“Audre Lorde Days” & “Conversations in Color”, New Orleans

Tuesday 14th March

Alexis recently took part in two events in New Orleans.  The first took place at Tulane University, as part of the annual Audre Lorde Days,2017” organized by the Office of Gender and Sexual Diversity, Alexis presented a keynote address “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotics of Activism”

 

During the Fourth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, in August, 1978, Audre Lorde delivered her paper, “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power.”(1) A groundbreaking meditation on power in the context of social change, “Uses of the Erotic” outlined Lorde’s theory of the role of eros, “the personification of love in all its aspects […] personifying creative power and harmony” (2) as a source of power […] that can provide energy for change. ” (3) While addressing the corruption of the erotic in women’s lives in particular, in western culture; its difference from the pornographic; the “internal sense of satisfaction […] to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire;” (4) Lorde made specific her argument that the “suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information” (5) was antithetical to a radical life.
How many of us think of the erotic as an “internal sense of satisfaction” when we think of making social change, of organizing and protesting, of resisting the powers that be? How many of us today, proponents of this “new” intersectional feminism, thirty nine years after Lorde introduced her theory of the erotic, as a change agent, think of the pleasure implicit in that “sense of satisfaction”? How many of us think of pleasure as political?
(1) Lorde, Audre. “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” Sister Outsider, Essays and Speeches (Trumansburg, New York: The Crossing Press, 1984), 53-59
(2) “Uses of the Erotic,” p55
(3) Ibid, p53
(4) Ibid, p54
(5) Ibid, p53

On March 16, Alexis was joined by writer, Bernice L. McFadden as guests of the  Amistad Research Center’s monthly “Conversations in Color” panel. The two writers discussed “Black Women Writers and the Re-Imagination of American Culture” at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans.  Watch the full conversation:

 
 

 

 

Alexis and Bernice also participated in a discussion on WBOK Radio:Good Morning Show” with Oliver Thomas,  “Conversations in Black”

 

 

Rise Up! : Activists & Artists in Conversation.

Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.

Three artists and activists, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Junauda Petrus and Erin Sharkey joined Alexis De Veaux for a conversation exploring questions around intergenerational activism, art, whiteness and the politics of whiteness.

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Buffalo Literary Corridor: Alexis De Veaux

Alexis De Veaux has been honored by the City of Buffalo, New York as one of 15 writers including : Mark Twain, William Wells Brown, Robert Creeley, Lucille Clifton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ishmael Reed, Emanuel Fried, Joyce Carol Oates

All the banners are placed along Washington Street which has been designated as the “Literary Corridor”

 

Black Portraitures III : Johannesburg

Spirit Desire is a series of photographic essays by photographer Sokari Ekine, that explore African Diasporic spiritual practices as spaces of resistance, imagination and sacred memories. The first series [Memwa sakre: – lespri ki nan nou menm. Sacred memories: -The spirits within us ] is a celebration of Haitian Vodoun as a site of resistance, decolonization and community.

The work of Sokari was recently presented by Alexis De Veaux at  “Black Portraitures III : Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures” in Johannesburg, 17 – 19, November, 2016.

The series of photographs “made” by the Nigerian British, self-described black queer feminist photographer Sokari Ekine, beginning in 2013, in Haiti, usher in the photographer’s project, “Spirit Desire.” As codified by Ekine, the project attempts to document [and, ultimately, participate in] black diasporic spiritual practices. Spending extended periods of time in Haiti, Ekine documents ritual, ceremonial, and everyday practices in multiple Haitian spiritual communities known as “lakou.”