The last month and a half was filled with uncertainty, tragedy and so much avoidable loss. In these times, can we return to practices that have grounded and guided us before? Can we turn to each other through practices of mutuality? Can we practice new (and old) ways to grieve and heal and grow? We offer the newsletter this month with an eye to the guiding questions of Mariame Kaba for navigating outrage and injustice:
Evan Bissell & Christian M Ivey
Arts & Cultural Strategy Coordinator and Digital Communications Specialist
Caption: Image shows two people standing on a coast with "PARADISES OF THE EARTH" in white text across the sand.
What does a just transition look like in practice? What does it mean to stop the bad and build the new? In the four part video series Paradises of the Earth, created by Hamza Hamouchene and Nadir Bouhmouch, we follow a transnational solidarity caravan in North Africa as they struggle with these challenges. Make sure you make it to the beautiful possibility of Jemna in Part 4!
Caption: OTHERING & BELONGING CONFERENCE | OCTOBER 18-19 2021
Haven’t you heard? Our bi-annual conference is happening October 18 and 19th! Join us for the Arts and Cultural Strategy Learning Lab session on the morning of the 18th. We’ll get into conversation with leaders from four projects we’ve done in the last 18 months. The Learning Lab is open to registered conference participants.
Caption: Graphic reads: A PEOPLE"S WPA, A Blueprint by U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.
The US Department of Arts and Culture has put together a beautiful vision for what a ground up version of the Great Depression era Works Progress Administration could look like. Their new report (and posters!) highlights the work of 25 artists and collectives who can guide us in addressing the interconnected challenges of care, racial inequality and climate emergency while responding to mass employment.
Caption: Image shows the Catonsville 9 dressed as priests looking directly at burning pile of Vietnam War draft cards in black and white.
As a core part of our strategy, we are constantly looking at the relationship between the symbolic and practical elements of different arts and cultural practices. As the US closes a 20 year war in Afghanistan with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions spent, we remember the Catonsville 9. The group, guided by their Catholic faith, powerfully fused the symbolic and practical elements of a direct action to disrupt the Vietnam Draft by stealing draft cards and burning them with homemade napalm while wearing priests' clothing, dresses and suits. As Father Berrigan said, “May we make it more difficult for men to kill one another.”
Credit: Gina Athena Ulysse, An Equitable Human Assertion Rasanblaj (installation view), Kwi (calabashes), beads, cowries, leaves, and found objects.
Spend some time getting lost (and found) in the expansive online documentation of NIRIN (the 22nd Sydney Biennial, 2020). A First Nations-led project, the exhibit and programming focused on sovereignty and the power and importance of the edge, or Nirin, in the Wiradjuri language.
Caption: Musical notes, cassette tapes, microphones, and other instruments to make music are collaged together in black and white.
Enjoy our September mix with some goodies for the sunny days and cool nights on Spotify!
Othering & Belonging Institute
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
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