Salakastar (Aka Aja Salakastar Dier) is a Detroit born/based actor, singer, songwriter, and educator working in theatre, television, film, and music. Salakastar earned her BFA in classical acting at the Purchase College University in New York. She is a founding member of iii Sisters Detroit-based feminist writing ensemble, an artist-in-residence at Poetic Societies, a member of A Host of People theater company, and a touring member of I, Too, Sing America at the Michigan Opera Theatre. She is a recipient of the Kresge Foundation's 2018 Gilda Award in Live Arts. She was recently featured on the HBO series “Random Acts of Flyness.” Currently, Salakastar is recording her debut album "All Blue: Part One (Majorelle!)" in collaboration with Poetic Societies.
“ALL BLUE: PART ONE (MAJORELLE!) | AB: P1 (M!)”
“ALL BLUE: PART ONE (MAJORELLE!)” aka “AB: P1(M!)” is an experimental R+B album in progress and a live performance by Salakastar in collaboration with Poetic Societies, featuring artists in Detroit and Tehran. It consists of poetic healing rituals in the form of vibrant sounds, visuals, and mantras in English, Farsi, and French. The project is a response to the urgent needs of distant people of color for recording and sharing untold narratives of self, land, and belonging.
Salakastar channels her ancestral spirit “Majorelle” to expand the African-American tradition of rhythm+blues and its lineage in relation to the generational depression experienced by descendants of the survivors of the Middle Passage and the souls that still exist in the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. She extends the healing quality of the color blue as it relates to the 5th chakra at the throat associated with Truth, voice, communication, and purification.
Through conversations with Ava Ansari, an Iranian immigrant and founding director of Poetic Societies, Salakstar realized that this ancestral approach towards artistic healing extends to the Iranian and Arab communities with complex philosophies and practices of channeling the color blue. Through this album, they intend to connect the blue experiences of their communities and encourage distant bodies to circulate stories of depression, resilience, healing and magic. For generations, African-Americans tapped into “the blue space” to find strength and channel unslaved, un-colonized, de-traumatized, de-capitalized, magical selves for the highest expression of their ancestral lines. By extending the healing qualities of blue to other marginalized communities and connecting mutual experiences of blueness, Salakastar and Poetic Societies hold an inclusive space of global strength for oppressed and depressed souls.
For 10+ years, Ansari has been using telepresence technologies to distant bodies. Due to the political, financial, environmental, and medical constraints of traveling, more than ever, we feel the urgency for creating online spaces to connect people of color for sustaining high frequencies and exchanging survival tactics against the global systems of violence.
Salakastar invites her collaborators to join her in experimenting with this wave of blue. Many incredible artists are contributing to this album immersing themselves in this experimental collective healing process.
“AB: P1 (M!)” will be shared as a 12” vinyl and will be available to download and stream on all major platforms. The live telepresence bi-locational performance connects participating artists and communities in Tehran, Detroit, and worldwide via live-streaming to engage bodies beyond borders.