Lisa and I have been looking for a new home for over a year, and finally found it – in Olympia! We didn’t expect to leave the Bay Area, but we opened our hearts to see where we were called. Anyone who knows what’s happening in the Bay right now won’t be surprised to learn that we couldn’t find anything within two hours of San Francisco that was accessible and affordable to us. I went back to Olympia to visit my mom, and I didn’t want to leave. We found a sweet little blue house, owned by a dear friend of mine, with a yard and raised garden beds and room for us and our animals. Now we have to ask our community to support this transition. We are both genderqueer artists with disabilities, and we make the world more accessible to each other and our communities through our love and our work. We give what little “extra” money we have to fundraising campaigns that we believe in, and we rely on this network of interdependence to help us take this next step. Thank you so much for being part of our circle.
on August 29, lisa and i met up with a group of mostly white activists in a Black neighborhood where a white neighbor has been calling the police (and pulling other types of authorities into disputes with her neighbors). our intention was to ask this white woman, in a friendly and serious way, not to call the police on Black people.
we met early evening at the park down the street. a number of participants went around the block chalking hearts and names of Loved Ones Lost. we practiced our song at the park and a neighbor said yeah, sounds pretty good, you gotta get the timing right. we worked on that and then headed over to the white neighbor’s house. we sang our song a few times, and tried ringing her doorbell. a family next door stood on the steps watching us. the mom was holding back her little kids, keeping them on the porch. i waved and smiled, and she smiled. they seemed nervous but curious.
the white neighbor did not appear to be home. dogs were barking. we read aloud the names and stories of Black people who have been killed by police. we sent love. we sang the song a few more times. we put the song lyrics and some info about Oakland police shootings on her door, and just as we were wandering off down the street, the white neighbor lady came home. i was like ‘that’s her! that’s her! should we do it?’ we rallied back together and sang, and she at first seemed almost happy about it, she was like ‘i agree with you, but why me?’ that’s when lisa said ‘do you remember me?’ and she realized who we were there on behalf of.
it is intense to see a person being called on their shit yelling and screaming such predictable, scripted defenses, how she is such a good person, she gives food to homeless people, all her neighbors love her, her life was being threatened, not all cops come with their guns drawn, she doesn’t care if you’re black, white or chinese… etc. she also said their dog had almost bitten her arm completely off, in which case she is a miraculous healer because there were no scars or anything.
one of us very diligently and kindly kept trying to tell the white neighbor about mediation resources, as she stomped away, saying ‘who am i supposed to call? nobody comes to save me!’ several of us were calling ‘please! wait! listen! we’re coming from a place of love!’ and she slammed the door.
somewhere in the middle of all this, a conversation started with the neighbor next door on the porch with her kids, and it became known that she also was having problems with this particular white neighbor, that she is scared of her. a bilingual spanish speaker in our group stepped forward to talk with her and translate. it turns out the white lady reported this neighbor to her landlord for something having to do with her dogs, and an eviction process has been started. this neighbor was given the contact info for Causa Justa, and will be followed up with with more resources.
back at the park we debriefed. we felt good about it, a little rattled, but mostly positive. we talked about following up with the white neighbor, either in person or in a letter. a member of our group reminded us that this woman is dangerous to her brown and black neighbors, she is litigious, and we need to make sure not to make anything worse for them. two people offered to write a letter thanking the neighbor for hearing us, and offering resources for mediation and conflict resolution. we also talked about using our time and energy to support the neighbor who is facing possible eviction. members of this group will stay in contact with her to see what she needs.
i am sharing all of this because i want to talk more about how we call in difficult members of our communities. specifically i’m curious about how white people work with problematic white people, how do we ‘reel in our cousins’ ? and how do we stop violence before it happens?
“It’s always exciting to make a new friend. You maybe see them around a few times before you start getting to know them. As you get closer, you notice all the things you have in common. You get a little crush on them, seeing how sweet and funny and smart and sexy and badass they are. You find yourself talking about them to other friends, noticing things that would make them smile. You feel protective, wanting to make the world a better place for them.
It really sucks when that person is already dead.
More and more these days, I find myself making friends with someone after they’ve died. Through photos and stories from loved ones, at protests and ceremonies, and through the details of their traumatic deaths at the hands of police officers, I become entwined in their legacies. I find myself grieving the loss of someone I never knew, trying to take on some of the weight that has fallen on their families. It is painful. And confusing. And necessary.
I’d like to introduce you to Kayla Moore. Kayla is a black trans woman who grew up in Berkeley. Just a few years older than me, I imagine we would have hung out in high school. She was a punk rocker. She was fancy. She had fierce fashion. She was smart and quick to respond when people tried to put her down. She loved to go out dancing. She wrote gothic poetry. She worked from home as a phone sex operator. She was schizophrenic. She was an auntie who loved her baby niece. She was a big fat curvy babe.”
See the full article here, at The Body Is Not An Apology
“Soon after I moved to San Francisco eight years ago, I was introduced to radical crip artist/activists Leroy Moore and Patty Berne, and the project they founded, Sins Invalid. I had recently been approved for federal disability benefits, and though I have a lifelong disability and have been an activist since I was a teenager – and even though I’d spent the past fifteen years doing fat liberation work, and the past five years doing personal work around the legacy of medical trauma in my life – I had not figured out a way to integrate my politics within a bigger framework of disability activism.
Sitting in the audience the first time I got to see a Sins Invalid show, I witnessed some of the most radical work I’d ever seen or imagined. I watched Lateef McLeod, a beautiful black man with cerebral palsy, recite poetry through an electronic talker and get almost naked, crawling on the floor in front of a mirror under a giant full moon. I watched porn by Loree Erickson, a queer white femme wheelchair user, heard poetry by Latina wheelchair goddess Maria Palacios, and witnessed a performance by white genderqueer crip seeley quest, who did a lap dance while wearing a molded plastic back brace. Planted in my theater seat with my fake leg tucked under my chair, I felt a familiar but all-too-uncommon sensation: an urgency, a current in my body saying “This is the moment, step into it, this is where it’s happening.” I wanted in.”
See the full article here, at The Body Is Not An Apology.
lisa and i spent the month of december at hypatia-in-the-woods, an artist residency outside shelton, washington. while we were there we wrote and recorded five songs, now available here for streaming or download (name your own price).
the five songs are presented on the album in the order that they were written and recorded. we used different processes for writing each song – ‘stars out’ had been in the works in lisa’s mind for a couple months before the residency, after attending the wrongful death trial of asa sullivan in september. ‘whistles and bells’ was a concept lisa had been thinking about for years, and we borrowed a bunch of literal whistles and bells from my mom and my dear friend and musical collaborator erin daly (of tricrotic and ((double hug))) to bring it to fruition. ‘like roots like fruit’ is a love song that we wrote and recorded within a couple hours, as a fun exercise and chanukah gift to each other. lisa and i wrote lyrics for each other to sing on ‘the strong one,’ which is a cool trust exercise. ‘she’s on our side’ is a sex song about the moon that we wrote and recorded within about an hour, literally as it was turning midnight on new years. the songs were all recorded using accordion, loop pedal, glockenspiel and melodion, accented with whistles and bells and an occasional toy tambourine or kazoo. it was the second album that i’ve recorded in that cabin, the first was ((double hug))‘s ‘songs and spells for decolonizing bodies’ with erin two years ago.
thank you to the woods, the moon, the winter, friends and family, salamanders and bald eagles, and you. please enjoy these songs.
This screening includes captions for HoH/Deaf, and includes one movie that is audio described. Please refrain from wearing scents. The brief intro and Q & A will be ASL interpreted. Please arrive early if you BYOC. no one will be turned away for lack of funds – please reserve you NOTAFLOF seat in advance. please inquire if you have any access requests/needs to Lisa Ganser (Accessibility Coordinator for Periwinkle Cinema).
Featuring a Q&A with the curators and participating artists and filmmakers including Lisa Ganser, Nomy Lamm, Lorin Murphy and Seattle’s Tobi Hill-Meyer.
Un(dis)sing Our Abilities is an experimental sexplicit short movie showcase and is 18+.
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Presented by Periwinkle Cinema, this program explores sensuality, intimacy, safety and consent through the lens of the less-represented. Curated by Lisa Ganser and Lorin Murphy, this screening implores the erotic pleasure and sexual abilities of those of us dissed, dismissed, (mis)labeled, disabled and generally passed over in mainstream queer crowds.
Redefine sexy through sex and sensuality that is healing, empowering and arousing. You’ll get turned on by fat, word associate crip and porn, challenge and subvert your notions of gender, sexuality and self, while exposing what it means to “work with what we got (or not).” Experience images of (ourselves) sexually empowered within our own very different and always changing bodies. We tell our stories on film and come together to experience each other’s in the dark, then see each other in a new way when the lights come up.
Get to know Asa Sullivan, shot by San Francisco police officers Michelle Alvis and John Keesor on 6/6/06. Lisa and I had the opportunity to sit in on the wrongful death trial in Oakland in September, and were asked to write an article about it for the Bay View, with an intro by Mesha Irizarry.
During the trial over the wrongful death by San Francisco police of Asa Sullivan, Lisa Ganser and Nomy Lamm, friends of Asa’s mother, Kat Espinosa, made drawings of the proceedings. – Art: Lisa Ganser
“The day the trial started, Sept. 8, 2014, would have been Asa’s 34th birthday. What would Asa have thought, sitting in that federal courtroom in Oakland? Seeing his mom and the mother of his child forced to sit through gory photos and slanderous testimony, his brother and girlfriend kicked out of the courtroom because they were on the witness list?
What if Asa had been witness to this carefully constructed story, developed over eight years, played out during a month-long trial by a parade of SFPD officers and their changing stories, “expert witnesses” paid hundreds of dollars an hour to testify, and documents dug up from the span of Asa’s life to try to prove that his death was justified. That the police had no choice but to shoot him. That that’s what he wanted. Suicide by cop.
MIX NYC is a community of artists and organizers joined together to explore, share, and create queer experimental media through an ever-changing constellation of means. We make art for ourselves and our community, not for markets or museums. As always, at MIX 27 we are proud to present the latest in queer experimental film and previously unseen works from legendary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer-identified figures in avant-garde cinema.
MIXfest is held inside a warehouse space that has been rapidly converted to the Hive. As such, accessibility is a rolling issue and Mix is committed to providing as accessible an atmosphere as possible and being transparent about the reality of the space.
The space is elevated, accessed by 4 steps or a 40 ft ramp (1:12 incline, with 2 level rest landings along the way) that has been constructed for the event. There is an outside smoking area accessed by 4 steps. Those unable to use steps will be welcome to light up next to the door or out front (SCREENING ROOM WILL BE 100% SMOKE FREE).
There are 2 all-gender, single-occupant bathrooms. The doors for these bathrooms are 30″ wide. Any chair users for whom that width is not a barrier will find ample turn-around space inside. The bathroom on the left is equipped with a grab bar.
In the screening room, there will be space for BYOC, chair parking, and plenty of seats with and without arms in a designated ‘access priority’ space closest to the door. This space is also designated as a scent and chemical free zone. There will be spaces in the front designated for ASL users.
***Regarding access for Deaf/HoH people: While Sins Invalid will be captioned, it is most likely that the rest of the films in One Size Fits all will not be, and there will be no ASL interpreter for the intro or Q&A (clearly one size does not fit all). However, ALL films in the Un(dis)sing Our Abilities showcase will be CAPTIONED, and ASL Interpreter Christine Quinton has just been confirmed.***
As the space is a very old warehouse with a motorcycle garage next door, there may be faint chemical odors. Volunteers will be cleaning the space with scent free cleaner prior to the event, and guests are being encouraged to not use scented products.
As always, practice self care in preparation for this event and feel free to comment or message with any specific concerns you may have!
Come to the Bay Area Poetry Marathon’s 100TPC event, and join other poets, musicians, artists, dancers, photographers, performing artists, around the USA & across the planet, in a demonstration & celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.
This year’s staggeringly fabulous line-up includes:
* DODIE BELLAMY * JOHNNY HERNANDEZ * RJ INGRAM * NOMY LAMM * LORELEI LEE * BEN MIROV * COLIN PARTCH * MONICA STORSS * SUNNYLYN THIBODEAUX *
Doors open at 7pm.
Reading begins at 7:30pm *SHARP*
DAY ONE: S A T U R D A Y, S E P T E M B E R 2 0, 2 0 1 4
T E M E S C A L A R T S C E N T E R
5 1 1 – 4 8 t h S T R E E T, O A K L A N D, C A
ART AUCTION, POETRY, LIVE MUSIC, BURLESQUE, & SNACKS!
F R E E
* * A R T A U C T I O N * *
Stop on by to enjoy and bid on the incredible artwork of over 15 local artists, including Jade Ann B., Marsha Balian, Katherine Copenhaver, Sarah Waite Chase, Lisa Ganser, Shelley Harrison, Page Hodel (“Monday Hearts for Madalene” creator) , Cha Levias (Recently chosen by LightBox Photographic Mobilemagic Galley Show for her stunning iPhone images), Amelia Lewis, E. Oscar Maynard, John Middle, Jeremy Novy (San Franciso and Nationwide “Koi Graffiti Stencil Artwork” Street Artist), Voula O’Grady, Shreya Shah, Jen Solomon, Maei Thomas, Teri Thompson, Jessie Trinchard, and Trixie Wiley! Refreshments will be available.
* * S P O K E N W O R D * *
Hear stories told by Nomy Lamm and Irene McCalphin, two compelling spoken word artists who will stimulate your mind with magnificent tales about life.
* * L I V E M U S I C * *
Listen to rock, americana and yummy accordion licks as performed by Jolie, Mark Caputo and Nomy Lamm.
** B U R L E S Q U E **
Watch the polished and honed burlesque moves of Blue Charisma and Black Magnoliah!
100% of the proceeds from the sale of all artwork will go directly to the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls through music, while promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and collaboration.
FOR INFO ABOUT DAY TWO: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/848712