Niki Franco

Rising: Climate in Crisis Artistic
Type of work
Multidisciplinary Artist

Niki Franco is a Caribbean abolitionist community organizer, writer, and facilitator of spaces for collective study. Seeking to disrupt the institutionalized bureaucratic frameworks of academia and transactional ways in which relationships exist under capitalism, her work experiments with truth-telling, radical history and thought, and revolutionary imagination. She also curates educational and cultural programming that navigates the current urgency on global solidarity, environmental and ancestral preservation, and strategies on building emotional and intellectual capacities to dismantle systems of oppression that inform and deform our current lives. She is the host of “Getting to the Root of It with Venus Roots,” a podcast that leans into conversations with artists, theorists, and organizers.

Niki’s residency project functioned as the seeds for a short video educational/creative resource for community organizers, activists, researchers, artists, and educators available to the public. “Constellations Illuminating the Swamp”  have audio, visual, conversational, and written components to it. The short video is about 5 minutes and shot in both digital and camcorder footage, featuring emblematic visuals that represent communities of New Orleans, as well as making connections to the environments in other parts of the US South and Caribbean. She recorded poetic excerpts, interview excerpts, as well as informational-educational voiceovers. This project will reject binary interpretations of climate change and will center the resistance against disaster capitalism and climate crisis in places like New Orleans, Miami, and Puerto Rico, for example. It will be available for the public through YouTube, videoshare, and social media.

Icon photo by Nicole Combeau.
Gallery photo by Fernando Lopez.