The question “Where are you from?” and its variations may seem benign on the surface. After all, it’s a seemingly innocent question brought on by curiosity. But for communities of color the inquiry is too often weighed down by preconceived notions, stereotypes and assumptions. Whether intentional or not, the question is rooted in the assumption that one does not belong. Lisa Myers Bulmash’s latest show tackles this issue in “You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?” at Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). The works are presented from the perspective of her personal experience, but anyone can relate.
“The show is about the universal experience of feeling that your right to be somewhere, your right to take up space, is being challenged by somebody just because you exist,” said Bulmash. “Everybody has walked into a room or walked into a situation or introduced themselves to a group where they felt that something that is essential to who they are was at best tolerated. And tolerance is not inclusion.”