Located Inside:

Antoinette Hatfield Hall

Brunish Theatre

Why So Foreign, Why So Strange?: An Artist Talk with Renluka Maharaj and Diwali Celebration with DJ Anjali

The experiences of Indian women who served as indentured laborers in the Caribbean during the late 1800s and early 1900s is history that is not widespread. Their stories and legacies are still carried by their familial generations, and these stories are being told and expressed in many ways.

Indo-Caribbean artist, Renluka Maharaj, shares the stories of her family’s history as indentured laborers through autobiographical work that is influenced by the narratives, myths and folklore born from the women who migrated from India to the Caribbean. Maharaj investigates themes of history and memory and explores how these inform identity through colorful mixed-media collages, paintings, photography, and artistic sculpting.

Join Portland’5 Centers for the Arts’ Department of Culture and Community for an artist talk with Renluka Maharaj, followed by a conversation with Sarena Maharaj, and a Diwali dance party hosted by Portland’s DJ Anjali. The artist talk with Renluka Maharaj will begin at 7:30pm in the Brunish Theatre, followed by the Diwali Celebration with DJ Anjali at 9pm in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby.

Questions & Accommodation Requests: Portland’5 Director of Culture and Community, Ruby Joy White, RubyWhite@portland5.com

Co-sponsored by the Bhakti Yoga Movement Center and ChaiwallahPDX.

Renluka Maharaj

Renluka Maharaj was born in Trinidad and Tobago and works between Colorado, New York City and Trinidad. She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where she earned her BFA, and her MFA at The School Of The Art Institute of Chicago in. She has received numerous awards including Martha Kate Thomas Fund, the Presidential Scholarship at Anderson Ranch Center and the Barbara De Genevieve Scholarship. Her works are in institutional collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Joan Flasch artist book collection, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Flaten Museum, Bank of America, Special Collections at the University of Colorado, Boulder as well as numerous private collections. Her work has been recognized through various fellowships and residencies including Project For Empty Space, Golden Arts Foundation, Fountainhead Residency, Vermont Studio Center to name a few. Her work has also appeared most recently in Washington Post, Elle India, Harper's Bazaar India, New American Paintings, Coolitude Volume II, Juxtapoz and Hyperallergic. 

Instagram: @renlukamaharaj

DJ Anjali

Anjali is a DJ, Dancer and Artist. Her work is primarily concerned with creating a collective memory through songs, dance and imagery while pushing forward a working class, immigrant feminist agenda on the dance floor. As a DJ and dance floor instigator, she has worked to promote the future and vintage sounds of the South Asian and Desi diaspora within the larger Global Bass movement. She moves between two styles of performance, from behind the decks as a DJ to the front of the stage as a Desi dancer, all the while exploring her own identity and using the dance floor as a place to build solidarity. With her partner-in-crime, The Incredible Kid, she hosts TROPITAAL! A Desi Latino Soundclash (est. 2013) & ANDAZ (est. 2002), two of the Northwest's longest running dance parties. Since forming their partnership in 2000, they have played numerous festivals and parties together in New Delhi, India, NYC, SF, LA, DC, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Anjali teaches Bhangra, Giddha and Filmi/ Item Girl Bollywood weekly at The Viscount Dance Studio in Portland. Archives of her years spent as a radio host on XRAY & KBOO can be found online. In 2023, The Oregon Arts Commission awarded her an Individual Artist Fellowship for Dance. She is also a recipient of RACC's Arts3C Grant Program for Dance.

Instagram: @anjaliandthekid

About the Bhakti Yoga Movement Center

Founded in 2007, the Bhakti Yoga Movement Center is located in Southeast Portland, and is Indian and Queer-owned. The center offers a plethora of classes, yoga teacher training, and events for folks of all backgrounds. Centered on the Bhakti practice of yoga, the center utilizes a trauma-informed approach, and encourages all to bring their whole selves to the community space.

Instagram: @thebhaktiyogamovementcenter

About ChaiwallahPDX:

Sarena Maharaj is the cheerful chaiwalli Founder/Owner behind Chaiwallah PDX.
Her love for making chai blossomed from her journey of coping with the heartbreak of first-gen diaspora loneliness and isolation. Seeking familiarity and community, Sarena started making her chai recipe 10 years ago. Her perfected version takes about 16 hours to steep the full flavors of each carefully sourced spice and herb. Packed with spicy ginger, black peppercorn, soothing turmeric, and other spices, her recipe is truly heart and soul warming.

You can catch them on instagram, @chaiwallah_pdx, to keep up with their upcoming events and markets for delicious vegan chai and sweets! You can also contact them directly for special event orders chaiwallahpdx@gmail.com.

Brunish Theatre : Upcoming Events

Brunish
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