Black Lives Convening: A pivotal moment for liberation

Cleveland — From July 24 to July 26, over 1,500 registered Black activists and organizers from all over the U.S., Canada and even the Caribbean converged in Cleveland for the 2015 Movement for Black Lives National Convening. In addition to police terror and state violence, pertinent issues such as mass incarceration, economic empowerment, education, housing and Black health were all centered at the table of Black consciousness.The Movement for Black Lives Convening was more than just an assembly of passionate activists and talented organizers flexing intellect. It was way more than just workshops and Black radical thought. This here was a weekend of love, a sacred and safe space for Blackness that isn’t typically created, particularly on a national level.For three days, we could actually breathe. We could touch each other, learn from and connect with one another. We actually could talk in private amongst ourselves. We could love our lips, noses and hair without stares from others who simply cannot relate.We could collectively celebrate our ability to survive, in peace, in whatever form we chose to do so. We could talk to each other without some white person interjecting their personal privilege and lack of understanding. We laughed together. We cried together and cheered for one another. We challenged each other and shared experiences. We shared resources, studied together and created new networks. We debated. We danced. We chanted. We partied together. We healed.Everything U.S. America refuses to allow us to do on a regular basis, we did for three whole days. We embraced the full essence of ourselves as living beings — our own culture, our own heritage, our own ancestors — our history, our roots and the many forms in which Blackness is uniquely packaged. For three whole days, ALL BLACK LIVES stood together, regardless of one’s religion or sexual preference, regardless of one’s age, gender or political affiliation.This convening was truly for everyone: Black women, Black men, Black youth, Black elders, Black straight, Black queer, Black trans, Black labor, Black clergy, Black Muslim, Black Christian. It was “All Black Everything.” And I promise, I’m not making this up. You would just have had to have been there to fully understand. If it weren’t for the physical walls of Cleveland State University, you probably would have thought you were back in old Congo Square.Workshops, learning and dialogueOur daily course of meetings, actions and workshops was all well planned, with allotted time and periodic breaks for flexibility. Access to several ballrooms, the student center, media center and main classrooms provided plenty of space for the approximately 1,500 attendees. Workshops of one-and-a-half-hour blocks were loose but intense, free-flowing but focused. I was thoroughly impressed with the wide range of topics and dialogue that helped to create a holistic and inclusive approach to the overall convening.The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement hosted sessions on “Jackson [Miss.] Rising” and “Chokwe Lumumba, Assata Shakur and Black Nationalism.” Southerners On New Ground hosted workshops on Black love, Black leadership and Black power. The Black Youth Project hosted a session entitled “Building Black Women’s Leadership.”There were discussions on Black culture, Black art and the Black aesthetic — workshops specifically addressing “The Miseducation of Hip Hop,” “Theatrical Jazz” and revolutionary poetry. Dr. Treva Lindsey led a workshop on “Black Scholar Activism.” Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza led a session on “Conflict Resolution” within the movement.There were discussions on revolutionary parenting and reproductive justice, social media and technology, farming and land reform, classism and labor, feminism and internationalism — gender, sexuality and Black health. There were two workshops on AIDS and HIV — which is a tough talk, yes, but a very pertinent matter in reference to the survival of Black lives. There were live yoga workshops and meditation spaces all three days.U.S. political prisonersOf all the many spaces of beautiful Black thought, my favorite workshop of the entire weekend was entitled, “Cointelpro 101 & U.S. Political Prisoners.” I made sure to get there early so I could get a good seat. I didn’t know who was going to be there, but I was aware that this particular workshop was going to be facilitated by Ashanti Alston, co-chair of the National Jericho Movement, Black Anarchist and former member of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. I was definitely not going to miss this class.Two steps into the room I see Ramona Africa, MOVE member and one of my all-time favorite freedom fighters. I shook her hand, thanked her and paid homage. I looked over slightly and sitting beside Ramona was Eddie Conway, a 44-year-long U.S. political prisoner and former member of the Black Panther Party.Once I paid respect to Brother Conway and found a seat, I looked up to the panel’s far left, and there was Henry “Hank” Jones and Pam Hannah — former members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party and the San Francisco 8. As a diligent student of Black Liberation, I was completely blown away. It was truly humbling just to be in the room — just to breathe the same air was an honor to me. Here I was … here WE were, sitting at the feet of giants, a new generation taking notes from the old field generals.As they discussed the specific details of their individual cases of state surveillance and repression, over 100 young organizers packed the room. We squeezed in until there was no place sit down, not even on the floor. Sisters and brothers raised the banner of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Herman Bell and Russell Maroon Shoatz. Panelists discussed the courage and many sacrifices of the Black Liberation Army and Revolutionary Action Movement. Young soldiers had a chance to connect with the old. It was an absolutely beautiful sight to see. Wow!For those who were not up for such heavy discussion, there was also a constant stream of documentary and film screenings. Journalist and Black cultural curator Dream Hampton hosted her new film, “Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice.” Black filmmaker Renata Hill screened their widely acclaimed, “Out In The Night,” which has screened in over 90 venues since last year. Rounding the weekend was a full screening of the much anticipated new documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.” Needless to say, the weekend’s schedule of events was something quite special.Speaking of special, in a special tribute Friday evening, we were addressed as a mass assembly by several of the recent families who have lost loved ones to police brutality and state violence. As each family approached the podium, we cheered and loved them up through crowd support. It was eerie how we had seen them all on the news over the previous few years, proud, but slightly broken.Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, was there. Martinez Sutton, brother of Rekia Boyd, also spoke. Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, spoke. Amberly Carter, cousin of Emmett Till, also brought words, and so did others. At one point, nearly all of us in the building were crying.It was very important that hashtags became human again. There were so many faces and names, some of them we had almost forgotten. Ironically, Cleveland was initially chosen as the host city to honor the lives of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson, both local victims of police terror. It was so good to be reminded of just how strong these families really have been.Personal GrowthThis convening was also a moment of personal growth. I really appreciated the emphasis and inclusion of Black trans lives. I needed that and so did many others. For me, before Cleveland, the question of “Black Trans Lives” was a political matter. I supported trans lives, but merely as a point of theoretical principle. Before Cleveland, I honestly did not see their struggle as my own.Thankfully, it was here at the Black Lives Convening that the Black queer and trans question became one of a personal matter, with implications that are much more than just political. I realized that these beautiful lives are more than just comrades. They’re my kin folk, my cousins, my aunts, my BLOOD! We are more than just “politically” intertwined: we are one people, one resistance, one struggle to simply survive. Over the course of the weekend’s events, I not only stood with trans comrades, I really listened to them, with my spirit. And in listening, I began to identify with their quite simple, but burning quest for complete liberation — Black liberation, the same kind that I want. Lol … I even learned a new prefix, “cis,” which I couldn’t wait to use in a public write-up.Deeper meaning, deeper needsThis convening was truly one of the most impactful experiences I’ve ever lived with my own people. I honestly did not want to leave. Surprisingly, I was not the only organizer who expressed such sentiments. As a people, we had managed to create a new “home” right there on the campus of Cleveland State amongst ourselves. It was a feeling that really cannot be explained with human words.The Movement for Black Lives National Convening was framed as a space and time that would be used to “reflect on our histories of struggle, build a sense of fellowship that transcends geographical boundaries and begin to heal from the many traumas we face.” To those who were there, it was just as advertised. This convening was not only historic; it was right on time. We needed this as a people. We needed this as freedom fighters. We needed this as a movement.For those of us who have completely invested ourselves in this current movement for Black lives, we very often fight, but forget to feel. We feel, but very often fail to heal. Some of us are so busy moving around, mobilizing and organizing, we don’t even eat properly. We don’t sleep enough and take care ourselves.While I was in Baltimore for a month during the People’s Rebellion, I met organizers there from both Ferguson and New York who had slept in cars for over a week. All they had was food and gas money. All they had was their courage and dedication. I gave them what little cash I could spare and we traded contact information. For those on the outside looking in, please understand that some of us are giving all we have — some of us are giving our lives. That’s what last weekend was all about: Black struggle, one sacrifice, a renewed sense of dedication, clearly emanating from a bold and brilliant new generation.As Ramona Africa so poignantly stated in one of the workshops: “Don’t be afraid to be a revolutionary. We have nothing to lose.” After last weekend’s Black Lives convening, thousands of us really believe that now. We believe that we can win.Photo: Cleveland BLM opening session.Credit: Layla Amatullah BarraynFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this read more

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Saratov-based newspaper threatened with closure over cartoon of Putin as Soviet spy in Nazi uniform

first_img Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing RussiaEurope – Central Asia News News RussiaEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders today called on the regional court of the southern city of Saratov to act judiciously and avoid being manipulated when it rules on 2 October on a bid by the pro-Putin United Russia party to get the Saratovsky Reporter newspaper closed for “insulting” President Putin in a cartoon on its front page. June 2, 2021 Find out more to go further Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Follow the news on Russia Receive email alerts Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News RSF_en Help by sharing this information May 21, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders today called on the regional court of the southern city of Saratov to act judiciously and avoid being manipulated when it rules on 2 October on a bid by the pro-Putin United Russia party to get the Saratovsky Reporter newspaper closed for “insulting” President Putin in a cartoon on its front page. The cartoon, published on 31 August, was a montage that imposed Putin’s face on a photograph of Otto von Stirlitz, a fictional Soviet spy in Nazi Germany who was the leading character of a popular Russian TV series “17 Moments Of Spring.” “Under no circumstances does an insult constitute acceptable grounds for closing a news media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The right to insolence and excess is an integral part of press freedom. As for the cartoon itself, the complaint mentions only that it shows President Putin in a Nazi uniform. It ignores that fact that Stirlitz was an extremely popular character and that the cartoon alludes to Putin’s years as a KGB intelligence officer in East Germany.”The complaint against the newspaper was brought by one of United Russia’s representatives, Alexandre Lando, under article 319 of the criminal code concerning “insulting a state representative.” Lando said the cartoon was “offensive to the president and to (me) as a voter. The region’s directorate for cultural affairs said that it has withdrawn the newspaper’s licence as a result of the complaint.The prosecutor wrote to Saratovsky Reporter editor Sergei Mikhailov informing him that the newspaper had been given two warnings, one of which concerned an article published on 23 February. The newspaper insists it never received any notification of this. Under Russia’s law on extremism, a court can order a newspaper’s closure after it has been given two warnings.Mikhailov told privately-owned Radio Echo of Moscow that the aim of these measures was to put an end to press freedom in Saratov, and he could not sit back and let it happen.The 23 February article was about inter-ethnic relations in Russia. An expert report issued by a Saratov university at the prosecutor’s request deemed it to be “offensive” to the Jewish community. Organisation September 28, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Saratov-based newspaper threatened with closure over cartoon of Putin as Soviet spy in Nazi uniform News May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Mike Kelley Foundation Awards Artist Project Grants Including Pasadena Arts Council/Volume

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Ron Athey “Messianic Remains” 2014. Spill Festival. Photo by Manuel VasonThe Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the 2017 recipients of its Artist Project Grants, an initiative in its second year which seeks to further Mike Kelley’s philanthropic work and honor his legacy by supporting innovative projects with artists at Los Angeles nonprofit institutions and organizations.Benefitting both artists and organizations, the grants support compelling and inventive projects in any medium, particularly work that is lesser-known or has proven difficult to make or fund. This year’s grantees are Human Resources/356 S. Mission Rd.; The Industry; La Plaza de Cultura y Artes; REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater); The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS); University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach; Vincent Price Art Museum, and Pasadena Arts Council/Volume.“These artists and organizations exemplify the ambitious and imaginative spirit of this grant,” said Mary Clare Stevens, Executive Director of the Foundation. “From new works—such as Liz Glynn’s sculptural stage set of fire and steel—to the first-ever performance of the late composer James Tenney’s magnum opus, to critical examinations of art history, the projects reflect the remarkable scope and variety of artistic and curatorial practices in Los Angeles.”The recipients include a diverse range of small and mid-size organizations, which will highlight a mix of individual practices, collaborations and group exhibitions. Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology, a research-driven exhibition at the Vincent Price Museum, explores three generations of Los Angeles artists engaged in the exchange of revolutionary and anarchist ideas between the U.S. and Mexico and will also feature new works by four artists.“It is especially poignant at this moment in American and Mexican history to place Los Angeles’s lineage of social movements into context,” said participating Regeneración artist Patricia Valencia. “The grant will extend both the cultural scholarship and grassroots awareness of these histories. By realizing the project at the museum, which is part of East Los Angeles College, and in a predominantly Mexican-American community, I hope that the question of ‘What comes next?’ will be raised to a new generation.”Conceptual artist lauren woods uses history as a lens through which to view the social politics of the present. In her hybrid media projects, which incorporate film, video, sound, public intervention, and site-specific work, she creates ethno-fictive documents and explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new models of commemoration. Her exhibition at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach will be part of a long-term focus conceived of by the newly appointed director of the museum, Kimberli Meyer, which concentrates on artists practicing outside hegemonic systems.“When the news came in that this vision would be supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation, I felt tangible relief to know that despite the radical, almost overnight shift in the political climate of our country, there are people and institutions in the arts—allies—willing to not only continue to engage and call attention to the sociopolitical issues that my practice is deeply invested in addressing, but also to push forth an agenda that commits to the protracted struggle to end structural injustice,” noted woods.The 2017 cohort of grantees were selected through a competitive application process by a panel of artists, curators, and art writers, which included Charles Gaines, Gene Moreno, Frances Stark, Astria Suparak, and Jan Tumlir. Totaling $319,000, the grants cover project-related expenses, allow for a modest portion of the organization’s overhead costs, and recognize the participating artists with a dedicated fee. The grant-funded projects will take place throughout 2017–2018, and the Foundation will share updates on performances and exhibitions on its website.“When Mike Kelley established the Foundation in 2007, he aimed to encourage expansiveness and fearlessness in all disciplines. As funding for the arts is shrinking, this charge is more vital than ever. It is an honor to be able to support and celebrate the artists and the arts organizations that will present these remarkable projects,” said Stevens.For organizations interested in applying for the next round of Artist Project Grants, updated information for the 2018 cycle will be posted later this spring on the Foundation’s website (last year’s guidelines remain there for reference only).For more information about Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, visit www.mikekelleyfoundation.org. Community News Business News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Giving Back Mike Kelley Foundation Awards Artist Project Grants Including Pasadena Arts Council/Volume Grants to Eight Los Angeles Organizations Totaling $319,000 From STAFF REPORTS Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | 12:07 pm Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Community News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday center_img HerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWho Was The Hollywood ‘It Girl’ The Year You Were Born?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Tips To Rejuvenate Winter Dry, Chapped LipsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Reasons Why Selena Gomez Has Billions Of FansHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Lipsticks Are Designed To Make Your Teeth Appear Whiter!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeauty Top of the News First Heatwave Expected Next Week More Cool Stuff Make a comment faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Subscribe 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy last_img read more

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