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
"Go back", they say, ¡pero me quedo! Hemispheric Institute 2017-18 Artist in Residence Sonia Guiñansaca, a migrant queer poet, performs from her first chapbook #NostalgiaAndBorders and from the upcoming sequel #PapiFemme. Like a requiem, these poems are a remembrance of old "homes" and of those we had to leave behind in the process of migration. Guiñansaca will weave together sacred experiences and memories from Ecuador with newer narratives as a queer, gender non-conforming Latinx growing up in NYC. “Me quedo in the homes I am building, me quedo in the memories nearly forgotten, me quedo in the kisses that linger still, me quedo aquí.” Join us for this event, which will feature readings by Giselle Buchanan and Kay Ulanday Barrett, performances by Alan Pelaez, and art by Rommy Torrico. Q&A and reception will follow.
Three extraordinary speakers--Deana Haggag, Rick Lowe and Sonia Guiñansaca--reflect on their work as storytellers, and as people who enable new storytellers. Organized by Untold Stories on May 30, 2018, in Houston, at the annual conference of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Fore more information, visit untoldstories.live
Taco Talk, is a web series by CultureStrike where they invite artivists to have some tacos while chatting and learning more about who they are, their art and process, and to uncover a bit of what drives their work!
Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics interview's 2017 & 2018 Artist in Residence about their work, creative process, and cultural organizing.
On September 25, 2018, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU was thrilled to welcome multidisciplinary artist, DJ, culture producer, media maker, and activist/organizer Thanushka (Thanu) Yakupitiyage as its 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence. As a DJ, she performs as Ushka and is known for her genre-blending style across electronic club and bass music that deliberately traverses borders, creating soundscapes that reflect the immigrant experience in global migrant cities like New York. Panel Discussion includes Jess X Snow, Jace Clayton, and Sonia Guiñansaca on art activism.
"Re-imagining Existence" is an intimate conversation between queer undocumented, formerly undocumented, and migrant artists, filmmakers, poets, performers, DJs, and writers discussing multidimensional, futuristic ways of existing, surviving, and creating during this heightened anti-immigrant political climate. The artists will discuss how they are expanding and recreating possible worlds without borders through poetry, virtual reality, music, and language. Artists include: Frisly Soberanis Jr., Jennifer Tamayo, Alan Pelaez, Thanu Yakupitiyage, and Rommy Torrico. Moderated by Sonia Guiñansaca.
"#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