For too long racism has been an ongoing presence in the lived experience of Black Indigenous People of Color and a subject of ignorance, denial, apathy, taboo and discomfort for White People. Periodically the brutal truth of White Cultural Supremacy grabs the national attention and quickly fades into the background for White people. Toni Morrison said in a 1993 interview “My feeling is that white people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they can do about it.” As Palomar College, a predominantly White institution, commits to a cultural transformation, we all have a role to play, and the first step is ending the silence.
It’s Monumental . . . Ending the Silence is a virtual arts and communications festival to engage our campus and community in a civic dialogue. We will use Arts and Communications to explore the dynamics of racism/antiracism, anti-blackness, white cultural supremacy and the fluid concepts that develop as we expand our understanding of these phenomena in our society. Works created across our campus and community will be the springboards for public forums and personal conversations as we grapple to understand the complexity of building and sustaining a multiracial democracy.
We hope to inspire creative ways to fill the vacuum of silence. We hope that faculty will encourage and invite students to use this topic for individual or group assignments. We hope that other educational institutions and organizations will add their voices to the dialogue as collaborators, creators, or dialogue partners. We hope that individuals will find us a brave community of support to communicate their lived experiences and complex perspectives. And we hope to foster an environment of compassionate listening.
“The superpower of Art is that it creates just enough distance from the object it represents to enable people to see and feel and think and understand new experiences and perspectives.”
The live Zoom Stage featured staged readings of original of works in progress; just as the United States of America is a work in progress. For the duration of this six-week creation process, we immersed ourselves in a reservoir of resources about the dynamics of racism to see what ideas would bubble to the surface. By translating these ideas into artful expressions, we hope to inform, entertain, inspire and invite an honest and discomforting examination of our deep entanglement in a system founded upon the false construct of racial difference. Further, we hope to compel our community to transform their reflection to to antiracist actions that:
- Foster authentic dialogue with those who continue to suppress/deny/invalidate the foundational traumas of our racist history.
- Challenge the dominant narratives of white cultural supremacy and replace them with honest narrative accounts that reverse the erasures of white crimes and BILPOC accomplishments.
- Influence the creation of antiracist policies that repair the breaches of systemic racism and heal our body politic from the ravages of the cancer of racism.
Watch The Recording of the Live Zoom Performances
All the videos are collected in the youtube playlist displayed below. You can let the playlist play automatically in the order of the original performance or you can click on the playlist icon to see a list of all the videos to choose from.
We interviewed people all over San Diego County asking them to share their thoughts on race relations in the USA today. Check out these candid responses to this controversial topic.
Check out the many short plays and spoken word pieces that didn’t make it into the final Playlist for the live performance of Ending The Silence. This link will open a google drive folder.