Over twenty years ago Arundhati Roy published an essay entitled The End of Imagination, a reckoning with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the ever present possibility of nuclear war. In it, she evokes the fatigue of artists responding to nuclear weapons, but she also compels us to “live while we are alive.” She explains further, “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Evan and Christian
Arts & Cultural Strategy Coordinator
Digital Communications Specialist
IMAGE: People following the lead of someone with blue hair and a denim shirt. Caption: Contra Tiempo dance workshop, O&B Conference 2019
Belonging: A Weekly Practice
Is Belonging a destination, a practice or both? How do we cultivate the skills, flexibility and muscle to make belonging real? How do we balance belonging in society at large, our selves, and our relationships? Have you attended past OBI events and want to dig in a little deeper?
Join us in a weekly virtual practice space facilitated by Sarah Crowell (Artistic Director emeritus at Destiny Arts Center, Strategic Partnerships at OBI), Evan Bissell (Arts & Cultural Strategy Coordinator at OBI) and guests. In this 60 minute drop-in we’ll mix reflection, movement and critical inquiry to stretch our own understandings and applications of belonging. This is a space for discussion, co-creation and growth.
Begins March 7, 12pm PST. Register here.
IMAGE: News article titled: "Casa Pueblo estrena red de comunicación para recopilar datos" and in the right hand corner there is a man standing wearing a black shirt with yellow logo on the front with another man looking into a device. Coverage of Casa Pueblo’s new SMS survey system in El Nuevo Día
Casa Pueblo launches SMS platform for participatory research
How does a community group listen to and take action with thousands of residents in their region to build community-governed energy systems? Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, is showing the way. This week they launched a SMS (texting) tool that allows them to create and send out surveys that will reach thousands of residents, even in areas without access to mobile data. Casa Pueblo plans to send out surveys every two weeks to document how many people have had their energy go off, the effect on their lives, and other information. A group of community researchers who are neighborhood leaders will then analyze the survey response data and report back to the community through their radio program. The radio programming will feature testimonies, data trends, and visions for shifting to solar energy systems. Community governance of energy systems is a pathway to a future where people impacted by colonization and extractive economics can have control and benefit from renewable, resilient energy. OBI collaborated with Casa Pueblo over the past year to analyze potential tools and develop this strategy, as part of the initiative Radial Imagination for Racial Justice. Watch this short video (Spanish) to hear highlights from the community event launching the tool.
IMAGE: Four large container like art pieces lie on a wooden floor. Caption: Installation view, Alia Farid, In Lieu of What Is, Kunsthalle Basel, 2022. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel
Artists Circle on Climate Displacement Happenings
Next month we will release a new website on the vital role of artists in addressing climate displacement. In the meantime, the artists have been busy with their own work. Alia Farid’s show at Kunsthalle Basel, In Lieu of What Was explores water and conflict. Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi’s new film We Still Here/Nos Tenemos has a series of screenings in the Bay Area this week. Puck Lo authored a dynamic and necessary new report on data surveillance and criminalization of migrants, personifying major databases as fantastical beasts. There’s plenty to get lost in this weekend between these three.
IMAGE: Summer fellows sitting around a wooden table writing in notebooks during a workshop on UC Berkeley's campus. Caption: OBI summer fellows in cultural strategy workshop
Generating Ideas - a Cultural Strategy Workshop
This workshop (pg. 44) supports the development of early ideas for cultural strategy projects and can be used by practitioners and non-practitioners alike, in groups or individually. It should be used when there is a specific project, campaign or topic where you are looking to integrate cultural strategy. Ideally this occurs early on in your process in close collaboration with cultural strategy practitioners.
IMAGE: XOXO repeated over in white in front of a red background.
Enjoy our Valentine's Day mix curated by our staff on Spotify!
IMAGE: Collage of two art installations, the entrance into the exhibit, and the Museum's logo.
The Oakland Museum's Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism exhibition is a truly a wonder to behold. Each inch is curated with intentional detail that truly immerses one in the thematics and aesthetics of Afrofuturism concerning the past, present, and future of the world. The last day to catch it is February 27, 2022. Don't miss this opportunity.
-Christian M. Ivey
Othering & Belonging Institute
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
If you believe you received this message in error or wish to no longer receive email from us, please (Unsubscribing is not supported in previews).