new workshop: what will your body say when it's free? Saturday, May 19 at 1:30 PM - 5:30 PMVelocity Dance Center 1621 12th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
What will your body say when it’s free?: A free movement and writing workshop for free people facilitated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco and sponsored by Sins Invalid!
Are you interested in being in an access and BIPOC centered space where you can create work exploring how our bodies dream freedom? In this free, disability justice informed workshop for People of Color (Black, Native, Indigenous, Brown, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Arab, North African, Mixed, Biracial, Hapa, etc), we will use movement, dance and writing exercises to create pieces naming and claiming the ways we find and make freedom. What are you proud of that your body can do? What do you love? What do you long for? As people with non-normative and societally disruptive body/minds, we’re often told that freedom can only be found outside of ourselves, but we know that we are freedom portals and agents of liberation. In a time of repression, it’s even more important to dream freedom with one another. This workshop will be a space to do that.
This workshop is FREE but pre-registration is required because space is limited and we wish to prioritize participation of disabled/sick/neurodivergent/mad/Deaf/blind people of color.
About Leah: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer non-binary disabled femme writer, curator, educator and freedom dreamer of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/ Roma ascent. The Lambda Award-winning author of Dirty River, Bodymap, Love Cake, Consensual Genocide and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home, she co-founded and co-directed QTPOC performance incubator Mangos with Chili from 2005-2015, is a lead artist with disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid and co-founded Toronto's Asian Arts Freedom School. Her writing has been widely anthologized, and can be found most recently in Room, Anomaly: Glitterbrain, Hemeotopoesis, Femmescapes, Bitch, The Peak, Marvelous Grounds, Room, Truth/Out, The Deaf Poets Society, Glitter and Grit and Octavia's Brood, and including work in the anthologies Dear Sister, Undoing Border Imperialism, Stay Solid, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She has taught writing to queer and trans, BIPOC, disabled and femme communities since 2002, when she took over Supporting Our Youth's Pink Ink writing program for queer, trans and Two Spirit youth, studied and taught writing with June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley, and has taught classes online, in community spaces, universities, conferences and her living room her since. She holds an MFA from Mills College and is a Voices of Our Nations fellow, but is proudest of being a Worcester girl, a radical queer Lankan, a survivor, someone changing the past by moving into the future, and one weirdo writer and organizer among many within working-class queer, femme, brown, survivor and disabled communities. www.brownstargirl.org
About Neve: Neve Kamilah Mazique-Bianco is Black/Indigenous North-East African, and Scottish American disabled queer multigender femme declaring punk’s not dead and neither is disabled people of color excellence. Currently volunteering as an Administrative Assistant at Velocity Dance Center and as a youth educator at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Neve is a dancer-choreographer, singer-songwriter, actor-playwright, activist, body scientist, and accessibility engineer living in Seattle. They have been published abundantly online, and directed and performed in dance on films which have toured around the world and won several festival awards including Best Short. In 2017, Neve won Seattle Gender Justice League’s Celebration Award for co-directing and performing in the play Rising Up, written by Sarah Rosenblatt and Ebo Barton (co-director). They also performed and spoke at Berlin’s contemporary theatre venue Hebbel Am Ufer, as a part of Tender Provocations of Hope and Fear, and Berlin’s No Limits Festival. Mazique-Bianco received physically integrated dance teacher training from Axis Dance Company, and is now pursuing NASM’s Personal Trainer certification in order to bring self love and motivation to more populations and bodies. They are a performing, organizing, and collective member of Sins Invalid (sinsinvalid.com), Play They Studios (@playthey on IG and Play They on fb), and Access Centered Movement (accesscenteredmovement.com). They are the founder of production, radicalism, and fashion house Badhouse Processions, and star/creator of the musical play-ballet Bet Ya UnGodly Things.
About Sins Invalid: Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Our performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities. We define disability broadly to include people with physical impairments, people who belong to a sensory minority, people with emotional disabilities, people with cognitive challenges, and those with chronic/severe illness. We understand the experience of disability to occur within any and all walks of life, with deeply felt connections to all communities impacted by the medicalization of their bodies, including trans, gender variant and intersex people, and others whose bodies do not conform to our culture(s)' notions of "normal" or "functional."
About the Workshop Space/Access Info: We will be hosting this workshop in Velocity Dance Center’s Steward Studio (1621 12th Ave, Seattle, Capitol Hill Link stop). This is a brick studio with black marley floor. One wall is a window which accesses direct sunlight, and the opposite wall has full mirrors. There is wheelchair access to Velocity in general, either up a slightly steep ramp to the right of the doors, or via Octosushi’s ramp to the left. All studios are wheelchair accessible, and there is an All Gender restroom with one wheelchair accessible stall. While Velocity Dance Center itself has no scent free policy, this will be a scent-free/fragrance free workshop to make the space accessible and safe to its facilitators and participants. We will have scent free soap available in the bathroom, and we ask that you do not wear scents, or wash yourself or your clothes in anything chemically scented (hint: the word fragrance in ingredients lists indicates that it is scented, and when in doubt, follow your nose! Leah also wrote this: https://www.brownstargirl.org/blog/fragrance-free-femme-of-colour-realness-draft-15). We will be hiring an ASL interpreter or CART provider based on the needs/desires of our participants for this round, and other accommodations are available if we are given a heads up via your registration form!
winter/spring 2018 performances:
January 11, 12, 19, 20 Krip Resistence: To Exist Is To Resist: an exploration of sick and disabled QT/POC ancestors and legacies of resistance. Gay City Arts Calamus Auditorium February 7-8 Syracuse University. performance 4:30 PM February 7, 2018, workshop February 8 February 13; class visit to Tina Zavitsanos' disabled arts class, New School for Social Research February 27, The Body Is Not An Apology launch performance with Sonya Renee Taylor and others TBA, cosponsored by the YMCA of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. Rialto Theatre, Tacoma, WA March 1, Critical Social Justice Keynote, Women's Resource Center at Cal State University Dominguez Hills, CA Friday March 9, Keynote, Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis and Clark University, Portland OR March 31, Keynote performance, Femmes and Pop Culture Conference, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ April 4, Keynote, Take Back the Night, UPenn, Philadelphia, PA April 8, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.
2017 performance and lecture dates: (please note: I am performing less so I can finish work on my new books. check back for more details and links)
January 25, 2017: Seattle University January 28, 2017: ADEPT: A Sick and Disabled LGBTQ Show, Calamus Auditorium, Gay City, Seattle WA February 8 2017, Olympia Free Library show with Annah Anti-Palindrome, Neve Be and Nomy Lamm February 18: Wild Childing: Healing Intergenerational Trauma all day writing workshop for QTBIPOC, co-taught with Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Seattle WA February 28, performance and workshop, Clark University, Worcester MA March 2: Performance and residency as part of Center for the Common Good, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA March 28, Bryn Mawr College March 30, Princeton University April 25: Sounds Like Fire: Femme4Femme Show at Verses Festival, with Kai Cheng Thom, Amber Dawn and Kama La Mackarel Vancouver BC. ASL interpreted, wheelchair accessible May 2-3: UMass Amherst Rainbow Graduation keynote speaker May 6-7: FOLD convening, Toronto June 6, 2017: Keynote speaker, Lavender Graduation, UW Seattle. October 12: Bowdoin College, Bowdoin ME October 17-18 Amherst College, Amherst MA October 19-22 Get Mad! Performance, Gay City Arts, Seattle WA. (I'll be there via video the first two nights, live the last two!) November 16: Reading, CSU San Marcos November 18 Empowerment Conference, UC Davis
Fall 2016 performance dates: (check back for details and updates. I'm on the road less because I'm being nicer to my disabled bodymind, and I'm home teaching and finishing books and puttering around.)
October 1, 2016: APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) conference, Portland, OR
October 14-16: Sins Invalid: Birthing, Dying, Becoming Crip Wisdom. ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, San Francisco, CA 8PM Friday, October 14 8PM Saturday, October 15 (ASL interpreted & Audio Described) 7PM Sunday, October 16 $20 at door; no one ever turned away for lack of funds. Wheelchair accessible throughout. Please come fragrance free. Show contains explicit content.
October 18, launch, Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Volume II, Cesar Chevez Library, 3301 E 12th St, Oakland CA 6 Pm- 7:30! Free! Free food! Wheelchair accessible, please do not wear the fragrance! With live interviews by editor Nia King of Elena Rose, Juba Kalamka, Luna Merbruja and me.
October 25, University of Maryland/ Baltimore, Critical Social Justice keynote lecture, 6 PM
October 26-27, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA: visiting race and disability studies class on Wednesday, 2:40-3:55pm, workshop on Thursday afternoon, performance Thursday early evening.