Refusing Erasure Activating culture as sites for resistance and thriving
The at land’s edge Research Fellowship aims to gather an intergenerational group of cultural workers who want to protect our collective memories and cultural practices from the distortion and erasure caused by racism and other forms of oppression. We seek individuals who strive to activate culture as a site of critical resistance and those who are committed to creating vibrant possibilities for our communities to thrive. Based at the Southern California Library, a community library and archive in South Los Angeles, the at land’s edge Research Fellowship will work with fellows to conduct archival research and to incorporate this research into their work. Fellows will gain an analytical and material understanding of culture, memory, and resistance by participating in seminars held every other week, attending a series of public programs, and learning in community with other artists and organizers. They will also have the opportunity to deepen their historical understanding of politically engaged cultural practice and develop ethical and accountable research methods for cultural work. They will receive in-depth mentorship to help produce self-determined individual or group research projects, of which they will present publically at the end of the fellowship term. Fellows will also actively contribute to our community and will help organize our programming.
The erasures enacted by racism through war and state sanctioned violence are widespread.
We are being displaced and disappeared from spaces we have nourished for generations. The bodies of our loved ones have and continue to experience the violence of police, poverty, and societal neglect. Our ancestors’ land has been stolen, our natural resources exploited, and our waters made toxic. We are also criminalized for migrating to a country that instigated the very violences from which we fled. Across these experiences, we understand that our conditions of oppression are intergenerational, intertwined, and ongoing.
From Standing Rock to Afghanistan, we are told through violent means that our histories and futures are not worth protecting. Yet, we will not succumb to erasure. We will never forget where we come from, who we are, and what we can be. With the resilience imparted upon us by our ancestors, we stand together in solidarity to use our cultural work to remember our rich and complex histories, to bring them radically into the present, and to use our historical memory to create vibrant futures.
The 2017-18 at land’s edge Research Fellowship is for people who want to resist these erasures, who want to protect our memories and cultural practices from distortion, and who want to create possibilities for our communities to thrive.
The fellowship is an eight-month program that will support 10 individuals who are interested in pursuing cultural work as a site of critical resistance. Fellows will be nurtured through mentorship, intergenerational discourse, and a community of alumni and organizers who support each other and hold each other accountable. While there is no cost to participate in the program, fellows will be required to actively contribute to our community and help us organize this year’s series of events.
The fellowship program will be organized around the following questions:
● What does it mean to activate culture as a site of resistance?
● How have social movements engaged cultural work?
● What are the stakes of memory for our current political moment?
● How might archives be engaged as a form of resistance?
● What are the ethics of cultural work?
● How do we develop research methodologies and creative practices that are accountable to the communities we are a part of?
These questions will be explored through seminars, archival research, and community dialogues.
About at land’s edge
at land’s edge (ALE) is an autonomous pedagogical platform based in East and South Los Angeles that nurtures the voices of cultural producers who are committed to social transformation. We understand pedagogy as not only a method of education, but as a critical space where the processes of teaching and learning, knowledge and action, and self and community are reflexive, interwoven, and oriented toward the liberatory possibilities of a just and democratic world. We move through our city with great intention, seeing it as a site of learning and as a place where we must stand in solidarity with community struggles against exploitation and marginalization.