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Nay Saysourinho

January 2023, preferred pronouns: she/her

Nay Saysourinho

Every time I enter a new space, I ask myself who am I when I’m here? Am I the subject or the object? Am I welcomed or tolerated? Architect Craig L. Wilkins, in his book The Aesthetics of Equity, calls it “spatial profiling.” Put another way, walking freely through a space does not equate to my possessing freedom. I thought a lot about this while I walked around the Baldwin house, moving from book to book, artwork to artwork. Here, I did feel free. Free to work through my thoughts, free to write difficult things, free to be angry and comforted and hungry and sated (thank you, thank you Felicia Nowling). I wrote shamelessly while I was here, and as I did, I kept wondering “why is it different here? What is this space telling me?” Only when I left Baldwin did I realize it wasn’t trying to tell me anything about myself. It was letting me be, and maybe that’s what true freedom is – motion and resistance, fused tightly like a jazz piece improvising ever faster, every challenge a discordant note that pivots you towards an exhilarating possibility. Beware, future Baldwin Fellows. Here be joy.

ຂອບ​ໃຈ (Thank You) to Jacqueline Woodson, from the bottom of my heart.


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