2024 Early-Career Research + Development Grantee | $2,500
This Isn’t Working, a media project
Olu will use the grant to facilitate free local screenings of his film This Isn’t Working alongside five short films by other BIPOC local artists. This initiative will foster community engagement, promoting creative dialogue and local artists’ works. This Isn’t Working is a short docufiction illuminating the journeys of three local BIPOC artists as they transition into full-time artists, exploring the impact of their unique identities and surroundings on their creative processes.
Kehinde Olumide Famule, known as Olu Famule or simply Olu, is a 24-year-old Nigerian-American visual artist driven by a profound passion for using visual arts as a tool to provoke change, explore, and tell stories. From a young age he has been fortunate to have grown up around black poets, painters, potters, weavers, and a father who specialized in teaching non-Western art history. As a Yoruba man, where in Yoruba culture, oral storytelling holds a sacred significance, Olu translates this cultural essence into physical mediums while infusing the abstract, playful, spiritual and provocative energy reminiscent of his predecessors. Navigating the intricate intersections of being Nigerian-American, Olu confronts a complex historical narrative interwoven with the enduring imprints of colonialism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and white supremacy. In a quest to unravel these intricate influences, Olu endeavors to reconnect with a more personal worldview and artistic expression. The art he produces becomes a rebellious force, dynamically challenging societal rigidity and carving a distinctive space within a world constructed by those who remain disconnected from his lived experiences. Regardless of medium, Olu’s overarching vision is to fully immerse observers into the narratives he meticulously crafts, inviting them to not only witness but to feel the raw emotions embodied by the individuals within the art, fostering a profound connection with the stories being told, making the problem of an individual now the problem of many. Currently, Olu is exploring the realms of film and cinema as potent tools for storytelling. With plans to expand into mixed media and other mediums, They are on a quest to challenge conventional notions and further diversify his artistic expression. At the forefront of Olu’s current projects is their debut docufiction, “This isn’t Working.” The film delves into the lived experiences of a cohort of creatives of color, navigating the pursuit of becoming full-time artists within a society not inherently designed to accommodate them , their art and their dream. Through this venture, Olu continues to push the boundaries of storytelling, inviting audiences to engage with narratives that transcend societal barriers and eurocentric norms.
Forecast has been offering early-career artist grants supported by Jerome Foundation since 1989. In addition to funding, Forecast is dedicated to providing professional development and learning opportunities designed to assist emerging artists as they experiment/ hone their practices, and cultivate careers in the field. Forecast mid- and early-career grants are designed to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.