let us not be scared of the work because
let us move the mountain
because the mountain must move
— From “ a poem: principles" by Danez Smith
Across this country, artists are rising to meet the moment, applying their gifts to call out and counter the evils of racism and violence that flood the headlines and inundate too many lives. The Laundromat Project is calling for "creative responses to this moment—drawings, poems, dance, films, songs, etc.—as well as your readings, curricula, self care tips, and more” to be shared via their website and social media. Mainstream media are covering visual arts work, dance, and music generated by artists asserting that #BlackLivesMatter. Some artists are building a wall along the Mexican border. A coalition of artists, other community members, and organizations is building and decorating a wall around the Republican convention. In the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ exhibit on art and media activism, artist Indira Allegra has created an installation on police uniforms and the culture of violence. The Dark Noise Collective has opened a Google Doc for writers to "connect writers to local, grassroots organizations that are engaged in active campaigns to fight police violence and increase police accountability."
For every example we might list, there are a dozen other projects enlisting the power of art and culture in movements for love and justice.
- Hatuey Ramos-Fermín is an artist, educator, and curator based in The Bronx. He is the co-founder of Boogie Down Rides, a bicycling and art project celebrating cycling in the Bronx. He has organized projects and made presentations at a security guard training school (in tribute to Fashion Moda), community centers, churches, restaurants, laundromats, as well as galleries and museums. He has mentored young adults at the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where he also served as Curator of Education.
- Ricardo Levins Morales is a poster artist and organizer and lives in Minneapolis, MN. As a founding member of the Northland Poster Collective he participated in the trenches of the labor movement in various capacities and has offered his art as a tool to assist in organizing drives, educational efforts, awards, commemorations and for various other functional purposes.
Moderated by: Adam Horowitz, USDAC Chief Instigator (aka Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett)