We’re writing to you with limited internet access from MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Our original fellowship here in May was postponed due to COVID-19, and the campus has now reopened with new social distancing measures. We are here focusing on our in-progress performance World After This One. We recently finished the script for this piece (huge thanks to our editor Kemi Alabi) and are now delving into movement and staging, looking to some of our longtime collaborators like Nic Kay, Ivelisse Díaz, and Anna Martine Whitehead. Send us some creative vibes as we work on getting the piece ready to share publicly sometime in the next year!
We’re also excited to be a (virtual) guest speaker in Dr. Ninoska M’bewe Escobar’s class Black Performance History at Smith College on November 24th. We’ll be sharing some of our current work, discussing what creative practice looks like for contemporary Black artists, as well as the role of the arts in grassroots movements, specifically in the fight to abolish prisons and police.
Let This Radicalize You: A COVID Memorial Mixtape to which we contributed as part of last month’s National Week of Mourning can be listened to and read in transcript form here. Organized by Kelly Hayes, and featuring words from other fighters we admire like Juliana Pino Alcaraz, Aislinn Pulley, and Bresha Meadows, the full recording was played at a vigil outside the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in downtown Chicago, honoring those still incarcerated during this pandemic, and those on the inside who have already died. Don’t forget their names. Don’t forget we are owed reparations from this government, that universal healthcare is long overdue, and that incarceration and public health can never coexist.
Highlights from our discussion with Jae Jin Pak and Dior Vargas as part of Advancing Leadership’s panel Building Intersectional Movements last month can be viewed here. We also sat down with South Side Weekly Radio to discuss the strategies and practices for imagining liberated futures alongside our larger communities, the recording of which we will share soon.
There’s not a lot we can say about the uncertainty and imminent violence we are facing this election week, but we do want to share some important resources that have been useful to us:
Prepare and breathe : Bystander intervention and de-escalation training from American Friends Service Committee
Why Treating White Nationalism as Domestic Terrorism Won’t Work and How to Not Fall For it by Nicole Nguyen & Yazan Zahzah
The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism by Alberto Toscano
Reclaiming Possibility: A Rant Against Despair by Kelly Hayes
And for a little joy, here is footage of activist Keiajah Brooks reading the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners for filth.
There are more of us than there are of the fascist forces, but that doesn’t matter unless we join together and fight back actively.
Take care of each other, we’ll see you next month,