2018 Program: Hip Hop
The commoditization of storytelling regularly overshadows its healing and mobilizing potential through its capitalist or commercial exploitation (e.g., trading trauma for points in poetry slams, equating stories to advertising revenue). However, testimony possesses a healing and mobilizing utility. Our immediate access to information in the age of social media presents a unique opportunity to convert what is often a solitary and isolated battle into a catalyst for mobilization. Interrelational testimony allows storytellers to reconnect with themselves in novel and generative ways, break social barriers, and rally the masses to move forward collectively toward liberation. Present day griots cut through superficial social limits and build bridges to unclog the blurred paths of communication between communities. When people gather around this revolutionary act of storytelling, supportive communities develop. Storytelling becomes a tool to improve the quality of human lives in unpredictable ways by expanding and diversifying the spectrum of experience, challenging limiting beliefs, and inserting marginalized experiences into the canon of global history.
In this session, participants learn by doing and explore the practice of storytelling as a critical method for survival and prosperity. By documenting personal stories and focusing on the facts, we can develop compassionate language, shift our perspective, and find solutions to societal problems. We learn how to create and revisit a transcendent compendium of our lives to unearth the paralyzing narratives which no longer serve our health and success. We can excavate ourselves from the boxes society has drawn to pigeonhole us and chart new ones.
Race, Class, Ability/Disability and Colonization intersect in the notion of what, who and how to be "safe" in this post-colonial, stolen territory and what more importatly the racist, classist, ableist roots of safety itself are. Everyone from Non-profit workers to academics speak, teach and continue to offer training and "reform" options of ancient settler -colonial wite supremacist structures like poLice, judicial systems and service provision. In this seminar, the impacted peoples - Poverty Scholars a concept created by POOR Magazine - who the poLice are called on to "help" in crisis, whose lives and struggles are the target of non-profit organizing campaigns and academic research projects - will be sharing their scholarship and curriculum on how to disengage from these notions of "safety" and security" and how to work with, walk with and organize with people who have themselves experienced this violence