Program & Engagement
Michael Orange is the chief mobilizer, moving image and crowd, in the truest namesake of MATATU. In the proud lineage of Black librarians, Michael has found his purpose early in the preservation and presentation of heirloom truths. Such critical stories have peppered the earth in all directions, which he sees as elements necessary to forge the intersectional post-colonial identities of the African Diaspora. Each of Michael’s commitments are meditative actions of personal and public inquiry within the Afro past, present, and future. In this passion, he is a cultural bearer of the radical African imagination. The production of knowledge as power for a rising Black America in a time of wanton institutional violence and mass displacement, Michael feels is his responsibility–not by choice but by obligation. He partners with thought leaders and creatives, locally and internationally, to promote Black excellence through visionary and inclusive neo-Africana cultural experiences. Michael is a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Fellow, an Association of Performing Arts Professionals Leadership Fellow, and participant in ACAM 2019, an art cinema executive management program presented by International Confederation of Art Cinemas. He is an executive producer of "Neptune Frost," a SciFi film directed by longtime collaborator Saul Williams, a producer of PolicyLink's "100 Million and Counting: a Portrait of Economic Insecurity in the United States," and 2020/2021 Conference Co-chair for Arthouse Convergence, which works to advance excellence and sustainability in community based, mission-driven media exhibition.
Zoé Samudzi is a writer, photographer, and sociologist. A believer in the archive as a living organism, her doctoral thesis seeks to challenge genocide exceptionalism and understand imperial Germany's "race war" against indigenous Namibians (1904-1908) as foundational to the subsequent Nazi race war in Europe (1937-1945). Samudzi's work has appeared in the The New Inquiry, Verso, ROAR Magazine, Daily Beast, Broadly, and other publications. She has a column about photography and visuality in Wolfman Books' New Life Quarterly, and was the editor of The Black Aesthetic Season II. In 2018, She was artist-in-residence at the Ashara Ekundayo Gallery in Oakland, California and curated a group show, "Elemental," at the culmination of her residency. She was a member of the 2017/18 Public Imagination cohort of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Fellows Program. Along with William C. Anderson, she is the co-author of As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Our Liberation (AK Press, 2018). Broadly, her work seeks to merge political theory, visual studies and photography, and critical approaches to science in service of a blended multidisciplinary means of articulating Blackness(es).
Angela ‘Mictlanxochitl’ Anderson
Angela ‘Mictlanxochitl’ Anderson is a scholar practitioner, creative strategist, and psychopomp working to challenge dominant epistemologies and advance matters of of cultural and racial equity in the arts. As Director of Operations for Institute for Diversity in Health Management, Anderson co-founded of the National Forum for Healthcare Executives, the Asian Health Care Leaders Association, and expresiones-artisticas. She continued her work in the healthcare space as Executive Director of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives, leading to her initiating the “Indigenous Knowledge Gathering” in Ohlone territory in 2015, and on Tohono O'odham land in 2016. The institution works to bring together indigenous peoples (Native and within the diaspora), scholars, and community organizations to talk with one another and build culturally competent partnerships with one another. In her MATATU leadership role, she has led innovative and controversial discourses on “White Privilege in Socially Engaged Art,” “Reclaiming the Commons of Contemporary Art,” and “Too Black to be French?” Anderson serves as a council member of Danza de la Huitzlimetzli and Danza de la Luna Xinachtli Meztli, and as an initiated ‘Abuela’ in the lineage of Danza de la Luna–a transterritorial Mexica ceremonial practice. She is a specialist in the effective communication of pluralities of knowledge across cultural and organizational borders and is completing a Doctorate program in Transpersonal Psychology, focusing on the intersections of people and their reclamation of ancestral spiritualities.