Teajai Travis is a Windsor-based artist and educator working locally and abroad. His current work, Born Enslaved, is a study of his Ancestors lives during chattel slavery in the Southern United States of America, and their contribution to the Underground Railroad.
As an artist, Teajai works in the spirit of the Ancestor, guided by the infinite light of their legacy. Using spoken word and abstract rhythmic sound art, Teajai explores existence, consciousness and humanity as a bubbling manifestation of sensations. He meditates on questions of reality and illusion and muses on the presence of naturally occurring patterns found in the make up of the universe. He mindfully incorporates these themes into his work.
Teajai Travis is an art educator with Arts Can Teach, the Founder and Director of The Bloomfield House, he is the current chair of The Windsor Youth Centre, a board member with The Friends of the Court and Literary Arts Windsor and he is currently working on a collection of poetry titled Born Enslaved: A Freedom Story, as well a play and a collection of short stories of the same name. The work shares his Ancestors heroic journey from slavery to freedom. He often describes his creative style as “lyrical hood spit” a reflection of his humble upbringing in one of Windsor’s public housing communities – he proudly claims, “Westside for Life”. In the anthology By the River, published by Urban Farmhouse Press, he continues to describe his style as “channeling the desperate melodies of a pawn shop saxophone, praying abstract jazz to the whispers of a misunderstood Harlem Renaissance; black”. Inspired by the works of Nikki Giovanni, Dick Gregory, James Baldwin, Afua Cooper and Sal Williams, Teajai uses a poetic language to share the complexities of struggle and triumph from his unique lens.