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Peach and pink gradient with black text: Revolution is not a one-time event

Revolution is not a one-time event


This programme of four weekly online events gave audiences in August 2020 the opportunity to join activists, academics and artists as they reflect on abolitionist praxis and thought, exploring covergences with gender, poetry, technology, performance, speculation, aesthetics, film and culture. The series of events commemorated Black August and was for anyone who wishes to answer the abolitionist call to action and thought.

With American Artist, Black Obsidian Sound System, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, adrienne maree brown, Akwugo Emejulu, Saidiya Hartman, Gail Lewis, Canisia Lubrin, Miss Major, Lola Olufemi, Juliana Huxtable, Nat Raha, Legacy Russell, Zoé Samudzi, Christina Sharpe, Hortense Spillers, Nydia A. Swaby and Tourmaline.

Revolution is not a one-time event is a project organised by Che Gossett, Lola Olufemi and Sarah Shin in collaboration with Arika and hosted by Silver Press.

Abolition is a perennial and open invitation to take the potential of revolutionary love seriously. In direct opposition to carcerality, abolition is a life-making principle: one concerned with creating new practices, spells and rhythms that make planetary life habitable for all. Abolition is the desire for more; a rejection of all the tenets of the world sustained by the catastrophe of policing, carcerality and their rootedness in anti-Black, anti-queer, anti-trans, white heteropatriarchal, racial capitalist state power. As this moment of upheaval unfolds, abolition has taken centre stage, expanding the realm and threshold of potential. This state of emergency has always been forever. Abolition reminds us that the world has never been habitable and that everything is possible.

In daring us to demand more for ourselves and others, abolition orientates us towards what Mariame Kaba describes as a horizon. We see the abolitionist horizon just beyond burning police cars, abandoned prisons and open borders. The time of abolition is both in the distance and already present. In the words of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “abolition is presence”: a form of faith that we can and will change everything. Abolition is the gift of the unfinished Black freedom struggle and its constant radicalisation, its ceaseless extension.

These events took place each Monday in August on Zoom and documentation from them is available below.

Programme Events

A pink and mauve background with black text reads The Poetics of Abolition
10 August 2020

Poetry is Not a Luxury: The Poetics of Abolition

Canisia Lubrin Christina Sharpe Nat Raha Saidiya Hartman Nydia A. Swaby

A panel exploring the poetics of abolition. “Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change.”

Revolution is not a one-time event
A blue and mauve background with black text that reads System Errors
17 August 2020

System Errors: Abolitionist Technologies and Aesthetics

American Artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley Juliana Huxtable Legacy Russell

A panel exploring the radical potential of technologies through fugitivity and opacity: their ability to obscure, to make it impossible for us to be known, to render us untraceable by every arm of the state even under the all-consuming spectre of surveillance capital.

Revolution is not a one-time event
Peachy orange background with black text that reads Happy Birthday Marsha!
24 August 2020

Happy Birthday, Marsha!

adrienne maree brown Black Obsidian Sound System Lola Olufemi Tourmaline

On the birthday of Marsha P. Johnson, this event brings together several elements that celebrate the radical care and kinship characteristic of the Trans revolutionary.

Revolution is not a one-time event
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