On September 21, 2014, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world gathered in New York City to march for environmental justice and use people's power to pressure world leaders to act against climate change ahead of the UN Climate Summit. In the lead up to the march, Deep Dish TV profiled a diverse group of organizations preparing for the demonstration and having discussions around the devastating impact climate change is already having on communities worldwide as well as the root causes of climate change and how to fight against them.
Here we look at the Mayday Space and the many artists creating banners, signs and mobile installations to be used during the march. We spoke with Queer Migrant, Feminist, Poet, Cultural Organizer and Activist Sonia Guiñansaca about the relationship between art and activism and role of artists in social movements.
Director/Producer: Brenda Salas Neves
Camera: Julie Ludwig and Merve Ayparlar
Editor: Julie Ludwig
"#RaceAnd" is a special eight-part video series by Race Forward -that explores the many ways that race compounds and intersects with all the other issues that impact people of color. Each video features an artist, activist or thinker sharing how their mix impacts their lives both personally and systemically. As featured subject Kay Ulanday Barrett puts it, we can't truly work toward racial justice if we “see race in a vacuum.” "#RaceAnd" is produced by Kat Lazo, Race Forward's video production specialist. You can watch the first four videos of the series HERE featuring artists and cultural workers: Kay Ulanday Barrett, Hye Yun Park, Arielle Newton, Jamia Wilson, Lady Dane Figueroa, Judith LeBlanc , Sonny Singh and Sonia Guiñansaca . Join the conversation online using the #RaceAnd hashtag.
As a poet and organizer, Sonia's work reflects on her many identities; shifting from being undocumented to documented, a migrant, a queer/femme women of color and artist.
"When we talk about undocumented immigrants, who are we leaving behind?
That’s a central question for poet Sonia Guiñansaca, who was undocumented for 21 years after moving from Ecuador to Harlem. In 2007, Guiñansaca came out as undocumented and began organizing migrant and undocumented communities of color. Several years later, she launched Dreaming in Ink, the first creative writing workshop for undocumented youth in New York City, and founded the UndocuMic series, an inter-generational performance space for undocumented writers.
These efforts were aimed at creating a rare space for undocumented and migrant writers to speak out about their experiences, she said. “The few stories that are written about migration, or the few poems, have always been from an outsider’s point of view, so from people who are not directly impacted, or have never been undocumented,” she said. “There’s an injustice to that.” Read the poem or listen to Guiñansaca read it. via PBS.org