Ethical Design" Microsoft x HackFest, New York, NY

    2019 "The Future of Community Healing for Women of Color" SXSW, Austin, TX

    2019 "Black Solidarity Conference" Yale University, New Haven, CT

    2019 "In Convo with Collectives" Powrplnt, Brooklyn, NY

    2019 "Transcending Time: Open Research Studio" Powrplnt, Brooklyn, NY

    2018 "The Hack That Made ___," University of Southern California - Iovine & Young Academy, Los Angeles, CA

    2018 "Intro to Visual Design Workshop," University of Southern California - Iovine & Young Academy, Los Angeles, CA

    2018 "Mobile App Design Summer Bootcamp" Facebook x Inneract Project, Menlo Park, CA

    2017 "Design for Non-Designers," Facebook & Instagram, Menlo Park, CA

    Group Exhibitions

    2020 "7 Years of Poetic Computation" School for Poetic Computation, New York, NY [Co-Curator]

    2019 "SFPC Showcase" School for Poetic Computation, New York, NY

    2018 "Our Stories: Returning Home" Junior High Gallery, Los Angeles, CA [Co-Curator]

    2017 "I Live, We Live: What Did We Miss?" Center of Life, Pittsburgh, PA

    2017 "Power and The Soul" The Frame Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

    2016 "F.O.C.U.S. Friends Only Cause Ugly Sketches" Miller ICA, Pittsburgh, PA

    2016 "Lunar Gala: Strain" Carnegie Mellon University Lunar Gala, Pittsburgh, PA

    residencies & fellowships

    2019 SFPC Fall Immersive, School for Poetic Computation, New York, NY

    2019 Powrplnt Winter Residency: Black Girl Magik, Powrplnt, Brooklyn, NY

    2018 Design Fellowship, Betti Ono Gallery, Oakland, CA

    grants & awards

    2019 100 Women List of 2019, OkayAfrica

    2018 Girlboss Foundation Grant, Girlboss

    2016 Lee Goldman Scholarship Award, Carnegie Mellon School of Design

    2016 Students to Watch, Graphic Design USA