Rukhsana Nezam is the founder and director of Justice & Joy, a consulting practice that focuses on the intersection of community development, socially-engaged art and urban planning. She works with governments, artists and grassroots cultural organizations to bring creativity and imagination into community planning and to de-silo the way we run cities.
Rukhsana currently collaborates on creative placemaking projects throughout the country, including the ambitious Chouteau Greenway in St. Louis, a project designed to connect 17 city neighborhoods linking parks, business and arts districts, transit corridors, and cultural/educational institutions in a rich and inclusive celebration of art, commerce, culture and history.
In this example and throughout her art practice, Rukhsana strives to disarm and disrupt public space norms using play and participatory performance. She urges us to consider how imagination and cultural knowledge can guide urban design, planning and policy and how artists and cultural practitioners can help us re-imagine a better public realm, and civic systems that work for all.
We were delighted to talk to Rukhsana Nezam in March. You can learn more about her work with Justice & Joy at the website: www.mallorynezam.com