Briana Ureña-Ravelo comes from a Dominican American family that resettled in the midwest, and through her poetry she reflects on an ancestral homeland that exists largely in her imagination.
Sometimes it feels like everything is happening at once. So came the events of the last few days, ricocheting with harrowing efficiency into seemingly every corner of the country, reverberating in the echo of shots fired into dead silence, cries of mourning from Baton Rouge to St. Paul to Dallas and again, to New York City. It's suspended in the tense withheld breaths of panic attack, waiting for the next attack to happen.
This poem was written while Alexandra Golugosova was imprisoned at the immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona.
In Eloy we have dates instead of names.
Nobody asks while meeting of your name -
They ask 'how much' and 'when'.
A poem inspired by the works in the "Take This Hammer!" exhibit at the Yerba Buena Cultural Center in San Francisco.
it begins with
tending to the feeling
below the neck;
the feeling below the neck
the feeling below the neck
is not everywhere,
"Revolution" evolved while I was a member of the sound committee of Occupy Oakland. After setting up our sound system for rallies and actions, I found myself doing the routine sound checks with songs and verses I had written. I vividly recall how my voice seemed to travel from 14th and Broadway all the way to Jack London Square on the General Strike sound system. We ensured that our speakers, such as Angela Davis, would be heard.
The exhibit Take This Hammer: Art + Media Activism at the Yerba Buena Cultural Center in San Francisco reveals the intersection of art, activism and culture in a light that is by turns brilliant, bleak and critical. Featuring the work of local artists who put their communities and social movements at the foreground of their work, the exhibit uses a variety of media to express ambivalence and aspiration about the massive cultural evolutions that the Bay has undergone.
Two poems by Maleny Crespo about motherhood and migration.
My mother became a woman at the age of 15. Two days after her quinceanera, she was gifted her first child. Her first born being me. Due to emotional and economic hardship in Mexico, she immigrated to the states. Existence is a poem embracing the beautifully painful reality of the wonder and difficulty my immigrant mother had to endure and how that is rooted at the core of my identity.
As more refugee boats pour onto the shores of Europe and more migrants are deported back home, often to face even more dangerous circumstances from whence they came, many authorities in "destination" countries like the US and European Union nations have tried to create policies to supposedly "deter" migrants from making the perilous journey in the first place.
"It is through art and culture that we are able to shift our collective consciousness and transform this grim political climate we find ourselves in. There is a significant cost our communities pay when we are not the ones uplifting our own truths. We have a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our creative alliances and shift cultural narratives that harm us. I invite us all to imagine the kind of world we wish to see and assert the safety and dignity of our communities." Donate Now!