Silencing: An Assembly on Censorship

April 27, 2024 – April 27, 2024
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Amant - Géza

306 Maujer Street
Brooklyn, NY

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

On the occasion of Shilpa Gupta’s exhibition, I did not tell you what I saw, but only what I dreamt, Amant hosts an afternoon of poetry, lectures, and performances that brings friends, artists, and scholars together to delve into historical and contemporary understandings of silencing through censorship.

In keeping with the motivation of Shilpa Gupta’s sound installation For, In Your Tongue, I Cannot Fit (2017-18) currently on view at Amant, which comprises a set of one hundred names of poets who have been incarcerated from the past and present, this assembly presents a series of provocations on censorship in its many manifestations.

Censorship is the silencing of speech, the human ability to express thoughts and feelings through written, spoken, or signed language. Speech articulates our desires to connect through the exchange of language. Yet language rests in the hands of a singular structure defined by power, whether military, governmental, corporate, or otherwise. For centuries these powers have practiced censorship as a method of control, and other forms of oversight that include self-censorship and the policing of social media. It is the violent silencing of voices, the active practice of restricting the expression of another, be they writer, poet, artist, or activist—dead or alive.

Silencing: An Assembly on Censorship features responses from Elizabeth Larison, the director of the Arts and Culture Advocacy Program at the National Coalition Against Censorship; Che Gossett, a trans femme writer, scholar, and archivist; Gavilán Rayna Russom, an artist, composer, and scholar; Salil Tripathi, an Indian-born author and editor and former Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee; and Saw Wai, a Burmese poet, performance artist, and political activist, whose poems and remarks criticizing Myanmar’s military have resulted in his imprisonment. This event is moderated by Patricia Margarita Hernández.