Exploring the Delta Voice: From the Inside-out and Outside-in

Join us Thursday evening at Bass for a series of artists talks and a panel discussion led by Delta State University professor Will Jacks including artists Euphus Ruth, Aaron Turner and Phyllis Dooney. This event is free and open to the public.

The Delta has long been thought of for its distinct and prolific artistic voices. Voices that are paradoxically characterized by highly localized sounds, imagery and prose yet evoke universal identification. It’s almost unfair: as if the biorhythms of the mud, the river, the pioneer spirits and broken spirits collectively want for expression. Artists have been coming to Delta for centuries to capture the “magic” and the “mystery” themselves, hoping to sip some of this divine inspiration. And yet, the dialogs and narratives that emerge from the outside-in are rarely in sync with how locals perceive and envision themselves and their home. The work generated by outsiders is generally accused of over-simplification, stereotyping, and lacking nuance. The Delta, after all, is a conundrum that takes a lifetime to understand. This panel addresses the challenges and triumphs in capturing the Delta from the inside-out and the outside-in. It goes further to discuss how the Delta might be uniquely poised to host a discussion on identity as an apt macro on the broader issues of voice and representation that America faces today.

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