Nov 7, 2019 - Dec 17, 2019
“Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements” is a exhibition and event series that started in Philadelphia and Chicago in early 2016 and is now traveling to other cities, including Portland. OYO features new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to the history of the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism.
Fifty years ago the members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) made a historic call. SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael wrote “One of the most disturbing things about almost all white supporters of the movement has been that they are afraid to go into their own communities – which is where the racism exists – and work to get rid of it. They want to run from Berkeley to tell us what to do in Mississippi; let them look instead at Berkeley… Let them go to the suburbs and open up freedom schools for whites.”
Organized by Daniel Tucker, “Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements”, is a touring exhibition and event series that started in Philadelphia at Kelly Writers House. The project will continue to tour between now and the end of 2019. Organize Your Own features new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to archival materials related to the history of white people organizing their own working-class white neighborhoods in Philadelphia (the October 4th Organization) and Chicago (the Young Patriots Organization) in keeping with the mandate from the Black Power movement to “organize your own” community against racism.
The exhibit features newly commissioned artwork by participants from the country, including Amber Art & Design, Anna Martine Whitehead (with Thread Makes Blanket), Irina Contreras, Robby Herbst, Matt Neff, Mary Patten, Dave Pabellon, Helen Shiller’s Keep Strong Magazine photo archives, Society Editions collaboration with the poets of the Young Patriots Organization, Dan S. Wang, Rosten Woo.
The reading area of the exhibition includes the project catalog edited by Anthony Romero for Soberscove Books with reflections on this project from Fred Moten, Mark Nowak, Rasheedah Phillips, Bettina Escauriza, Mariam Williams and Jen Hofer. Also see online project documentation featured on organizeyourown.wordpress.com by Irina Contreras, Anne Braden Institute, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Salem Collo-Julin, and Thomas Graves with Jennifer Kidwell.