In the midst of the Derek Chauvin murder trial for the death of George Floyd, Ferene wrote a poem called “I Am From All of Me Is Tired” about her lifetime of experiences as a Black Haitian person and the emotional exhaustion of her BIPOC friends during this time.
Artists Tanya Talamante and Cynthia Cagle were inspired by her poem, and a mural collaboration was born. "Ferene Existing While Black" is a vibrant painting that features Ferene’s face and shows both her visibility and invisibility in this predominantly white state. It also features Ferene’s signature earrings which were made by Aisha McLaren of Soul Simone. You can find it in the lane between Burlington City Arts and City Hall. This is one of three murals that will be unveiled during Burlington's Juneteenth celebration — a daylong, citywide festival of free food, educational exhibits and musical performances.
Eva sat down with Ferene and Cynthia to watch the mural being painted and to hear about their friendship and artistic collaboration.
Music: Bad Snacks, “Honey”