January 8, 2021

How do we use radical hope to envision our futures?

/// January 2021 ///

2020 was a difficult year for many, and although the new year does not mark that much of a change for many of us it still allows for us to feel some semblance of a new beginning. Moving into a new year, how do we use radical hope to envision our futures? Below is a list of BIPOC makers, radical thinkers, and doers who can guide and ground us, featuring recommendations by Cultural Work Volunteer Alisa Chen at alisa.chen@apano.org and APANO's Arts & Media Project (AMP) members.


An Open Letter to FLOTUS from an #ABW Black lives MatterIn this TEDx Talk Teresa Raiford, racial justice advocate and founder of Don’t Shoot PDX, discusses the heart of protest and the importance of getting involved and making a difference. She discusses her lived experience with police brutality and belief that “you can’t just protest without political action.”

How Do We Abolish the Police?– Created by Critical Resistance this short informational video discusses the realities of police abolition and how it can be achieved as well as what the future beyond police can look like. The video reminds us that “abolition is a practical strategy and beautiful vision.”

A World Without Police: Abolition and Community Safety– Organized by the Brooklyn Public Library and featuring panelists Lori Ro, Mimi Kim, and Dr. Kirk “Jae” James, this panel discusses what comes next after police abolition. The panelists ask: what does accountability look like without police or prisons? How do we address and heal interpersonal violence in a just and sustainable way? What does “safety” really mean? And how should we be spending public money to support our communities?


Reclaim MLK 2021– The annual MLK March for Human Rights and Dignity is hosted by Dont Shoot PDX,Social Change Matters #VOTE, Artists For Black Lives, Communities Against Racism Standing Up For Black Lives, and PDX Civil Rights. The march will take place on January 18th, 2021 at 1pm PST and will begin at Peninsula Park.

Dean Wong: The Future of Chinatown– An exhibit coming soon to the Portland Chinatown Museum, this exhibit will feature original photography depicting gentrification and displacement in four West Coast Chinatowns. This is part of a place-based initiative, Finding Chinatown, comprising a series of virtual and live events, exhibitions, programs, performances, murals, and art installations, planned for 2021. The exhibit will be at the museum from February 2021- September 2021.

Zakiyyah Jackson: Architectures of the Flesh– In this presentation, Jackson will centralize the determinant materializing role not only of "representation" but also of referentiality itself. In other words, rather than assess the empirical truth claims of this or that representation of black(ened) people or calculate the distance between a sign and putative referent, she is more concerned with an epistemologically prior question: under representationalism, what operations produce the assumption of reference and what role does presupposition play in the materialization of flesh? Jackson will offer an analytic for interrogating what representationalism claims to do and will highlight the terror of representationalism and its politics, not of representation, but of materialization and dematerialization of the flesh. This talk is open to the public and will take place on February 18th from 5:15-6:45pm.


A Historic Crossroads for Systemic Racism and Policing in AmericaAfter 400 years of systemic discrimination against black people in America, the volcanic reaction to video of the brutal killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis has pushed America to another major inflection point in its seemingly endless struggle with race. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, both black people and allies from other racial identities, have taken to the streets to decry police brutality and systemic discrimination, and to demand change. But will that change be transformative or incremental? And will it be permanent or merely temporary, forgotten when the next big crisis comes along? Host Thoko Moyo welcomes Harvard Kennedy School Professors Khalil Muhammad and Erica Chenoweth.

Potluck Podcast Collective– Potluck is a collective of independent Asian American podcasters who have come together to highlight stories, voices, and perspectives from the Asian diaspora. From discussions about pop culture to narratives about our shared histories and heritage, our shows aim to entertain, elevate, and build community by amplifying and supporting Asian diaspora voices in podcasting.


I hate New Year’s Day– Translated by Alberto Toscano and written by Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist Revolutionary who was imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist regime, reflects on the meaning on the New Year and the ways that we can take more moments to mean new starts.

The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying– written by Adam Serwer for The Atlantic, this article explores the ways the pandemic has exposed the bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others.

Share your cultural work!

If you have BIPOC art and culture to add to this list or additional resources, please contact Cultural Work Coordinator Roshani Thakore at roshani@apano.org or Cultural Work Volunteer Alisa Chen at alisa.chen@apano.org.