This workshop introduces the genre of Indigenous futurism as a decolonizing technology in the context of Black and Brown colonized realities in the so called U.S. Inspired by the highly praised theatrical play “Where the Earth Meets the Sky,” written by Edyka Chilomé, Ariana Cook, and Vanessa Mercado Taylor, participants in this workshop will consider the power of art in recovering futures and healing our cultural ruptures with the land as displaced Indigenous peoples. Participation in this workshop is limited to 10-12 Black/Indigenous/people of color who apply and are invited to be an active participant. We encourage others to attend through viewing the live stream.
Dear prospective participants,
We know you are worn out and that you are trying your best to survive these dystopic times. We invite you to participate in this workshop not as an extra item on your already nearly unmanageable to-do list but as a gift to yourself, a reminder of why you are fighting so hard to survive and why your ancestors did the same. We believe that our existence as BIPOC is our resistance and our imagining is the key to our collective becoming. A new world is possible because you choose every day to wake up and offer your energy and power to this world. This workshop is a two-hour break to remember that your creative act of survival is sacred and is the very ground from which a new world will grow. Don't let the application scare you, it is simply a brief introduction so that we may better understand how to facilitate this time more effectively. The culture of this workshop will primarily be a talking circle, a place where you can connect and be inspired by others and your own journey so far. No readings, no assignments, no need to prove or justify yourself. We hope it will also be a place of fierce inspiration to continue playfully imagining the possibilities for healing this world that burns us out and ruptures the intimate connections with ourselves and with each other.
Edyka & Vanessa
Edyka Chilomé is a Poet and cultural worker currently based east of the Arkikosa River (North Texas). She is a queer indigenous mestiza child of migrant activists from the occupied lands of the Zacateco (Mexico) as well as Lenca (El Salvador) people and was raised in grassroots migrant justice movements grounded in the tradition of spiritual activism. Edyka holds a B.A. in social and political philosophy with an emphasis on social justice from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies from Texas Women's University where her studies focused on Women of Color theory and Indigenous epistemologies. Edyka has been featured and asked to share her poetry and speak on multiple media platforms and in spaces around the country and Latin America including TEDx, NPR, GLAAD, The Tucson Poetry Festival, GOOGLE, Prindle Institute for Ethics, The Lincoln Center in New York, Remezcla, Palabritas at Harvard University, The American Family Therapy Academy, The Texas Democratic Convention, her homegirls back yards, kitchen tables, and street corners. She has produced and published numerous articles, essays, plays, and poems including her newest bilingual collection of poetry "El Poemario del Colibrí / The Hummingbird Poems", an intimate look at healing in diaspora as spiritual resistance. Edyka is a 2018 - 2019 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow and an inaugural fellow in the 2020 Black, Indigenous, People of Color Screenwriting Lab created by LA-based organization Justice For My Sister. Most recently Edyka was the recipient of the 2021 Sundance Institute Uprise Grant. Her current project, titled Earthroot: a revolution blooming, is an on-screen adaptation of her co-written indigenous futurist play Where Earth Meets The Sky.
Vanessa Mercado-Taylor is a Xicana-Colombiana educator, theatre director, performer, producer and playwright who for more than 20 years has created performances and community gatherings that bridge worlds while creating a dialogue about human rights and social justice. Through her work with DellArte Int’l, Cara Mia Theatre and Pangea World Theatre she gained experience in physical theatre, collective creation and human rights in the arts. She created and directed an award-winning show at the Prague International Fringe Festival and has produced at the Toronto, Los Angeles and Dallas Fringe Festivals. Vanessa is a Professor of Mexican American Studies, Drama and Humanities at Dallas College, where she created the Hip Hop Studies program, directed the Free Minds Clemente Course and leads the Equity in Education League. In the community college, she addresses structural racism and facilitates transformative personal and institutional growth through decolonizing curriculums and equity initiatives. She is the recipient of the 2019 TACHE Distinguished Faculty Award. (Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education)