PROTECTION AND LOVE FOR ALL THOSE STARTING SCHOOL TODAY, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR//Recovery Series//Episode 4

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBY BRIDGES!!! AND HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL TO MANY TODAY! SENDING ENERGY TO YOU TODAY AND EVERY DAY!

A young Ruby Bridges walks to school, escorted by 3 men, officers, in suits.

Commissioned illustrator and dancer, Justin Bowen ( @just.indie_cisive ), re-imagined this photo of six year old Ruby Bridges, being escorted into a White, first-time integrating, Louisiana elementary school, in 1960. This is the first installment of a few re-imaginings by a few different visual artists of iconic, difficult, images/moments/memories portraying schooling for black and brown youth inside of spaces and architectures spelled by white supremacy and colonialism. This was inspired by a knowing of the traumas that accompany so many young people across the world, entering and competing in educational institutions, spelled by white supremacy and colonialism. We feel and are magnifying the growing urge to re-write how we school. We understand that this re-writing will take great imagination, and great re-imaging. Thank you all visual artists involved for your labor.

We’re asking, and imagining:

What does it look like, what does it feel like, for our children to truly be protected, embraced, and activated in their communities, in their schools?

What are the other worlds? What are other versions of our histories, of our stories?

Inside of all of these changes, all of these initiatives, all of the conflict, how are the children?

What would spaces have to look and feel like, for first days, and every day, of school, to be A VIBE? To be healthy? To be loving? To be vibrant? (especially now that schooling is mostly virtual…how are we making home a VIBE, healthy, loving, vibrant? And what kinds of support systems are being called in for these things to be true?)

Image by Justin Bowen
Image by Justin Bowen

Would you like a hardcopy of this image (either or both versions) in postcard form? We’ll send it to you, using USPS. Donate what you can, and please send your mailing address in the message section below, with which version you would like, green or magenta, or both. The large majority of the proceeds will go to fundraising for parents/communities choosing to homeschool and practice mutual aid with each other this fall, and the rest of each donation will go to the artist, Justin Bowen, as royalties for their labor/image.

And if you are a parent or community member providing or helping to provide homeschooling for a child, and would like to discuss support and mutual aid, use the contact form at the bottom to be connected into this stream.

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prayer: for those who are called black

This was read as part of The Dance Union Town Hall for Collective Action that happened on June 1st, 2020, you can view the entire video at the bottom:

This is a prayer and message for black people, the
people called black.

I pray we heal.

I pray we remove every obstacle in our lives that gets in our way of healing;

of putting our arms around one another’s shoulders

of crying

of holding

of heaving.

Remove every obstacle to grieving.

I pray to remove every obstacle to grieving.

I pray to remove every obstacle to breathing.

I pray to remove every obstacle to our activation.

May the heat of this time make us Pop off.

Becoming bigger than we ever were

May we use the heat of this time to explode, destroy, disintegrate the obstacles of our own personal societies.

may we heal.

may we know we matter.

may we know we are all we need.

may we know deep in our bones that we can,

respond to our needs.

we can

show up for ourselves

we can

build and be something else

we can leave.

we can

let go of that fuck nigga

that tells us we’ll be nothing without it

that tells us ‘look at all it does for us, how dare we’.

that fuck nigga

who is the shattered one.

May we say sorry to ourselves for letting them in, so far.

Say sorry to ourselves for not remembering who we are.

Say sorry to ourselves for playing along with the game.

This age long game of abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse

abuse.

We were born into this.

We will die out of this.

We are the ones who will leave.

We are the ones who will abandon these worlds of abuse.

We are the ones who will see it for what it is. And leave its streets empty.

Leave its cafes, malls, churches, schools, fellowships, studios, kitchens, projects, tenements, cubicles, bedrooms, facebooks, hotel rooms, hospitals, jails, empty.

And we’ll kotch up with each other, for a while.

Make sanctuary with one another, for a while.

Hide with one another, for a while.

And rejoice.

“I have missed so many warning signs because I
was caught up in accolades and success. That is my doing, this is
my undoing. I will no longer choose my own benefit if it
means that I participate in upholding power and white supremacy by ignoring the flags.
That makes me complicit too. As I actively work to undo this, I return to my values: My community.” – Nana Chinara

The message is clear.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our values.

We have to get out and return to our communities.

The message comes to me every time I’m drowning in the abyss, and it comes very clearly.

do not get it twisted.

get out.

RIP Marcus White, who always said, “Let’s be clear”.


Collaboration with Ron Ragin as part of his Black August in Motion series:

Original Town Hall where prayer was offered:

Recovery Series//ep. 3.1//why we dance//why they banned

Because you can’t tell me this is it. 

I don’t believe you.

You won’t tell me this is it. You won’t fix me to a reality where I am oppressed, where my gifts are suppressed.

I don’t believe you.

I dance with the unknown the unnamed the unseen the undocumented the unwritten the underworld the undead the undone. The feared.

I question this reality. And I make this reality.

I can’t believe I thought this was it. I can’t believe I believed this was it.

I’m escaping. 

I’m getting fucked up. I’m transcending. High.

I’m dancing in other worlds

You cannot tell me this is it.

I dance. In other worlds. That change your world. I live. And I’m live. I won’t be lied to.

I remember when I dance. I danced with the unknown the unnamed the unseen the undocumented the unwritten the underworld the unsung the undone the undead the feared the myself the my people the sky the sun the trees the stars the soil the dirt the moon

Now I saw. I see. 

There is Much More Than this, Now. Here. There’s much more.

You can’t tell me this is it. Like come on. I remember. 

And now that I remember, no one can sit and look me in my face and tell me some shit they made up, tell me some shit they believe that just so happens to affect my entire role on this planet? that just so happens to have me playing a part, a part that. has me fucked. up. That has me completely fucked up.

I don’t believe you. And, I’m not playing.

And I forgive you. Marguerite Angelica Monique Hemmings. I forgive you.

 


This poem was inspired by a dream I had that featured and explained the secret to —i can’t say here– in August 2018. while part of an artist fellowship at ASU. This was also inspired by the class I taught during the fellowship, where we asked the question ‘why do we dance?” and “why has dance, dances, dance forms, dance gatherings, been banned in so many instances, in so many cultures, throughout history?” “why is banning dance a tool used by oppressive forces?” we then decided dance must be a tool of liberation. a practice, a state of liberation.

Recovery Series//ep.3//we free lab – Arizona

Live session with students/artists from ASU/Arizona, labbing recovery. with special guest-musicians Carly Bates and Daniel Woods, live improvising with the movers.


Videography: Nicole Curry
Sound: Daniel Woods
Featured musicians: Carly Bates and Daniel Woods
Featured movers: Karion Houston, Ajai Johnson, Hannah Victoria, Maggie Waller, Marguerite Hemmings
Curator: Marguerite Hemmings

Semester-end sharing of ADPAD (Applied Dance Practices of the African Diaspora) spring semester 2019 as part of Projecting All Voices/School of Film, Theater, and Dance at ASU


Sound file can be found here:

Recovery Series//ep. 2//burnin’ and a lootin’


Lyrics

Oo la la

Oh yeh yeh

Oooooo

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lotion tonight

This mornin I woke up in a curfew

Oh god I was a prisoner too

Could not recognize the faces standing over me

All dressed in uniforms of brutality

How many rivers do we have to cross

Before we can talk to the boss

All we got it seems we have lost

We must have really paid the cost

That’s why we are

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lootin tonight

To survive

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lootin tonight

To survive

Eeee

Yeh

Give me the food and let me grow

Let the rootsman take a blow

All them drugs gon make you slow now slow down slow now

This ain’t the music of the ghetto

How many rivers do we have to cross

Before we can talk to the boss

All we got it seems we have lost

We must have really paid the cost

That’s why we are

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lootin tonight

To survive

Burnin and a lootin tonight

weepin and a wailing tonight

weepin and a wailing tonight, tonight, tonight

weepin and a wailing tonight

Burnin all illusions tonight, to survive

yehh

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burnin and a lootin tonight

Burn it down to the ground

Right down right down right down


Sound by Daniel Woods: Burnin’ and a lootin’// Bob Marley cover
Direction and Videography: Nicole Curry
Curator: Marguerite Hemmings
Featured in video: Daniel Woods and Marguerite Hemmings


Sound file can be found here:

Recovery Series//ep. 1//suns set

 


prayer for recovery with and from virtual reality

may this xtra time be received. may this xtra time on phones and laptops be gentle and limited. may we be intentional with the use of this web. may our minds be sharp and our hearts beating. may we clear out and make and create our digital space. may we be protected. may we find new ways to be connected. may we make our web. may we invite the ancient, may we invite our people our sources our forces in this digital space. may we know it’s not separate. may we remember our technologies.

prayer for recovery in stillness

may this xtra time with ourselves in our homes with our people at this time of great ending, of great stopping, allow us to open our power, remember our powers, remember our loves, remember our mothers, remember our connections, and grieve//rejoice in the (un)knowing.


Sound by Carly Bates
Direction and Videography: Nicole Curry
Curator: Marguerite Hemmings
Featured in video: Carly Bates and Marguerite Hemmings


Sound file can be found here:

hit meh: Childish Gambino ‘This is America’

CHILDISH IS FREE

🤯

This is the best video I’ve ever seen right now, art, art, art, art, art, art, art

immediate mind-clucks:

  • SHERRIE MOTHER LOVING SILVER. Sherrie Silver is the choreographer and one of the featured dancers in this video. A Rwandan choreographer, actress, worker with youth, dancer, social media star; been following her work for a while, a lot of us dancers and/or social media/social dance lovers and practitioners have.  Symbolically, this was a head nod to the culture, while interrogating if head nods to the ‘culture’ are enough. And also that there is so so so, always so much behind the dancing, behind the joy. So much deliberate, seething, intentional, strategic, magic. Get into her work beyond and behind entertainment, in her country, she is and has been doing it: IG:  @sherriesilver .

Continue reading “hit meh: Childish Gambino ‘This is America’”