Moor Mother: Visiting Artist Lecture

Photo of a woman in a field of grass wearing a white headscarf
Camae Ayewa performs under the name Moor Mother. photo / provided
A woman singing into a microphone
Moor Mother performing. photo / Chris Sikitch

Moor Mother is the viscerally charged output of Philadelphia-based, interdisciplinary artist Camae Ayewa. Her music is often harsh and strange, projecting both the cathartic anger of punk and the expansive improvisatory spirit of Sun Ra. Using a variety of machines, field recordings, and analog noisemakers, Ayewa constructs fractured, cacophonous waves for her words of punishing pertinence to ride.

As a musician performing under the name Moor Mother, Ayewa has toured in Europe and the U.S. at numerous festivals, colleges, and universities sharing the stage with King Britt, Islam Chipsy, Claudia Rankine, and Bell Hooks. As a soundscape artist, she has had work featured at Samek Art Museum in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; the Metropolitan Museum of Art Chicago; and Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse.

Her latest album, Fetish Bones, was released through Don Giovanni Records in September 2016. The album features 13 songs conceived and recorded in Ayewa's home studio and is an album intended as a form of protest and a form of time travel — a collection of sounds that are events themselves, telling stories rich in history about the journey that brings us to today and the future we are creating. Fetish Bones is not an album meant to help you forget. It is made so that you will remember the injustices that we bear witness to and participate in.

Ayewa is also a renowned poet and author of the forthcoming poetry book, also named Fetish Bones, and a member of Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), a collective that has recently released its first book, Black Quantum Futurism: Theory and Practice, Vol. 1 (AfroFuturist Affair, 2015). BQF has presented in the Copenhagen Perspectives on Time conference, Ferguson is the Future at Yale University, and the Afrofuturism Now festival in Holland. Ayewa is a 2016 Leeway Award recipient and 2016 Blade of Grass Fellow.


Afrofuturist musician Moor Mother speaks about her debut record Fetish Bones and her activism as an integral member of Girls Rock Philly and cofounder of the Black Quantum Futurism collective.

Co-sponsored with the Department of Music.
Related Links
Moor Mother's Website