We had the good fortune of connecting with Synead Cidney Nichols and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Synead Cidney, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I came across the first quote when I was 16 years old. It was from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran- “The soul unfolds unto itself like a lotus of countless petals”. I believe this was the first time I was able to accept that I would not always be in the space of knowing self, but that I should always be in the space of accepting, understanding, and changing the mechanics of self.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a poly-disciplinary performance artist, but I found movement was the pathway to a deeper exploration of what that meant. As an adolescent I was fortunate enough to connect with a community of like-minded humans and it shaped how I saw the world and my place within it. There was a world where I could make art and not just make it my means of survival, but I could thrive in this space.
Of course there have been challenges-most of which surrounded my identity as “other”. However, these experiences have shaped my art in so many ways and taught me the value of my unique perspective.
Someone once told me “you’ve got to have vision” and when I think about the ways that I view the world, it reminds me that it is also mine to shape and sharpen. To have vision is to see what’s ahead and there’s nothing more important right now than the future we envision together.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So many places to check out in Brooklyn! As a Crown Heights native, we have to go to Ali’s Roti Shop for traditional Trini-style dishes like roti or bake and saltfish. We could get a juice or coffee at Lakou Cafe which is black and woman owned. We would make a trip into Bedstuy and hit the local bar, Turtles All The Way Down. They have frozen coffee drink- they call it the “coffee thing”- and a tank with two sweet turtles. Excellent for emotional support! My other favorite neighborhood bar is Marco’s. More of a dive bar vibe, great bartenders and music too. Rebecca’s is also a hotspot. For a good twirl, I would check out Cafe Erzulie, Cmon Everybody, & Wild Bird. I would say the Brooklyn Promenade, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum, There are so many places, but I’m going to keep the rest a secret.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many individuals who have given me so much love, support, and guidance throughout my life because they see me for who I am and inspire me to always be my greatest self. I tell them how grateful I am on a regular basis so they know who they are. I truly want to thank my parents for giving me life. For giving me unconditional love and bestowing upon me knowledge so I can explore the inner and outer workings of myself. Thanks for knowing that I was always more than average.
Jay Charli Angela Cholmondeley