In typical anti-authoritative fashion I ignored the weather man’s warnings last night. As soon as I got outside the blizzard swept me up into a technicolor otherland.
Kyra Kruz, who was recently murdered in Philadelphia, with my sibling Che Gossett.
“Kyra Kruz and I at Pride 2011, looking magical and fabulous! (She did everyone’s makeup and designed all the costumes for the parade theme). Her life was violently taken last week. Anguish and outrage about routinely learning of trans women of color who’s lives are prematurely ended by anti-trans violence, be it interpersonal or institutional. Honored to have known Kyra, to have laughed with her, briefly organized a sex worker support group with her, worked in queer and/or trans spaces with her, she brought so much brilliant light and love!”
its incredible to see how many people reblog the Sylvia Rivera video and how many feel so strongly about her words!
someone recently reblogged the video with commentary and it made me realize that folks who haven’t been following my blog might not have seen the many Sylvia Rivera/STAR related work that i’ve posted over the past year. so i decided to repost the Sylvia Rivera Ten Year Memorial. please share if the spirit moves you!
The spirit was gone from her body
Forever had always been inside
That shell had always been intertwined
And now were disintwined
It’s hard to understand
I am pursued by questions of historical process, of historical responsibility, questions of historical consciousness & ignorance & what these have to do with power.
Historical amnesia is starvation of the imagination; nostalgia is the imagination’s sugar rush, leaving depression and emptiness in its wake. Breaking silences, telling our tales, is not enough. We can value that process –and the courage it may require –without believing that it is an end in itself. Historical responsibility has, after all, to do with action –where we place the weight of our existences on the line, cast our lot with others, move from an individual consciousness to a collective one.
(photo by Randy Wicker. text from Antony Hegarty’s the Spirit Was, Adrienne Rich’s Resisting Amnesia. )
hey NYC area friends!
i’m doing another event at the New Museum this coming Thursday and I would love for you to be there! it will feature two amazing artists, Chris Vargas & Eric A Stanley, who will screen their prison break film, CRIMINAL QUEERS!
Jeannine Tang & I will moderate the conversation, it should be great.
did i mention its free? it is *free!*
here’s the full description, i hope to see you there!
Thursday June 7, 2012, 7:30 pm
New Museum Theater
As transgender issues, artists, and theory have received greater recognition in contemporary art discourses and institutions since the 2000s, activist Reina Gossett, art historian Jeannine Tang will discuss the role of art and artists in recent movement building, and how contemporary art figures in critical trans politics today.
This will feature a screening of the film “Criminal Queers,” followed by a conversation with filmmakers Eric A. Stanley and Chris Vargas. ”Criminal Queers” visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls.
Remembering that prison breaks are both a theoretical and material practice of freedom, this film imagines what spaces might be opened up if crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation.
By expropriating the “prison break” genre the question of form and content collapse into a rhythm of affective histories as images of possibility materializes even after possibility itself is foreclosed.
Follow Yoshi, Joy, Susan and Lucy as they fiercely read everything from the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes legislation to the non-profitization of social movements. Criminal Queers grows our collective liberation by working to abolish the multiple ways our hearts, genders, and desires are confined.
This event is supported by the New Museum, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. A parallel conversation on recent organizing and movement building will be hosted by Sylvia Rivera Law Project on Friday, June 8 at 6pm. ** Reina Gossett is a trans activist working at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project as Director of Membership and was formerly director of the Welfare Organizing Project at Queers for Economic Justice as well as a Soros Justice Fellow on staff at Critical Resistance.
Eric A. Stanley works at the intersections of radical trans/queer aesthetics, theories of state violence, and visual culture. While completing a PhD in the History of Consciousness department at UCSC, Eric along with Chris Vargas, directed the films Homotopia (2006) and Criminal Queers (2012) which have been screened at Palais de Tokyo, LACE, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow and SF Cameraworks among numerous other venues. Eric is also the editor of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011) which was recenlty selected as a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.
Jeannine Tang is an art historian teaching as Academic Advisor at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, while completing her doctoral work at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Chris E. Vargas is a film and video maker based in Oakland, CA, whose thematic interests include queer radicalism, transgender hirstory, and imperfect role models. He earned his MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. Since 2008, he has been making, in collaboration with Greg Youmans, the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love…with Chris and Greg. Episodes of the series have screened at numerous film festivals and art venues, including MIX NYC, SF Camerawork, and the Tate Modern. With Eric Stanley, Vargas co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2012). His solo video projects include Extraordinary Pregnancies (2010), Liberaceón (2011), and ONE for all… (2012).
** During the run of the exhibition “Museum as Hub: Carlos Motta: We Who Feel Differently,” Motta invites local queer artists, activists, and academics to hold public events on select Thursday evenings in the Museum as Hub. Events include a conversation about transgender issues in contemporary art, a lecture on queer and feminist theologies, a workshop on HIV/AIDS activism today, a “cruising” walk, a presentation of a book about queer responses to gay inclusion in the military, and a collective reading of queer texts, all of which address critical issues of contemporary queer culture in the United States.
in 5 hours over 700 people reblogged my post about CeCe choosing a plea deal. wow! to me that communicates that we’re outraged by interpersonal & systemic transphobia, racism, ableism, sexism and classism that we know all to well happens every day. it communicates that we’re going to keep fighting back by organizing against systemic & interpersonal violence while also building strong and healing relationships with each other.
so imagine how powerful it’d be if all 700 of us who could, wrote CeCe tomorrow letting her know we still have her back. that we’re committed to her beyond today, beyond her trial.
here’s the information again:
Please send a letter to CeCe while she is in jail. Let her know she has a huge amount of community support and that we are all here for her.
Public Safety Facility
Chrishaun Reed McDonald #2011014667
401 South 4th Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Inmates are not allowed to receive packages, including photographs. Packages will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender. Photographs will be removed from the envelope and returned to the inmate at the time of release. Please note that all letters sent to the jail are opened, read, and inspected by jail staff. Use good sense about what you say in your letter, and don’t write about anything that is likely to get you or anyone else in trouble with the cops.
You can also organize a letter writing party! If you live in the area, you don’t even have to worry about paying for postage-bring your letters to the drop box for at The Exchange (3405 Chicago Ave S, Mpls) and we will mail them for you.
Dear Michael Freemen,
We Cannot Live Without Our Lives! Free CeCe!
ps We Will Fight Back!
The Committee for Self Determination & Self Defense