A Conversation with Marvin Milian, IDSVA Driskell Fellow

FALL 2020

by Zoma Wallace Cohort ’15

Marvin Milian. Image courtesy of Marvin Milian.
Marvin Milian. Image courtesy of Marvin Milian.

Someone knew that Marvin Milian and I needed to collide. Not to meet, but to collide. “To strike together.” The interview transcribed below constitutes a collision of two David C. Driskell Fellows, two parents (each with two children), raising families on two opposing coasts, striking-together a set of new thought-chords as artist-philosophers. Our conversation made plain the responsibilities we share in common, the legacies for which we are responsible, and the care that we strive to cultivate through our lifelong studies. Whether inspiring his university students, his junior college students, his neighbors, or his own daughters, care is a recurring tenet that propels Marvin’s trajectory. His priceless story, his history, and his willingness to share ideas with anyone, any being, joins the priceless stories, histories, and ideas that we are all blessed to share amongst our professors, colleagues, and dear friends made through IDSVA.  

-Zoma Wallace

It is by chance that Zoma Wallace and I met. Our involvement with IDSVA, and in part, our shared commitment to the legacy of Dr. Driskell brought us to share our thoughts and experiences this past week. We had no control over that part, but what followed has blossomed over the past several conversations and is cemented in my spirit forever. Like Mr. Bojangles and the stranger in the prison cell who share a moment of reflection, our paths often intersect briefly, and it is up to us to embrace those moments, to engage in the unknown, and to allow our Being to venture curiously among other Beings. I hope that as you read our conversation you take away what I have taken away, and that is an air of empathy, a desire to connect, and a yearning to embrace our differences.

-Marvin Milian

Be sure to watch the full interview here: