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Collective Strategies for Reparative Care: A Panel Discussion

  • EFA Project Space 323 West 39th Street, 2nd floor New York, NY USA (map)

Collective Strategies for Reparative Care: A panel discussion with  OlaRonke Akinmowo (creator, The Free Black Women’s Library), Kevin Gotkin (artist, activist, and professor), 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). A reception will follow the event. Presented in partnership with NYU Center for Disability Studies.

About the presenters:

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 FoundationCulture PushThe Laundromat Project and The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Studio

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. 

Canadian born Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture. 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 filmmaker, artist, and writer whose creative practice concerns embodied vulnerabilities. She has produced a body of experimental films and videos that interrogate the politics of identity and cultural translation through attention to the formal capacities and historical contingencies of moving image media. Since 2001, she has focused on collaborative multi-disciplinary research-based projects (as Lin + Lam) that examine the construction of history and collective memory. Lin’s works have been screened and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, NY, Stedelijk Museum, Gasworks, London, UnionDocs, Brooklyn, Oberhausen Film Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, and China-Taipei Film Archive, among others. She has received awards from the Javits Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Civitella Ranieri, and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Lin is the author of Freud’s Jaw and Other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer,which examines the psychic effects of cancer through studies of three important creative and intellectual figures: Sigmund Freud, Audre Lorde, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. She recently completed a feature-length personal documentary that “re-visions” Black feminist poet Audre Lorde’s 1980 memoir, The Cancer Journals. An Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at the New School, Lin is currently a fellow of the New School's India-China Institute.

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