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Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in London.


What socio-political and racial narratives do you explore in your art?

I explore a personal narrative as a first generation congolese individual in the UK.  My artwork is about self-exploration and documenting my experiences so race, gender and sexuality becomes naturally intertwined into my work.


What is your heritage?

Both my parents are from Kinshasa in Congo. 


The European creative industries are dominated by white artistry.

Is there a role black artists should play?

In these industries black artists are often called upon to play a role that the industry is comfortable with, fitting their image of blackness. I’ve found it to be quite restrictive as it then feels like my art should be performative to gain attention from larger institutions. 


What contemporary artists inspire you? (dead or alive)

I find myself inspired by artists new and old, collectives and individuals. At this moment in time, I’m really interested in the works by artist Shantell Martin, Cecile Emeke and Jenny Holzer


What would you tell your 16 year-old self?

I would tell my 16 year-old self, to value myself and to embrace my culture and upbringing.

8 cups by joy miessi
areyouwell by joymiessi
afro by  joymiessi
13 Years by Joy Miessi

"Black artists are often called upon to play a role the industry is comfortable with"

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