Better Worlds Book Club #2: Zapantera Negra
Tuesday July 07 | 4:31PM - 4:31PM
The Better Worlds Book Club focuses on books that radically reenvision the world and our place in it. Month to month we'll read texts that run the gamut from manifestoes, utopias, alternative histories, poetry, and more. Does your imagination need decolonizing? Join us!
Our next selectoin is Zapantera Negra: An Artistic Encounter Between Black Panthers and Zapatistas. We'll discuss this book on Tuesday, July 7th at 7PM. All are welcome to attend! If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the role of revolutionary art in times of distress? When Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, accepted an invitation from the art collective EDELO and the Rigo 23 to meet with autonomous and Indigenous and Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico, they addressed just this question. Zapantera Negra is the result of their encounter. It unites the bold aesthetics, revolutionary dreams, and dignified declarations of two leading movements that redefine emancipatory politics in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
The artists of the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas were born into a centuries-long struggle against racial capitalism and colonialism, domestic repression and international war and plunder. Not only did these two movements offer the world an enduring image of freedom and dignified rebellion, they did so with signature style, putting culture and aesthetics at the forefront of political life. A powerful elixir of hope and determination, Zapantera Negra provides an electrifying presentation of interviews, militant artwork, and original documents from these two movements’ struggle for dignity and liberation.
Organizing Past, Present & Future
Wednesday July 08 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Ready to make that radically reenvisioned world a reality? Join us for our Organizing Past, Present, and Future Book Club as we dive into the history of activist movements, take a look at what's happening today, and talk about what we can do to build a better world.
Join us Tuesday, June 30th at 7 pm to discuss our first selection, Chicanas of 18th Street: Narratives of a Movement from Latino Chicago.
Overflowing with powerful testimonies of six female community activists who have lived and worked in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Chicanas of 18th Street reveals the convictions and approaches of those organizing for social reform. In chronicling a pivotal moment in the history of community activism in Chicago, the women discuss how education, immigration, religion, identity, and acculturation affected the Chicano movement. Chicanas of 18th Street underscores the hierarchies of race, gender, and class while stressing the interplay of individual and collective values in the development of community reform.
Highlighting the women's motivations, initiatives, and experiences in politics during the 1960s and 1970s, these rich personal accounts reveal the complexity of the Chicano movement, conflicts within the movement, and the importance of teatro and cultural expressions to the movement. Also detailed are vital interactions between members of the Chicano movement with leftist and nationalist community members and the influence of other activist groups such as African Americans and Marxists.
LOT SIX: An Evening with David Adjmi and Suzanne Scanlon
Wednesday July 15 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us for an evening with David Adjmi and Suzanne Scanlon in support of David's new memoir Lot Six.
*REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT ON EVENTBRITE TO BE SENT A YOUTUBE LIVE LINK THE DAY OF THE EVENT*
In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? In his grandly entertaining debut memoir Lot Six, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art.
Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets—from Rastafarians to French preppies—David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand?
Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan’s 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi’s memoir is a genre bending Künstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi’s search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.
DAVID ADJMI was called "virtuosic" by the New York Times and was named one of the Top Ten in Culture by The New Yorker in 2011. His plays have been produced and developed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep, Lincoln Center, Steppenwolf and many others. He was awarded a Mellon Foundation grant, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Kesselring Prize for Drama, the Steinberg Playwright Award (the “Mimi”), McKnight and Jerome fellowships, and the Bush Artists Fellowship, among others. He is the recipient of residencies from the Dora Maar House, American Academy of Rome, the Bogliasco Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, Corporation of Yaddo, Djerassi, UCross and others. He lives in Los Angeles.
SUZANNE SCANLON is the author of Promising Young Women (Dorothy, 2012), a novel-in-fragments about the life of a young woman in and out of institutions, and Her 37th Year, an Index (Noemi, 2015), a fictional memoir in the form of an index, following one year in a woman’s life. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, Electric Literature, BOMB Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail and many other places. She teaches at The School of the Art Institute Chicago and in the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Festival.
Stories of Abortion Activism: Judith Arcana & Qudsiyyah Shariyf
Sunday July 19 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
A conversation between Judith Arcana, author of HELLO. THIS IS JANE. (Left Fork, 2020) and Qudsiyyah Shariyf, Program Coordinator for the Chicago Abortion Fund.
In this cross-generational conversation about the ongoing fight for reproductive justice in America, Qudsiyyah and Judith will discuss stories of abortion activism, from Judith’s recently published collection of short stories based on her experience as a Jane in Chicago’s pre-Roe abortion underground, and from Qudsiyyah’s current work at CAF, advancing reproductive autonomy and justice in a nation where access to safe, affordable reproductive health care is still very much at risk.
**REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE TO RECEIVE A LINK TO THE EVENT THE DAY OF VIA EMAIL**
QUDSIYYAH SHARIYF (she/they) is a fierce advocate for reproductive justice and an aspiring birth worker. At the core of Qudsiyyah’s passion for reproductive justice is an understanding of all people’s inherent worth and a sense of duty to ensure dignity, respect, and empathy for all. Her reproductive justice journey began in the summer of 2016 when she served as an Access Counselor with Women's Medical Fund in Philadelphia, PA. During her undergraduate career at the University of Chicago, Qudsiyyah founded Project Reproductive Freedom, a student advocacy organization dedicated to raising awareness about reproductive justice issues and supporting local reproductive justice organizations in the Chicagoland area. Now as Program Coordinator at Chicago Abortion Fund, Qudsiyyah is funding abortion and building power, striving each day to embody an unapologetically Black, queer, feminist, and anti-capitalist politic.
PCB Book Club
Thursday July 30 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM
This is PCB's longstanding general interest book discussion group. Please join us this month as we read and discuss Negar Djavadi's Disoriental. The book club meets on Thursday, July 30th at 7.30pm via Zoom. All are welcome to attend! Email email@example.com if interested.
Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.
It is Kimiâ herself––punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization”––who forms the heart of this bestselling and beloved novel.