'This drought of silence / that does not feed me. I mean, I refuse / to hold his vanity. And demand to know / myself better. Cull his soul but only / for memory, carve a history / for myself in which my reflection / alone can be seen.'
Mic Check! Are you a writer? Come share your work at our next edition of our open mic, Mouth to Mouth. Hosted by AAWW Fam poets Sonia Guiñansaca and Kay Ulanday Barrett, this edition of Mouth to Mouth features YaliniDream and Aldrin Valdez. Mouth to Mouth seeks to provide a safe community space for QTPOC and rising migrant artists.
RESERVE A SEAT!
$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | DOORS OPEN AT 6:00
Aldrin Valdez is a Pinoy painterpoet. They grew up in Manila and Long Island and currently live in Brooklyn. Aldrin studied at Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts. They have been awarded fellowships from Queer/Art/Mentorship and Poets House. Their work has been published in Art21 Magazine, ArtSlant, BRIC Blog, The Cortland Review, In the Flesh Magazine, and Uncompromising Tang.
YaliniDream is a performance artist, activist, and facilitator. She conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance-- reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has performed in numerous venues ranging from NYC's Lincoln Center and Dance Theater Workshop to subway cars to street protests to universities to independent theaters to the hottest clubs in the New York underground. YaliniDream was a 2006 Mid-Atlantic Artists in Community Fellow, a panelist for the Leeway Foundation's 2007 Transformation Awards, a 2008 Urban Arts Initiative Fellow & currently a recipient of the Jerome Foundation's Travel & Study Award in Literature.
Sonia Guiñansaca is a Queer Migrant Feminist Poet , Cultural Organizer, and Activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. In 2007, Guiñansaca came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant. Since then she has co-founded and help build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the country, coordinating and participating in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions in the immigrant rights movement. She is a VONA/Voices alumni who has performed at El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY Poetry Festival, Galleria de La Raza, and featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, and the Poetry Foundation to name a few. Praised as badass in 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, as well as one of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internetby Teen Vogue. Guiñansaca was recently announced as the 2017 Artist in Residency at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.
Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. When The Chant Comes (Topside Heliotrope 2016) is their first collection. K. has been invited to The White House, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, and The Chicago Historical Society to name a few. They are a fellow of both The Home School and Drunken Boat. Their contributions are found in PBS News Hour, Lambda Literary, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine, Fusion.net, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Make/Shift, Third Woman Press, The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. You can read their interview with PBS on poetry as a testimony to survival here.NOTE ON ACCESSIBILITY
*The space is wheelchair accessible. No stairs. Direct elevator from ground floor to 6th floor.
*We strongly encourage all participants of the space/event to be scent-free.
If you all have any other specific questions about accessibility, please email Tracy Wong at twong [at] aaww.org with any questions on reserving priority seating.
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Come see two artists interrogating the visual narratives of the Vietnam war and refugee experience: MacArthur “Genius” An-My Lê and graphic novelist Thi Bui. Lê’s images depict re-enactments of the Vietnam War and play-scenarios of US Marines fighting a Middle Eastern war in California, creating a liminal space between documentary and staged and photography, history and fiction. Thi Bui’s The Best We Can Do: An Illustrated Memoir tells the story about her family’s departure from Vietnam. Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Nguyen writes that it ”delivers the painful truth that most Vietnamese of the 20th century know in an utterly personal fashion—that history is found in the marrow of one’s bones.” Moderated by AAWW Board Member Anne Ishii of MASSIVE GOODS.
RESERVE A SEAT!
$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Thi Bui’s The Best We Can Do documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui tells the story of adjusting to life as a first-time mother and what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. A haunting poetic graphic novel about family, identity, and home, the book was selected for an ABA Indies Introduce and Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers. As Maxine Hong Kingston writes, ““With great mastery of writing and drawing, Thi Bui shows the consequences of war lasting from generation to generation. The Best We Could Do honors Vietnam the way Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis honors Iran. And it’s fun to read too.”
An-My Lê’s represents the legacy of war, specifically the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq, through seemingly factual images that in fact undermine their own ability to represent. Her project Small Wars (1999–2002) initially appears to be photographs of the Vietnam War--but in fact consists of Vietnam War reenactments in South Carolina. Another project, 29 Palms (2003–04), seemingly show American soldiers during the second Iraq War--but these Marines have been deployed in a simulated Middle East in California. As Museum of Contemporary Photography Curator Karen Irvine writes, “These dramatizations of war (one a reenactment, one a rehearsal) allow her to create a unique kind of war imagery—one that is unexpected, removed, and revelatory… By bringing added resonance to the phrase “the theater of war,” Lê asks us to reconsider the fictions that cloud the ways in which war is experienced, remembered, and represented.” Saigon-born An-My Lê left Vietnam with her family as a teenager in 1975, the final year of the war, eventually settling in the United States as a political refugee. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has been exhibited in MOMA, P.S.1, and the Whitney Biennale.
Anne Ishii is an AAWW Board Member and co-editor of MASSIVE GOODS, a fashion brand, publisher, and creative agency representing queer and feminist artists from Japan. MASSIVE’s mission is to spread iconoclastic artwork addressing gender and sexuality to new audiences and new forms, from museum walls to bodies everywhere. Check out Anne in The Margins interviewing Jillian Tamaki, Michael DeForge, and comics publisher Annie Koyama.
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