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Alan has performed their multimedia poetry at universities, museums and stages across the country including Columbia University, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute, Stanford University, Oberlin College, San Francisco’s African American Art & Culture Theatre, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar and elsewhere. Alan’s poetry centers themes of undocumented im/migration, mourning as a framework of anti-colonial struggle, trans existence, and sci-fi futures.
Their poetry readings range between 20 to 40-minutes and they are accompanied by community dialogues.
Art as Civil Disobedience: Artists are often taken-for-granted contributors to social movements. In this artist talk, Alan Pelaez Lopez will share their experience as a young undocumented, Black queer organizer in the migrant justice movement. They’ll talk about the ethics of storytelling, why stories matter, and the dangers that exist when allies become surrogate storytellers for communities they are not a part of. This talk features Pelaez Lopez’s artistic contributions to various social movements while also highlighting five currently and formerly undocumented Black migrant artists.
Permission to Mourn: What happens when artists are forced to leave their countries? What happens when artists cannot legally travel to say goodbye to elders before they pass onto the ancestral realm? This artist talk takes audiences through the journey of utilizing art as a process to mourn and grieve places, people, and other living and nonliving organisms.
N[EG]ATION: In Feb 2023, the doors to Alan Pelaez Lopez’s solo exhibition “N[EG]ATION” (pronounced Nation Negation) opened at Harvard University. This artist talk addresses Alan’s solo show, especially the interactive graveyard installation that offered Latin American and Latinx attendees to imagine a future outside of nation-states. Alan provided 100 cotton flags for attendees to name an anxiety, political commitment, and/or a statement they wanted to offer that addressed both the end of nations and the end of a presupposed Latinx unity. In this artist talk, Alan addresses the radical potential of anti-nationalist and anti-patriotic futures by sharing the flags and images produced by Latin American and Latinx gallery attendees.
Latinidad is Cancelled: In this hybrid keynote and conversation, Alan Pelaez Lopez talks about their social practice project, “Latinidad is Cancelled” (2018). Though often misquoted on social media, “Latinidad is Cancelled” is an artistic approach developed by Alan to image futures where all people of Latin America and its diasporas are no longer forced into a single-dimensional narrative. Alan’s use of “Latinidad is Cancelled” stems from the 2015 practices of Black Twitter where Black Twitter users across international borders began to “cancel” frameworks, companies, art, and other Twitter accounts that were inherently detrimental to Black futures. “Cancel culture” for Black social media users has its roots in protecting digital spaces from the everyday encounters of anti-Black violence experienced in in-person spaces. “Cancelling” has since been co-opted by non-Black new media users who are often the perpetrators of the anti-Black violence that “cancelling” by Black social media users tried to combat. This talk explores nuanced criticism spearheaded by Black cultural workers in Latin America and the Caribbean and Black Latinx cultural workers in the United States.
Other keynotes by request, please write with proposed theme and/or keywords.