Show cover of Many Lumens with Maori Karmael Holmes

Many Lumens with Maori Karmael Holmes

BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes chats with the most groundbreaking artists, change makers, and cultural workers — finding meaning in the intersections of art, social change, and popular culture.


Mira Nair
Bonus Episode! Maori chats with the renowned filmmaker, activist, and this year’s Blackstar Film Festival Luminary Award Recipient, Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake). Mira talks about her childhood, how she made her way from India to the United States to attend Harvard, and her early artistic influences including theater, photography, and cinema vérité. The two explore the relationship between film and social change, the making of her 1991 film Mississippi Masala, her experiences directing while parenting, and more. 
61:51 09/21/2022
Telfar Clemens + Babak Radboy
Maori talks with fashion designer Telfar Clemens and creative director Babak Radboy, the principal forces behind the iconic TELFAR fashion label. Clemens and Radboy share their connection being 'third culture kids,' the organic nature of their creative partnership, and how they've navigated the fashion industry together. They also discuss other projects in the works, namely building out TELFAR TV and potentially a TELFAR physical space that "might not be what you think."
63:45 08/10/2022
Camae Ayewa – Moor Mother
Maori chats with musician, poet, artist, cultural worker, and professor Camae Ayewa, also known by her stage name Moor Mother. Camae talks about her early life growing up in Aberdeen, Maryland and her formative influences. They also discuss her journey as an artist, from her early days performing in Philly’s underground music scene to her successful solo project, bands, and involvement in the Black Quantum Futurism Collective. Camae is truly an inspiration to all creatives, as she pushes the bounds of experimentation and reminds us of the importance of comfort with the journey. 
68:45 08/03/2022
Astria Suparak
Maori talks with Oakland-based, artist, writer, and curator, Astria Suparak. Astria’s curated exhibitions, screenings, and performances have appeared at art institutions and festivals worldwide, as well as far more unconventional spaces, including roller skating rinks, sports bars, and rock clubs. In their conversation they talk about her introduction to Riot Grrrl culture as a teen and the intellectual through line from her punk rock beginnings to her work now. They also discuss her recent project Asian Futures, Without Asians, a visual analysis of over half a century of American science fiction cinema.
50:09 07/27/2022
Sonia Sanchez
Maori chats with poet, activist, mother, and professor Sonia Sanchez (Homecoming, We a Baddddd People, Homegirls and Handgrenades, Morning Haiku). Sister Sonia’s accomplishments are vast and include being named Philadelphia's first poet laureate in 2012, receiving the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, and most recently being awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Maori and Sister Sonia discuss struggle, love, and loss. Sister Sonia talks about her experiences as a young adult in New York, how the form of haiku has influenced her life, and the balancing act of raising children while maintaining her artistic practice. 
68:10 07/06/2022
Amy Sherald
Maori chats with renowned painter Amy Sherald, who documents contemporary Black American experiences through otherworldly figurative paintings. Amy talks about what life was like for her growing up in a small Southern city and her process of self-exploration and honing her craft. They discuss the nuances of her artistic practice, career trajectory, and what life has been like since the release of her portrait of Michelle Obama. They also explore a question we all want to know — when is Amy going to paint a portrait of Maori?
50:33 06/29/2022
Terence Nance
Maori and guest co-host Rashid Zakat chat with their friend, artist, musician, and filmmaker Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Random Acts of Flyness). The three talk about Terence’s childhood and the long term impact of growing up in a family of creatives, drawing inspiration from love, and the importance of community for Black artists.
72:14 06/22/2022
Deniese Davis
Maori chats with powerhouse producer Deniese Davis (Insecure, A Black Lady Sketch Show), founder of two media companies — Color Creative and Reform Media Group — that seek to uplift and champion Black and brown voices. In their conversation, Deniese shares her journey from being a rising basketball star to helping to shepherd the cultural phenomenon that was Issa Rae’s Insecure. They also discuss finding work-life balance and their shared passion for musicals.
63:34 06/15/2022
Tunde Wey
Maori chats with writer, artist, and chef Tunde Wey, known for his gastronomic projects that critically poke fun at and examine gentrification, economic inequality and the enduring neo-colonial politics of food today. Tunde shares how stepping out of family expectations of success is a full circle process, and discusses what it’s like being back home in Nigeria. They talk about how his understanding of Black Atlantic food culture has evolved from his time in Detroit and New Orleans, and how he still owes Maori a husband. 
59:28 06/08/2022
Sky Hopinka
Maori chats with visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and photographer Sky Hopinka, director of maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore and a co-founder of the Indigenous film collective COUSIN. They discuss creating work that isn’t beholden to whiteness and the impact his family has had on his artistic practice. The two also get into what it means to protect and nurture space for those you hold closest and the nuances of charging white people to take your photograph.
48:49 06/01/2022
Imani Perry
In this episode, Maori talks with Princeton African American Studies Professor and prolific author Imani Perry (South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation). The two talk about shared geographies and discuss how the places they belong to have shaped who they’ve become. They get into Imani’s commitment to beauty, her family, and the intellectual tradition she inherited from her grandmother. And finally, Maori and Imani bond over being migrant weirdos. 
59:58 05/25/2022
Jeff Chang
Maori chats with kindred spirit and prolific writer Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. In their conversation they time travel back to the 80’s and 90’s, looking at how hip-hop transformed their politics and shaped their outlooks on the world. They also discuss how to learn from failure, Black and Asian solidarity, and the significance of chosen family.
59:06 05/18/2022
Yaba Blay
Maori sits down with close friend Dr. Yaba Blay, a producer, professor, cultural consultant, self-described “maroon academic,” and author of the award-winning book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. The two discuss beauty and the pressures Black women face to conform, how to step out of the isolation and rigidity of the academy, and finding your way through time and geography. 
65:17 05/11/2022
Season 2 - Trailer
A sneak peek at Season 2 of Many Lumens with Maori Karmael Holmes.  Produced by BlackStar Projects,  this season premieres May 11, 2022 and will feature 12 new conversations with the most groundbreaking artists, change makers, and cultural workers in the game.  Subscribe to Many Lumens wherever you listen to your podcasts.Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @manylumens. Trailer features Season 2 guests Imani Perry, Jeff Chang, Sky Hopinka, and Yaba Blay.
01:44 05/03/2022
Episode 5 - Blitz Bazawule
Maori chats with Blitz Bazawule, the musician, filmmaker, writer and painter. Topics include The Black Atlantic and Kwame Nkrumah, moving to middle America from Ghana, finding a creative tribe, and the multi-dimensional power of film as a tool for Afro diasporic storytelling.
79:14 02/01/2021
Episode 4 - Arthur Jafa
Filmmaker and artist Arthur Jafa joins Maori to discuss freedom, collective action as counter culture, the Black cinematic trajectory, and the importance of geography in forming our pictorial and musical traditions. 
76:47 01/25/2021
Episode 3 — Jason Reynolds
Maori is joined by writer and poet Jason Reynolds, who posits literature as a form of radical world-making. They talk about kindred experiences in the late 90s D.C. spoken word scene, hippie parents, his love of Queen Latifah (and not so secretly 90 Day Fiancé) and so much more! 
67:14 01/18/2021
Episode 2 — Janicza Bravo
Maori is joined by filmmaker Janicza Bravo. Their chat encompasses everything from accountability and friendship, to her hands-on creative process and the importance of choosing your battles, to her latest feature Zola and a shared childhood obsession with Barbies! Get into it.  
71:22 01/11/2021
Episode 1 - dream hampton
Maori is joined by friend, writer and filmmaker dream hampton, for a talk that evokes the intimate dimensions, costs and rewards of being committed to a Black radical politics. Topics include her early hip hop influences, Detroit, writing and making films, the necessary practice of tuning out the trolls and finding refuge amidst the chaos.   
43:20 01/04/2021
Introducing Many Lumens
Meet the host of Many Lumens and learn more about the inspiration behind the podcast in this short conversation between Maori Karmael Holmes and journalist Dyana Williams.
11:09 12/27/2020
Season 1 - Trailer
A sneak peek at Season 1 of Many Lumens, a new podcast by BlackStar, hosted by Maori Karmael Holmes.
01:44 12/17/2020