2021 BIPOC Affinity Space: Resist, Rest, Rebel, Reclaim

A monthly  BIPOC- only space for self -identified Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
(Online)
January, 10th, February 14th, March 14th, 2021 (future dates TBD)

January 10, 2021 - 7:00pm to March 14, 2021 - 9:30pm

Programming category: 

 

A space & time held by Taja Will and supported by Brian Evans
*March 14th space will be held by Pampi (see below)

What territory have we encountered over the last 7-8 months, or a lifetime, or a generation, or many generations? Who has access to rest? How does one build resilience? How do individuals weave connections to community, resources, wealth, and tools? How do we find each other in mutual resistance to systems that have oppressed the spirit, voices and bodies of BIPOC folks? In this shared experience, I hypothesize that we need rested and expressed bodies, we need affinity spaces, we need each other and we deserve each other. 

This virtual space is held by Taja Will, with support from Brian Evans and in collaboration with resources and interest provided from Earthdance leadership. With 2.5 hours reserved, we, the collective of participants may decide to spend 20 minutes together or the full 150 minutes. This space is offered in order to exclusively center Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is not a space for white allies. Amongst BIPOC identity demographics we hold the potential of intersectional privilege and marginalization. This time together will also hold space for the intersections of queerness, disability justice and the class/wealth inequities America’s contract with capitalism has oppressed on those with marginalized identities. 

The centerpoint of our time together will be a proposal to focus on our own bodies, in stillness and movement, and our connections with each other. We will have no goals, we will not need to share what we accomplish, there is no need for success in our time together. This is not a class, this is an invitation for building connections together across distance. 

 

Beginning Agreements:

  • We start together, on time and with a small buffer margin, you may leave at any point.
  • We can collectively decide to end the experience at any time.
  • I request we start with cameras on, if possible. You may then choose to participate camera off or on, and are not required to share.
  • This session will not be recorded.

 

Things to bring (optional):

  • A beverage, tea, water, juice. (I prefer it’s not noticeably alcoholic.)
  • An object that holds meaning for you.
  • A notebook and something to write with. 

 
 
*If you plan to attend more than one event, please save your acces link as it will not change for future events. A single registration is all you need.
Please contact Taja Will, taja@earthdance.net, with questions or accessibility issues.
 
Taja Will (pronouns Taja/they) is a queer, Latinx (Chilean) adoptee, performer, choreographer, therapist and restorative justice facilitator based in the Twin Cities (MN), on the stolen and  occupied Dakota lands of Wahpekute and Anishinabewaki. Taja’s approach integrates improvisation, somatic modalities, text and vocals in contemporary performance. Their aesthetic is one of spontaneity, bold choice making, sonic and kinetic partnership and the ability to move in relationship to risk and intimacy. Will’s work explores visceral connections to current socio-cultural realities through ritual, archetypes and everyday magic. As an educator Will has been a guest teacher and adjunct faculty at several institutions across the United States. Will also works in healing justice as a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant, conflict mediator and an advocate for artists.
 

Brian J. Evans is a Citizen Artist, defined by the Aspen Institute Arts Program as: 

Individuals who reimagine the traditional notions of art-making, and who contribute to society either through the transformative power of their artistic abilities, or through proactive social engagement with the arts in realms including education, community building, diplomacy and healthcare. 

 

Mixing disciplines, mixing professions, and of mixed race, Brian J. Evans unpacks the “moments of suspension” that reside in the spaces between spaces. Convinced that connections exist between us all and it is the responsibility of the Arts to remind us to be holistically human, lest we forget. Courageous vulnerability and intentional equity keeps him aloft as he finds ways to give back and add to the communities, mentors, and ancestors who blazed trails and continue to do so! Evans believes it is the responsibility of the Arts to rediscover existing connections within humanity. A recent graduate from the Dance MFA program from the University of Washington (UW) Seattle Campus, he was awarded the Howard P. Dallas Endowed Fellowship for his service on the UW dance department’s newly founded diversity community and his service as a liaison on the Divisional Arts Diversity Committee.His next adventure includes a tenure-track professorship in the Theater and Dance department at Bates College in Lewiston, ME. www.brianjevans.org

 
*For March's BIPOC Affinity Space, we welcome guest facilitator Pampi! 

A 20+ year newcomer-settler of Turtle Island (currently in residency on Pennacook / Sokoki territory), Pampi is a nonbinary second-genx casteD-Bengali culture worker who plays at the intersection of healing and popular education. As an expressive artist and dedicated community worker, they use poetry, dance and community gardening to encourage people to shift the way that they look at the earth, and the soil, and how it holds us.

Pampi is a founding member of Neighborhood Grow Plan, established in the spring of 2020. The program supports families who rent property in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan to grow food where they live. With a special focus on supporting immigrant families, Neighborhood Grow Plan helps renters understand their rights regarding land use and builds a sustainable liberatory future through community building and growing food. Currently they are facilitating a workshop exploring the Zine as a Popular Education Organizing Tool connecting growing knowledge with Our Right to Remain. Young organizers who are growing food are joining from Springfield, Hartford, Chelsea, Lynn and Flint, MI.

They are dedicated to the great work of liberation through food sovereignty and the struggle for living wage by reclamation of unskilled work as in fact so very skilled and essential.

Photo credit to Nanne Sorvold (featuring Brian Evans)