When 1 Oct 2021
4:30PM - 6:30PM

A Meditation, Conversation, and Workshop on Embodied Safety, Solidarity, and Abolition

Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, W.O.W. Project, and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Join us in welcoming Jess X. Snow, the Fall 2021 Student Artist-in-Residence, to the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Snow organizes a virtual gathering to envision together a future marked by safety, mutual care, and communal protection and free of violence, policing, borders, and binaries. The program will begin with a land acknowledgement by Ishkwaazhe Shane McSauby (NYU Tisch School of the Arts). Snow will then present a short artist talk on In The Future, a series of collaborative augmented reality public art pieces curated by Adriel Luis (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center) and installed in Times Square, Manhattan’s Chinatown, and Washington DC.

Snow and Luis will facilitate a conversation with artists, writers, and organizers Alán Pelaez Lopez (poet and artist), Mei Lum (W.O.W. Project), Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa), and Terisa Siagatonu (poet and educator) on how we can organize toward futures of safety through practices and rituals grounded in love, community care, and respect for the Indigenous lands we inhabit. We will then immerse ourselves in a guided somatic meditation by Nico Cary and an animation by Snow to visualize this future and feel it take form in our bodies. The program will conclude with a letter writing workshop led by youth from the W.O.W Project’s Resist Recycle Regenerate program. Attendees will be invited to contribute their writing for integration into the augmented reality elements that Snow is developing for their mural In the Future Our Asian Community is Safe.

From the artist:

Still from Jess X. Snow’s film “In the Future” It features the text “In the Future a mother teaches her child to protect one another” Behind this Chinatown mural is a portal to a future. There is a place on the other side where, without the state, without prisons, we keep each other safe. Untouchable by white supremacy, uncontainable by nations and binaries. Our elders always make it home. The land is returned to Indigenous hands. And our children grow up knowing that one community’s safety cannot come at the cost of another’s.

This future begins not only in our dreams, but in the moments of mutual care and love we put into practice in our most intimate relationships. It begins in the coalitions of solidarity that the Asian community forms with Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, and Diasporic communities globally. We are interconnected to each other deeply, and our liberation is bound to each other.
This future is not just a destination, but a multi-generational lifelong practice that begins in the present moment. But how do we put this future into practice, if the constant state of racialized and environmental violence we live in, has numbed us to what safety feels like?

To arrive at that future, first we must begin with the body. We must travel back to a time before the pandemic, before borders, before binaries, where safety was not just a dream, but a felt experience. We invite you to visualize it as a community, and learn how we may collectively embody the practices of love, solidarity and creativity necessary to begin building toward this future. We invite you to leave behind a love letter as a seed and witness what futures it may one day grow, as it becomes part of the Augmented Reality of our mural in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Accessibility note:
This event will be hosted virtually on Zoom. A Zoom account, internet access, and a smartphone or computer is required. Closed captioning will be provided for all audio. If you have any access needs, please email as soon as possible.

For more information please click here.
Image courtesy of the event organizer.