7 Stages, in partnership with the Georgia Center for the Book, presents
A Citizen’s Response @ the Decatur Library
Wed Feb 6th, 2019 7-9pm
In honor of Black History Month, we offer a panel of artists and activists responding to the current state of our country and 21st century racism and how it relates to 7 Stages’ Big Read pick Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
A provocative meditation on race, Rankine recounts mounting aggressions and encounters in daily life and media in the form of essay, image, and poetry. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship.
While our artists are in the community and classroom encouraging responses to the literature and everyday life, activists and artists are initiating conversations across the city, nation and globe – building our tools to strengthen our beloved community and squash racist actions. Artistic Director Heidi S Howard and panelists will share favorite selections from Rankine’s collection as well as highlights from their own artistic responses and community experiences. These initiatives are sure to spark a rich book discussion.
Have you picked up your book already? Bring your responses to the discussion and we will share what the future looks like. Don’t have a book yet? Join us and we will take care of that!
Theresa Davis is the Literary Coordinator at ArtsXchange, curator of Java Speaks, and lead artist in Human: A Citizen’s Encounter. She is a nationally recognized slam poet, youth advocate, and teacher of poetry. She is a winner of the Women of the World slam, was named the McEver Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech, and has published two books. Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto is on the ‘Ten Books All Georgians Should Read’ list.
Destiny Thompson is an actress, teaching artist and poet in Atlanta, Georgia. She has studied performance at Florida State University, in London, England and with the Double Edge Theatre Company. She hopes to create a dialogue about the issues that are deeply affecting the society in which we live.
Dalyla McGee is an Atlanta based international teaching artist serving in residence with 7 Stages guiding community responses to Citizen and House on Mango Street for the Big Read. Her work is largely focused on story sharing as a powerful tool in uniting global cultures and underserved communities.
Ismail ibn Conner is an international actor, choreographer, teacher, and Artistic Associate of 7 Stages Theatre, as well as the founder of the United States Koltès Project. Ismail is also a Résidences Internationale aux Récollets Laureate and was in artistic residence at Université de Lorraine Paul Verlaine-Metz’s B.M. Through his ongoing work in translations, acting and krump dance he connects artists and humans across the world.