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Current Project: Because what’s taken matters

The Artivism Project’s current work is a year-long endeavor that will use a poem by Claudia Rankine entitled “Weather” (recently published in The New York Times) as the catalyst for a variety of interdisciplinary, creative, arts and humanities collaborations. The poem starkly frames the current social/political moment and focuses on social justice as they relate to the pandemic and systemic racism. These themes will be explored through coursework across departments, guest lectures, art gallery exhibitions, music performances and compositions, and partnerships with high school teachers and their students. 

Weather

On a scrap of paper in the archive is written
I have forgotten my umbrella. Turns out
in a pandemic everyone, not just the philosopher,
is without. We scramble in the drought of information
held back by inside traders. Drop by drop. Face
covering? No, yes. Social distancing? Six feet
under for underlying conditions. Black.
Just us and the blues kneeling on a neck
with the full weight of a man in blue.
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds.
In extremis, I can’t breathe gives way
to asphyxiation, to giving up this world,
and then mama, called to, a call
to protest, fire, glass, say their names, say
their names, white silence equals violence,
the violence of again, a militarized police
force teargassing, bullets ricochet, and civil
unrest taking it, burning it down. Whatever
contracts keep us social compel us now
to disorder the disorder. Peace. We’re out
to repair the future. There’s an umbrella
by the door, not for yesterday but for the weather
that’s here. I say weather but I mean
a form of governing that deals out death
and names it living. I say weather but I mean
a November that won’t be held off. This time
nothing, no one forgotten. We are here for the storm
that’s storming because what’s taken matters.


The Artivism Project Home

Contact

School of the Arts and Communication
Art and Interactive Multimedia Building
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

609.771.2278

arts@tcnj.edu

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