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Reading and Book Talk with Alan Pelaez Lopez
Alan Pelaez Lopez’s debut poetry collection, Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien, was a finalist for the International Latino Book Award and poems from the collection were nominated for the “Pushcart Prize” and “Best of the Net,” and one was reprinted in Best American Experimental Writing 2020. This poetry reading highlights Intergalactic Travels, Alan’s stories as a community organizer before DACA, and the role of artists in shifting culture and politics.
Illegal Intimacy: On Queer Love, Surveillance, and Resistance
Titled after Alan Pelaez Lopez’s poem, “Illegal Intimacy,” this poetry reading offers a conversation about how countries and law enforcement surveil queer love, migration, and Black life. Alan will read work from their collection love and mourn in the age of displacement, and talk about intimacy as an underlooked experience that can help us access language to speak back to violence.
In the Future, We Live Gloriously
In this poetry reading, Alan Pelaez Lopez shares unpublished work that speaks to catastrophes in Mexico, Black aliveness, and the future. Whom might we be outside of nation-states? What stories will we tell when racial and gender supremacy ends? These two questions are at the heart of the reading.
Art as Civil Disobedience: Taking Our Stories Back: 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.
Demanding Better Care: On Community Organizing, Accountability, & Future-Making: In this artist talk, Alan Pelaez Lopez writes to Ms. Marsha P. Johnson in the hopes that the writing can offer the activist, now ancestor, care. In writing to Ms. Marsha P. Johnson, Alan Pelaez Lopez weaves their story as an artist and organizer to explore moments where they needed care but did not know how to ask for it. In centering the lessons that Black, transgender, migrant organizers have taught them in conjunction with Ms. Marsha P. Johnson, Pelaez Lopez’s art talk serves as a manifesto of how to think with (and about) accountability and futures where trans Black migrants no longer live in the absence of care but in excess of care.
KEYNOTES / DIALOGUES
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.