Angela Davis was the key note speaker at Penn’s for the Marcuse Conference. I attended. I enjoyed watching the man in the row in front of me taking many photos of her on his point and shoot digital camera.
Some highlights of the talk:
- US never adequately changed structurally after slavery ended. Racism is built in the system. Angela asked us to imagine a US with no prisons and explained the prison industrial complex is left over from slavery and questioned, why is Pennsylvania proposing to add 3 new prisons and expand 7 others when other states are limiting space?
- Reimagine what society could be.
- Selfcare is important. Angela practices yoga and a vegan.
- Israel should end the occupation of Palestine. Cautioned using the word occupy.
- Raised awareness to the idea of politics of body. I had been feeling that showing up is important, to be present, part of the experience. Davis’s emphasized being present, attending events, as part of politics of the body.
- Obama… Davis was critical yet in favor of Obama and recalled the joy when we was elected. She was especially critical of Obama not even passing the Dream Act, let alone intervening to save Troy Davis. But then to paraphrase Davis did say after all he is the president of the United States… meant in the way that he acted was as a leader of imperial state would act.
- Davis cautioned the Occupy movement that is starting not to be like the Yippies who merely unveiled the seductions of capitalism to reveal the structure at work, urging that change is needed, new ways of being. Intersectionality. The coalitions. How are all the voices going to exist and grow, not just tolerate but really celebrate the differences…. and develop a new structure?
- Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis (Feb 12, 1983)
- The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
- Audre Lord
- Gayatri Spivak
- Eros and Civilization (Ark Paperbacks) by Herbert Marcuse (Oct 8, 1987)
- George Jackson
Impact on my art…
Raised the question for me, does it matter if it’s art or theory or action as long as we are working together to create a system of social justice?
The structure of the dome as metaphor for this new imagined structure is more important than it has ever been. Angela Davis’ talk solidified this metaphor for me, as liberated consciousness. The dome embodies Buckminster Fuller’s contribution to this reimagining, a home for every person on earth, using the least amount of materials and creating a light, organic, welcoming space…