Critical Resistance- Oakland is thrilled to partner with author and organizer Vanessa Huang in bringing their new work "Quiet of Chorus" to the Bay area. This book is based on Vanessa's years of working fighting against prison expansion in California and advocating on behalf of and organizing with women and gender nonconforming people in CA state prisons, and therefore a sort of history, a documentation of our legacies and a call to action in this current moment.
For the past 20 years, has modeled that cultural practice and art are critical components of the fight for prison industrial complex abolition. The power of reclaiming culture taken from communities through centuries of colonization, genocide, and social and economic repression and the practices of creating are acts of resistance.
This event series is an opportunity to learn and celebrate our collective years of hard work in the anti-prison movement in California, to uplift and embrace cultural work as part of our organizing, and to bring new, emergent and established voices alongside each other in joint resistance and resilience. Each event will have a unique lineup. All event details here.
Sponsoring this event:
About the book:
quiet of chorus lifts up the often muffled lineages of resistance to normalized state violence in contemporary life. Huang's embodied poem-worlds stoke our yearnings for freedom and wholeness, and help enliven the path forward.
Vanessa Huang's first book of poems bears witness to an intimate terrain traversing pasts, presents, and futures within and surrounding political movements to end various embodiments of the prison industrial complex in the 2000s, California and beyond. Making refuge in diaspora, these poems inhabit and transform the poet's languages of heritage and migration into their own call-and-response syntax, inviting readers and listeners into prayer, pause, novel gesture towards freedom.
Born in Berkeley and home in diaspora from California and Taipei to Atlanta, New York, and Tianjin, Vanessa Huang is a multimedia poet, artist, and cultural worker whose practice inherits teachings from the prison industrial complex abolition, gender liberation, and intersecting social justice movements. For over 15 years, Vanessa has worked to shift cultural narratives and strategies based in fear, violence, and exploitation towards realities centering love, vision, and transformation. Vanessa's deejaying extends this practice, continuing to conjure public/digital space for sonic healing and freedom dreams. Read more here.
quiet of chorus (UpSet Press 2018) is Vanessa's debut poetry collection. Vanessa has received literary fellowships from Kundiman and Macondo, holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from Brown University, and has worked with racial, economic, and trans/gender justice organizations with a focus on decarceration, homecoming, and transformative justice. Vanessa's interdisciplinary work and writings have conversed through community organizing, printmaking, and rallies; film, choreography, and sonic performance; letters to/from prison and with bread delivery through a community supported bakery subscription newsletter; and a range of publications including critical race and gender studies journals, magazines, and the anthologies Abolition Now: Ten Years of Strategy Against the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2008), Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011), Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011), and Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices (Trans-Genre Press, 2015).
About Critical Resistance- Oakland:
CR-Oakland is a local chapter of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization dedicated to abolishing the prison industrial complex and the building up of healthy, self-determined communities free from state violence and interpersonal harm. Since 1998, CR-Oakland has halted California's 20 year prison building boom and contributed to local victories such as the full elimination of gang injunctions in Oakland (), the halting of jail expansion in San Francisco (), and end of the largest SWAT team training in the world (). Read more here.
hoarding resources does no one good