Activist Imagination

Where We Are Going: The Future of Activism

Kearny Street Workshop presents
Where We Are Going: The Future of Activism
Ron Muriera, Erika Chong Shuch, Pireeni Sundaralingam, and Carlos Villa
Moderated by Wei Ming Dariotis

an Activist Imagination event

Join Kearny Street Workshop and artist, educator, and curator Carlos Villa, poet and writer Pireeni Sundaralingam, choreographer, director, performer and teacher Erika Chong Shuch, and community activist, performing artist, educator, Manilatown Heritage Foundation Executive Director Ron Muriera for a discussion about the future of activism, the arts and community, moderated by writer, academic, and long-time KSW member Wei Ming Dariotis.

The discussion will explore and envision activism for the days and years ahead. Given our history and the current political, social, and environmental climate, what forms of activism will be relevant in the future? How can those who want to effect real change consider technology and global forces in developing strategies? What forms of activism can we imagine that will hold relevance, and power, in the days to come? And what challenges can we identify on the horizon?

Thursday, March 27th, 2008; 7pm
Kearny Street Workshop‘s space180
180 Capp Street, 3rd Floor, @ 17th Street, San Francisco
Free and open to the public.

The Activist Imagination project is made possible in part by a grant from the Creative Work Fund through support from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. Activist Imagination is also supported in part by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation and from KSW’s members and individual donors.

About the Panelists and Moderator

Wei Ming Dariotis is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, with emphases on Asians of Mixed Heritage and Asian Pacific American Literature, Arts, and Culture. Wei Ming Dariotis serves on the Board of the Asian American Theater Company and the Advisory Board of iPride, which runs the FUSION Summer Day Camp for Mixed Heritage Youth. Her recent publications include, “Developing a Kin-Aesthetic: Multiraciality and Kinship in Asian and Native North American Literature,” in Mixed Race Literature, ed. by Jonathan Brennan (Stanford University Press), “On Growing Up Queer and Hapa” in The Multiracial Child’s Resource Book, “‘My Race, Too, Is Queer’: Mixed Heritage Chinese Americans Fight For Race and Gender Marriage Equity” in Chinese America: History and Perspectives/Branching Out the Banyan Tree Conference Proceedings, and “Crossing the Racial Frontier: Star Trek and Mixed Heritage Identities,” in A Science Fiction Phenomenon: Investigating the Star Trek Effect.

Erika Chong Shuch
is a choreographer, director, performer, and teacher. Deemed by Robert Avilla in the SF Bay Guardian “among the leaders in the field”, the ESP Project (Erika Shuch Performance Project) is one of only two resident companies at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco’s oldest alternative arts space. ESP Project’s has premiered 6 full-length performance works, as well as numerous shorter works since 2002. Exploring the inevitable terrain of love and death with vulnerability and humor, Erika’s ruminations coalesce into integrated and imagistic assemblages of music, movement, text, and scenic design. Erika’s work celebrates the extraordinary within ordinary human experience and aims to amplify the role of theater as a tool for inspiring social change. Erika was awarded the prestigious Emerging Choreographers Award by the Gerbode Foundation, SFBG’s GOLDIE Award in Dance (2003), the Dance USA grant from the James Irvine Foundation, was an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (2006) and at Djerassi (2007), and worked under the mentorship of Joe Goode through CHIME (2003-2004). Erika is a co-founder and faculty member of the Experimental Performance Institute, a BA and MFA program at New College of California.

Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Pireeni Sundaralingam currently lives in San Francisco. She is a PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow and editor of Writing the Lines of Our Hands, the first anthology of South Asian American poetry (forthcoming). Her poetry has appeared in national newspapers and political journals such as The Guardian (UK) and The Progressive (USA), university teaching texts including Three Genres (Prentice-Hall, 8th Edition, 2006), and anthologies such as Masala (Macmillan, 2005) and Contemporary Voices from the East (Norton, 2008). Having given readings on national radio in Sweden, Ireland, the UK and America, Pireeni’s work has also been featured in such venues as the United Nations headquarters, the International Museum of Women and the National Theatre (UK). Working with her partner (violinist Colm O’Riain), Pireeni’s latest album Bridge Across the Blue brings together 23 musicians and poets to tell the immigration stories of America. Awarded the Californian Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize for Social Justice through the Arts, the album has been described as “a triumph of transformative collaboration, and a blueprint for cultural sanity” while the editors of About.com have selected it as “one of the best recordings of poetry and music ever recorded”.

For nearly fifty years Carlos Villa has explored the meaning of cultural diversity in his art and in doing so has expanded our awareness of what we consider as “multicultural.” What began in his early career as an attempt to understand his own heritage–a complexity of Filipino traditions with its layered strains of Asian, African, Indian and Oceanic cultures, along with influences of a Western artistic tradition–became over time an exercise in creating his own visual anthropology to represent his personal background, and, in a broader sense, the dynamics of intercultural weaving. – Preston Fletcher. For more information visit http://carlos-villa.com/

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