Fractured Jewishness

April 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Is being half-Jewish, like being half-pregnant? Yes.

Intrigued? Want to hear more?

I have the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Half Jewish?” The Heirs of Intermarriage conference at Northwestern University, which runs from 4/20-4/22. My Friday night talk will center around the construction and the perpetuation of fractured cultural identities. On Saturday my dear friend Yoni Sarason, aka The St. Lou Jew, aka Midwest Director of Birthright Next, will be speaking on a panel with Dan Libenson, moderated by Denise Handlarski.  Come check out the conference.  Meet some lefty Jews.  Learn and mingle.

Register here.

 

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Negotiating Latina Identity through Performance Art on the Web

April 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Andria and I will be presenting  Are You My Other? next week at the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Negotiating Latina Identity through Performance Art on the Web
with Maya Escobar and Andria Morales

Challenging mainstream and academic representations of Latina identity, performance artists Maya Escobar and Andria Morales publicly negate, deconstruct, and reconstruct their individual histories, identities, and conceptions of self. In their current project Are You My Other? a self-portrait dialog exchange blog, Escobar and Morales draw from popular culture, Latino/a cultural iconography, and their lived experiences to create and virtually perform conflicting representations of Latina selves. From devoted homemaker to hockey player, reggaetonera to construction worker, conceptual artist to human corn on the cob, the artists model the multiplicity of identity.

Due to their shared physical similarities, followers of their online exchange often mistake Escobar and Morales for one another. The merging of their identities is further perpetuated through their activities on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By locating these performances within the space of the web, where they are free from restrictions of time and place, the artists are able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously forming a unified (Latina) hybrid self.

Help Escobar-Morales Get To Texas!

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Andria and I are presenting Are You My Other? at the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio Texas.  But in order to get there we need to collectively raise $1,500.

We bought our plane tickets yesterday, but we still need to raise a whooping $550.  AND there is still time to help out! Please visit our Taking it to Texas Campaign on Are You My Other? where you can purchase The Fat Free Elotera and Escobar vs Morales postcards, Blaster Bike totes, Shomer Negiah Panties (at a super discounted price), CUSTOM photoshopped images (a la Are You My Other? style), and more…

Taking it to Texas
visit our Taking it to Texas Campaign
Escobar-Morales cards in action
Escobar vs Morales cards modeled here by the Wonder Women Residency Girls

All I want for my birthday is to go to Texas

January 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Taking it to Texas Campaign

Tomorrow I turn 27.  And everyone keeps asking me what I want, what I need. Things may be tight, but I have what I need: a roof over my head, food to eat, an adoring husband and wonderful family and friends.

But what I want more than anything, is to be able to go to Texas with my collaborator Andria Morales.  She and I were just accepted to the 2011 National Popular Culture Association Conference in San Antonio Texas, where we will be presenting our self portrait dialog exchange project Are You My Other? We are thrilled about this opportunity and think it is the perfect place to situate our work. But after totaling our expected expenses, we realized that collectively we need to come up with $1,500 just to make it happen.

So Andria and I are launching our first-ever Are You My Other? fundraising campaign Taking it to Texas.  In exchange for donations, we are offering Are You My Other? goodies, alongside favorites from our individual bodies of work… but at a fraction of the price!

SHOMER NEGIAH PANTIES (usually $20 each now one pair for $15 or two for $20) and Andria’s BLASTER BIKE TOTES ($15) and T-SHIRTS ($20)

Shomer Negiah Panties

Maya Escobar, Shomer Negiah Panties, 2005-present

Blaster Bike

Andria Bibiloni, Blaster Bike, 2007

Critical Mixed Race Studies on iTunesU

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University
Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University

If you missed the Nov 5-6, 2010 “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies” conference or any of the keynote talks or the welcoming address, you can now download the videos here via iTunesU.

  • November 5th Welcoming Remarks by DePaul’s Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Charles Suchar and conference organizers Camilla Fojas, Wei Ming Dariotis, and Laura Kina.
  • November 5th Keynote Address by Andrew Jolivette “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Mary Beltran “Everywhere and Nowhere: Mediated Mixed Race and Mixed Race Critical Studies”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Louie Gong “Halfs and Have Nots”

And here are links to recaps of the conference on Laura Kina’s and Jonathan Reinert’s blogs.

more soon…

Creating Resistance: Using the Arts in Challenging Racial Ideologies

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am so excited to announce that on November 5th 2010, I will be presenting at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

Creating Resistance: Using the Arts in Challenging Racial Ideologies
A Roundtable Discussion Moderated by Laura Kina with Alejandro T. Acierto, Maya Escobar, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert
DePaul University Student Center |  11/5/2010 |  10:15 am

CONFERENCE IS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

This roundtable focuses on the use of the arts as a strategy to discuss, challenge, and confront ideologies of race and mixed-heritage identities. The panelists involved – each of whom work in different artistic fields – will present their work either via performance or through a discussion of their current work and the process that helped produce such work. The discussion will highlight how identifications of mixed heritage have integrated, collided, or been negotiated within and through their work while also placing their work within the complex relationship between art, activism, and organizing. Additionally, the panelists will address how their creative projects have been used strategically within specific contexts while also reflecting upon the reception of their work among the public. Likewise, they will address the relevance and necessity of this type of work within the “multiracial/post-racial” framework and how their work speaks to those issues to challenge racial expectations and stereotypes.

As experienced cultural producers of various mediums, the panelists will also open up a forum for discussion about their own experience with specific art forms and how those mediums have presented various challenges, limitations, and problems in addressing ideologies of race. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussions by contributing their own experiences of using the arts critically and strategically as well as responding to the panelist’s remarks and performances.


Multiple identities align in Behind The Scenes Acciones Plasticas プリクラ

CREATIVE RESISTANCE ROUNDTABLE BIOS

LAURA KINA
Laura Kina is an artist, independent curator, and scholar whose research focuses on Asian American art and critical mixed race studies. She is an Associate Professor of Art, Media and Design, Vincent de Paul Professor, and Director of Asian American Studies at DePaul University. She is a 2009-2010 DePaul University Humanities Fellow. She earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studied under noted painters Kerry James Marshall and Phyllis Bramson, and she earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Riverside, California and raised in Poulsbo, WA, the artist currently lives and works in Chicago, IL with her husband, Mitch, and their daughter, Midori, and her stepdaughter, Ariel. Her work has shown internationally is represented in Miami, FL by Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.

ALEJANDRO T. ACIERTO
Alejandro T. Acierto is an active collaborative musician, improviser, composer and sound artist whose innovative work in contemporary music and performance has led Time-Out New York to call him a “maverick of new music”. His creative output embraces an ambiguous aesthetic that integrates music, sound, performance art, and installation based on historical narratives and his own experience as a third and fourth generation Mexican Filipino American. He recently won the Sidney and Mary Kleinman Prize in Composition and was granted a composers’ residency fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His work has also been featured by Trifecta Publishing, a curated collection of multimedia works by diverse artists.

Acierto holds a Masters’ degree in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music and received his Bachelors’ degree in clarinet performance and composition with a minor in Asian American Studies from DePaul University. He has performed and presented his work in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and across the US. He is a founding member of the New York-based ai ensemble and Chicago-based chamber orchestra ensemble dal niente and is currently freelancing in New York City.

MAYA ESCOBAR
Maya Escobar a performance artist, Internet curator, and editor. She uses the web as a platform for engaging in critical community dialogues that concern processes by which identities are socially and culturally constructed. She performs multiple identities, sampling widely from online representations of existing cultural discourses. Her identifications as a Latina-Jewish artist, dyslexic blogger, activist and educator are indexed by the blogs she keeps, the visual and textual links she posts, the books, articles, and blog posts she cites, the public comments she leaves, and the groups she joins.

Escobar received her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany, Venezuela and Chile.

TINA RAMIREZ
Tina Ramirez is a Filipino Colombian writer, educator and youth organizer, claiming roots as a country mouse and a city mouse (Kansas-born, Chicago-bred). She has co-developed curriculum with youth spaces such as YAWP! (Young Asians With Power!) and MCYP (Multi-Cultural Youth Project), using creative self-expression as a vehicle to explore identity politics and community-based issues. She was a core organizer with Kitchen Poems, an Asian Pacific American writing workshop, and currently serves on the board for the Leadership Center for Asian Pacific Americans. She has self-published two chapbooks and performed at various venues, including Free Street Theater, Judson Memorial Church, and Insight Arts.

Tina received a B.A. in Literary Studies and Creative Writing from Beloit College and an A.M. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration with a focus on youth development, nonprofit administration and education policy. She currently works with community schools in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

JONATHAN REINERT
Jonathan Reinert was born in Tuguegarao, Philippines. At three and half years of age, he was adopted into a German American family in 1987. Jonathan lived in Kirkwood, Missouri for 15 years before leaving to attend college in Chicago where he graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Art and Art History and a concentration in painting and drawing. Inspired by the work of Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Jonathan began experimenting with video performance art toward the end of his college career. His debut performance, “Twenty Twinkies,” was a surprising success and compelled him to pursue a career in video production and documentary filmmaking.

Jonathan has recently finished his studies as graduate student in Asian American Studies at UCLA. His master’s thesis film, Left on Lockett Lane, is an autobiographical work which examines his experiences growing up in the Midwest as an Asian adoptee and was awarded official selection in 2010 Los Angeles Visual Communications Asian Pacific Film Festival. Jonathan will spend the remainder of the year submitting Left on Lockett Lane to various film festivals across the country and is in the process of applying to film schools for the fall of 2011.

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