Many of us in the arts community experienced crushing disappointment on the night of November 8, 2016 as the election results rolled in. The Republican nominee had campaigned on what most thought were outlandishly grotesque positions designed solely to inflame a rabidly right wing base. That disappointment turned to dread, and then despair, as we realized that the president elect’s extremist rabble rousing was not just run of the mill campaign posturing, but a statement of intent.
Reactions were immediate—there were marches, protests, the creation of multitudes of grass roots organizations.
In Jackson Heights, Queens, three artists created a multi-disciplinary platform to celebrate the power of art as a tool of political opposition and defiance. Meera Nair, Amy Treesa Paul and Nancy Agabian launched Queens Writers Resist – an arts series that invokes spoken word, music and visual art to celebrate democracy, dissent and resistance.
Meeting at local performance venue Terraza 7 in Elmhurst Queens, the organization has hosted three events, with the fourth slated for next Wednesday, September 27 at 7 pm.
"Every time we decide we can't do this anymore, that it's too much work, then we meet and talk about the event and then say, okay, one more time - let's do it! Then comes the event and we always leave so inspired by the words and the energy in the room." Meera Nair
"What's notable about this particular event is that we decided to take a break over the summer and re-assess, we found that we all felt it was important, after the attacks in Charlottesville and the end to DACA, to continue this space for cultural expression as a form of resistance." Nancy Agabian
This event will features the following writers:
Rosebud Ben-Oni : a recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a CantoMundo Fellow; her most recent collection of poems, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS, was selected as Agape Editions' EDITORS' CHOICE (2019). Recently, her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC.
Abeer Y. Hoque : a Nigerian born Bangladeshi American writer and photographer. She likes angry feminists, ink on paper, and salt. Her books include a travel photography and poetry monograph (The Long Way Home, 2013), a linked collection of stories, poems, and photographs (The Lovers and the Leavers, 2015), and a memoir (Olive Witch, 2017). See more at olivewitch.com.
Sweta Srivastava Vikram : featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time," is a bestselling author of 11 books and a writing coach. Sweta is also a yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Health Counselor who combines creative writing with holistic wellness to help elevate productivity. Louisiana Catch (Modern History Press, 2018) is her debut U.S. novel.
After the featured performances, there is a community writing prompt and open mic. Admission is FREE with a suggested minimum $5 donation to support New York State Leadership Council's advocacy for DACA and the DREAM Act.
What : Queens Writers Resist
Where : Terraza 7
4019 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373
When : Wednesday September 27 2017 at 7-8:30 pm