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Mirror/Echo/Tilt is a project created by three artists (Melanie Crean, Sable E. Smith, Shaun Leonardo) in collaboration with people who are court-involved, formerly incarcerated, or otherwise affected by the criminal justice system. Through a curriculum based on visual storytelling, participants translate personal narratives into performance in order to replace a culturally embedded conception of black criminality with new language so that the mind and body may think, feel, and move in a way not defined by their previous experience with incarceration. Our goal is to facilitate participants’ agency to tell their own stories and ultimately, reframe existing narratives defining the “criminal.”
In this public participatory workshop the artist will ask members of the public to participate in physical reenactments that locate a series of current events within their bodies through gesture, voice, and proximity. Utilizing their own memory, participants will recreate intensely contested moments of police violence through shifting perspective. This performance, marked by voice and movement, poses the questions: What does it mean to enact and to activate? How do we measure our collective complicity in both systemic violence, trauma, and the legacy of constructed racial representations?
The piece will be conducted in memory of Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Jamar Clark, Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Ramarley Graham, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin… and countless others.
I Can't Breathe
Performance still - VOLTA NYC, New York, NY, 3/4/16.
Image courtesy David Willems Photography
205 Hudson St
2nd floor room 203