Terms and Conditions
Welcome to TONGUES, provided by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (“we”, “us”, “our”). Access to and use of this website (“TONGUES”) is provided by us on the basis of a number of important terms and conditions, which are set out in full below.
You should carefully read these terms and conditions (“terms”). When you use TONGUES, you will be legally bound by these terms, which will take effect from your first use of TONGUES. If you do not agree to be legally bound by these terms, then you should not use TONGUES>.
These terms apply generally to the use of TONGUES. Any facility (“Comment Facility”) that we may make accessible to you through TONGUES, enabling you to post messages, comments, information, material or content (a “Contribution”), may have additional special terms attached. If and when a Comment Facility becomes available, you will need to read and agree to be legally bound by those special terms before you post a Contribution or use those sections. If you do not agree to be legally bound by those special terms then you will not be able to post a Contribution.
TONGUES is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in a country where that distribution or use would be contrary to local laws or regulations.
Changes to Terms
We are continually seeking to update and improve TONGUES. As a result, we may make changes to TONGUES, including these terms, at any time. You will need to review these terms regularly so that you are aware of any changes we have made. You will be legally bound by the updated or amended terms from the first time that you use TONGUES after we post the changes on-line.
The rights in materials, images, information, data, trade marks, trade names and logos and other content included on TONGUES (“TONGUES content”) are are owned by us or the relevant third party content owner. All rights are reserved and acknowledged. As TONGUES content is protected by a variety of third party rights, you may not copy, adapt, re-publish, make available to the public or print off copies of TONGUES content in any way, or use it other than as part of TONGUES and for your personal non-commercial use, without our prior written permission.
Information which we provide through TONGUES is in outline for information or entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on it.
Third party websites
We do not monitor the content of third party websites and any link provided on TONGUES is solely for your convenience. We cannot therefore accept any responsibility for any third party website. You are responsible for checking and complying with the terms and privacy policies applicable to your use of any third party website.
The extent of our responsibility to you has been determined in the context of the following:
access to TONGUES is provided to you free of charge;
it is your responsibility to determine the suitability of any TONGUES content for any particular purpose to which you wish to put it;
TONGUES does not give instructions and you are responsible for any action or decision you take or do not take as a result of TONGUES content;
It is your responsibility to ensure that your equipment is enabled with appropriate up-to-date virus checking software before you access or use TONGUES.
Whilst we will endeavour to ensure that TONGUES is available to you and that content for which we are responsible is accurate, we cannot make any legal commitment or representation to you that TONGUES will be available at any particular time or that it or any TONGUES content will be of any particular quality or fit for any particular purpose. However, we will exercise reasonable skill and care in providing any service to you.
We can accept no liability to you for any of the following types of loss (should you suffer any of them as a result of your use of TONGUES):
loss which was not foreseeable to you and us when you first accessed or registered to use TONGUES (even if that loss results from the our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence);
any business loss you may suffer, including loss of revenue, profits or anticipated savings (whether those losses are the direct or indirect result of our default);
loss which you suffer other than as a result of our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence or breach of statutory duty;
any loss suffered due to the default of any party other than us.
We do not give any commitment that TONGUES or any TONGUES content will be available uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that TONGUES or its supporting systems are free of viruses or bugs.
We can accept no liability to you if we fail, or are interrupted or delayed in the performance of any obligation because of:
the non-availability or failure of any telecommunications or computer services, systems, equipment or software operated or provided by you or any third party;
any other event not reasonably within our control.
We do not give any commitments or accept any liability to you in respect of TONGUES content provided by other users of the website or third parties other than us.
Nothing in these terms will limit our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence.
To the extent that we are practically able to do so, we may terminate your access to any part of TONGUES at any time without notice if you breach any of the terms.
If any of these terms are determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable then the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect.
These terms shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. If you are a consumer, then you may have rights to bring court proceedings in the courts of the country in which you are domiciled. Otherwise, to the fullest extent permitted by law, you and we shall bring all court proceedings in the courts of England and Wales.
© TONGUES — An initiative by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd


Privacy & Cookies Policy
The tongues.cc website is operated by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (‘TONGUES’).
This privacy policy applies to TONGUES.
We want you to enjoy our website and services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair information practices to protect your privacy. By visiting our website, you are accepting the practices described in our privacy policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tracking technologies. If you do not agree to the terms of this privacy policy, please do not use the website.
TONGUES may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and you should regularly check to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy was last updated on 11 February 2020.
The policy outlines:
1. General principle
2. How we collect information
3. Types of information we may collect
4. How we use your information
5. How we protect the information we collect
6. Access to your personal information
7. How to contact us
1. General principle
There are two types of information we may collect from you when you use the website: non-personally identifiable information and personally identifiable information. Non-personally identifiable information does not individually identify you, but it may include tracking and usage information about your general location, demographics, use of the website and the internet. Personally identifiable information is information that you voluntarily provide when you set up a user account, subscribe to a newsletter, or query that can individually identify you and may include your name and email address etc.
We do not link non-personally identifiable information to your personally identifiable information.
We do not share either type of information unless required to run the website and services (see third-party services below). We will never sell either type of information.
This privacy policy does not apply to any information collected outside of the website, including offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through email), unless otherwise stated below or at the time of collection.
2. How we collect information
We collect information when you:
— Ask to be placed on an email newsletter list
Make an enquiry about our services
— Answer a reader survey
— Provide information to us
Links to other websites, social media platforms
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our website, you should note that we do not have any control over the information that is collected and shared about you. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
You may interact with content on our website through social media platforms we use such as Facebook by using their social features. Examples of social features include ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ our content. We encourage you to review their policies before using their tools, which can be found at their respective websites. If you’d prefer that these social media platforms do not collect information about the content you share and use, we suggest that you don’t use their tools.
3. Types of information we may collect
The types of information we may collect includes:
— Account information (email address)
— Information you provide through a TONGUES reader survey which might include age range, education level etc
TONGUES is not responsible for any information you have provided in public areas of our website or on our social media platforms, which may then be viewed by other users.
4. How we use your information
The information we collect may be used to help us:
— Provide services you voluntarily subscribed to such as email newsletters
— Improve the quality of our website
— Promote services to you including advising you of updates or changes to our website and services
— Improve the website through reader surveys and feedback
Disclosure to third-party services
As part of providing our website and services to you we use a limited number of third-party services that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to website hosting, server monitoring, tracking user behaviour, marketing automation services, and customer service.
We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of these third-party services and encourage you to read the policies of the services we use below:
TONGUES uses the MailerLite marketing automation service to issue newsletters. Find out more about MailerLite’s Privacy Policy and Terms.
When you subscribe to our email newsletters
By clicking ‘Subscribe’ you agree to the following: 
We will use the email address you provide to send you a weekly or monthly email. We also send occasional updates and, no more than once a year, reader surveys. 
The email address/es you provide will be transferred to our external marketing automation service ‘MailerLite’ for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms. We use MailerLite to issue our newsletters. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of MailerLite
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe link’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. If you want to review and correct the personal information we have about you, you can click on ‘update preferences’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].
5. How we protect the information we collect
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. No physical or electronic security system is impenetrable however and you should take your own precautions to protect the security of any personally identifiable information you transmit. We cannot guarantee that the personal information you supply will not be intercepted while transmitted to us or third-party service providers. 
Sharing your personal information
We will not disclose your personal information except; (1) as described by this Privacy Policy (2) after obtaining your permission to a specific use or disclosure or (3) if we are required do so by a valid legal process or government request (such as a court order, a search warrant, a subpoena, a civil discovery request, or a statutory requirement). We will retain your information for as long as needed in light of the purposes for which it was obtained or to comply with our legal obligations and enforce our agreements. 
Data transfer
This website is published in the United Kingdom. If you are located in a country outside of these countries and voluntarily submit personally identifiable information to us, you should be aware that information about you will be transferred to this countries. We attempt to comply with local data protection laws to the extent that they may apply to TONGUES. 
Age of consent
Our website is not directed at children under the age of 18 and we do not knowingly collect or maintain information from those we know are younger than 18. If you are younger than 18, you should not submit or post any personally identifiable information to our website. By using the Service, you represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
6. Access to your personal information
You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to [email protected]. We may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address you use to send us the request. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. 
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information held is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 
7. Contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected].

Jessa Ciel

July 02 / 2021


Raised by her Afro-centric poet duo mother and grandmother, Jessa Ciel combines the cosmic influence of The Last Poets and Nina Simone with the California suburban valley girl references of her Sacramento upbringing. Ciel melds visual technical savvy (from her film post-production days) with artistic communication (from her fine-art photography practice). This free-wheeling, vegan, bohemian wild Black woman is a fine-art photographer, video artist, filmmaker with an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.


Q >How did “A Black Woman’s Declaration of Independence” come about?

A >I’d been thinking about a way to end my series, This Old American House, that I’d started within the white cube studio experience of my graduate program. I’d buried myself in the flag, I’d filled rooms with dirt, I’d buried screens playing Marilyn Monroe and “Blue Moon.” I was trying to figure out not only how to let go of the series but let go of the shit of America. I needed a way to let go of all of white America that I had gorged on during the pandemic, election, and Capitol storming.

Q >Reactions, perception shifts, questions: What do you hope viewers of “A Black Woman’s Declaration of Independence” will walk away with?

A >I hope viewers begin to excavate their own position and beliefs regarding race in America. I really hope for freedom, specifically freedom for Black Americans that watch this. I hope we look at this as an affirmation to say the hard things because our mental health, well-being, and voice are as important as any white person’s. We need to stop carrying the pain and discomfort of white American racism. It is not ours. I hope that white Americans that watch this, pick up the burden that Black Americans and other people of colour in America have been carrying for them. I hope that each person has an individual response reviewing their own actions in regard to race and equity and taking responsibility for them.

Q >What role does collaboration play in your creative process and the artworks that result?

A >I love working with my friends and I feel like I make friends through my work. In making this film, I wanted to reflect the kind of world that I want to live in. I asked my artist friends and colleagues of diverse racial backgrounds to interpret the list of objects that I selected for the film. Bringing them into the work made them reflect on their own experiences and how these symbols of trauma had shaped their own realities.

My friend Michiko Murakami who worked on the film, was born in Los Angeles and lived here during the Rodney King beating. She brought that experience into her creation of the ceramic baton in the film. My friend Garrett Daniells grew up in lower income neighbourhoods and talked about the liquor stores and churches that take up so much space. He chose to make an object for 40 acres and a mule by placing a donkey in a 40 oz bottle to reflect what Black people actually received from the broken promises of America. I felt especially concerned for my friend Brooklyn who is a Black woman artist in Ohio and made the noose. She, however, put a spin on the object and made a branch with a green noose growing out of it, a sign that Black people can make new life even in the face of our deaths.

Q >Growing. Rebelling. Trauma — What key experiences have shaped your life and creative output?

A >I have always been rebellious and always questioned structure and institutional assimilation. I never wanted to be cookie-cutter. I always wanted to be unique. That makes me strange, but it also makes me true to myself. My mother always taught my sister and I to question authority, although she was annoyed when we then questioned hers. My grandmother and mother always did what they wanted, and didn’t mind the way that it looked to others so it taught me that if I did what I felt was right for me, I would never have any real regrets.

Q >How has your creative practice evolved over time?

A >I started in the film industry in post production and thought I really wanted to be an editor. I was working in LA after I graduated from Cal State LA’s film and television programme. I became fatigued sitting in front of a monitor endlessly and decided I wanted something more experiential. I started photographing more, which was refreshing because it puts you in new environments. I deeply desired to learn more about the lens as an art practice and was accepted into Cranbrook Academy of Art’s photography program. Art school is very different from film school. I love theory, I love criticality, I love the headiness of diving deep into a work of art to decipher its meaning. My work has taken on more layers, it’s more emotional, and it’s much more considered than when I started.

Q >Who / what inspires you?

A >My mother and grandmother are poets and badass women who support and nurture their communities and honour their full Black selves wherever they go, whatever company they are in. They set strong boundaries and honour them. They love themselves and the people they surround themselves with. They are thoughtful about what they put into their bodies. They know when to leave and when to stay. They are my biggest fans, the smartest women I know, creative, efficient, and beautiful. They inspire me every day.

Q >Which rule do you break the most? 

A >I don’t know what you mean by rules. I define rules as agreements to respect each other and the world we live in. I don’t follow any rule that doesn’t honour me but I love following the ones that do because they make it possible to be expansive and loving to each other.

Q >Which taboo topics do you think we ought to be discussing more?

A >All of them! We need to talk about abortion. We need to talk about how abortion is not political. It is not a bipartisan issue. It isn’t something to use to define your image. It is so personal, so individual, so complex, and something we need to stop judging and start understanding. We need to talk about women having full control of their bodies on every level. We need to talk about male entitlement and violence to everyone. We need to talk about men raping men. We need to talk about everything under the rug because it is insidious and it’s killing us. We need to speak up about harm and trauma until it ceases.


Images courtesy of the artist © Jessa Ciel.

Jessa Ciel

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('Crown' by Omonivie Okhade of Tula in Bloom) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('Constitution' by Paolo Marino) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('40 and a Mule' by Garrett Daniel’s) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('Police Baton' by Michiko Murakami) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('King James Bible' by Garrett Daniells) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('CCTV Cameras' by Phil America) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('Constitution' by Paolo Marino) — Video still, 2021

A Black Woman's Declaration of Independence ('Whites Only' signs by Michiko Murakami) — Video still, 2021