Collective Strategies for Reparative Care: A panel discussion with Ted Kerr (writer and organizer, What Would an HIV Doula Do?), Lana Lin (filmmaker, scholar, author of Freud’s Jaw and Other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer, 2017), Kevin Gotkin (artist, activist, and professor), and OlaRonke Akinmowo (creator, The Free Black Women’s Library). A reception will follow the event. Presented in partnership with NYU Center for Disability Studies.
About the presenters:
Canadian born Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture.
Kerr's writing has appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly, The New Inquiry, BOMB, CBC (Canada), Lambda Literary, POZ Magazine, The Advocate, Cineaste, The St. Louis American, IndieWire, HyperAllergic, and other publications. In 2016, he won the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine for his HyperAllergic article on race, HIV, and art. In 2015, Kerr was the editor for an AIDS-focused issue of the We Who Feel Differently journal.
Kerr earned his MA from Union Theological Seminary where he researched Christian Ethics and HIV, and his BA from the New School where he was Riggio Writing and Democracy fellow. At his graduation he spoke about the queer everyday in surviving. Currently, Kerr teaches at The New School. He has lectured at Hunter College, Rutgers and Skidmore College.
Under the direction of Amy Sadao and Nelson Santos, Kerr was the programs manager at Visual AIDS where he worked to ensure social justice was an important lens through which to understand the ongoing epidemic. He also served as the programs manager at the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. In 2007, he was a founding member of Exposure: Edmonton's Queer Arts and Culture Festival. Working with collectives, organizations and solo, Kerr has organized events at the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, BQSQD, Bluestockings, The New School, Housing Works and other locations.
In 2016 / 2017 Kerr performed 10 interviews for the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project. Kerr received his oral history training from Suzanne Snider as part of the Oral History Summer School. He was a member of the New York City Trans Oral History Project. Working with the Brooklyn Historical Society, Kerr indexed their AIDS oral history project.
Kerr is a founding member of the What Would An HIV Doula Do? collective, a community of people committed to better implicating community within the ongoing response to HIV/AIDS. Their work has been featured in The Body, Art in America and POZ magazine. With Aldrin Valdez, Kerr is a co-founder of Foundational Sharing, a performance and publishing platform. Since 2013, Valdez and Kerr have hosted 5 Foundational Sharing salons, and been invited to produce the event with the Bowery Poetry Club, CUNY, Visual AIDS and Queer Art Mentorship.
Creating postcards, posters, stickers, and collages, Kerr's art practice is about bringing together pop culture, photography and text to create fun and meaningful shareable ephemera and images. Collaboration is a big part of Kerr's art practice. He has made work with Zachary Ayotte, L.J. Roberts, Chaplain Christopher Jones, Niknaz Tavakolian, Bridget de Gersigny, Malene Dam and others. He has been in exhibitions curated by Kris Nuzzi, Sur Rodney (Sur), Danny Orendorff and others. Two of his works, in collaboration with Shawn Torres and Jun Bae, are part of DePaul Art Gallery's permanent collection.
Lana Lin is a New York-based artist whose films and videos have centered on the inadequacies of translating the complexities of language, culture, and politics into various forms of representation. Informed by experimental and documentary film, and extending her practice to digital media, installation, publications, and on-line projects, Lin investigates the intricate contradictions of national identity and democratic discourse as they are embodied in individual and collective memory.
Lin’s work has shown internationally at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, China Taipei Film Archive, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Merida, Mexico, as well as the Festival de Femmes, Creteil, France and the London Film Festival, among others. She has been awarded numerous fellowships, including support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fulbright Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, and the Jerome Foundation. She earned her MFA from Bard College, her BA from the University of Iowa, IA, and was a fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program, NY. Since 2001 she has been working collaboratively as a member of the artist team ‘Lin + Lam.’
Kevin Gotkin’s work combines research, artistry, and activism. He studies forms of endurance and the ritualization of ableism in American culture. His current book project considers the histories of the telethon, danceathon, walkathon, and hackathon in the U.S. His previous research has been published in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Disability Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Video Ethnography, and Porn Studies.
Kevin’s teaching interests include media studies methodologies, identity politics, disability theory, and media production. In 2015, he won the university-wide Penn Prize in Excellence in Graduate Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2016 with Simi Linton, he co-founded the Disability/Arts/NYC (DANT), an activist organization that seeks to advance the aesthetics and artistry of disability in NYC. This work has been funded by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Cultural Agenda Fund administered by The New York Community Trust. The activism can be seen reflected in the city’s first cultural plan, CreateNYC, and in public programming around the city, including “An Etiology of Omission” at The Whitney Museum in the fall of 2017.
Kevin’s artistic practice involves accessible video and audio production. His audio description has been published on OpenTV and his ongoing equitable DJ project includes scoring, mixing, and live performance with several artist-collaborators. He is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Critical Design Lab at Vanderbilt University.
OlaRonke Akinmowo is a Black feminist scholar, librarian and interdisciplinary artist who primarily works in collage, paper printmaking, and installation. She is also a set decorator, yoga teacher, and mom. Her work is informed by ritual, research, and identity. She aims to provide alternative contexts around race, gender and class, as well as examine the sacred aspects of history and culture. She sees life, nature and archives as necessary and sacred.
In 2014 she birthed The Free Black Women’s Library, a public art project that centers and celebrates Black women writers, artists and activists. This biblio installation currently holds a collection of over one thousand books written by Black women, and features workshops, readings, performance, film screenings and critical conversation. It has been installed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCADA Museum, Weeksville Heritage Center, Concord Baptist Church, National Black Theater and Nurture Art Gallery. Ola is a recipient of multiple grants and fellowships from varying organizations including the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Awesome Foundation, Culture Push, The Laundromat Project and The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Studio.
Support the growth of the library through the Patreon page, and follow its progress on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.