‘Writing On It All’ Reclaims Space For Community Arts On Governor’s Island

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 at 11:00 am by

The Testourmonials Project 2014-2016, Anthony Rosado

There’s one more week to write and draw on a Nolan Park House.

Just a short ferry ride away from the LES, Governors Island is an adventure that we should all take, and regularly as weather allows. For one more week you can catch the community-oriented interactive installation, ‘Writing On It All.’ Nolan Park House 11 has been transformed into a community owned space, where even the most painful concepts holding progressive society hostage are addressed head-on.

The very presence of this activation is one to reclaim the history of the actual ground where the park stands. Having been a military installation through every major conflict, it also embodies the conflict we live daily by existing on indigenous lands. With artists and writers from many factions and backgrounds, each week has been a different exploration of the unseen threads that that tie us together.

Some of the weeks have been about social justice, an incredibly vital reason to create engagement between communities. New School faculty Alexandra Chasin and Luis Jaramillo bring their doctorate level writing expertise, and are paired with activists and critics such as Olga Rodriguez-Ulloa, Mariame Kaba, and artist/educator Anthony Rosado. Topical engagement with guests on criminal justice reform is particularly powerful in a time where the inertia of authoritarianism has not yet broken.

This coming weekend, TestOURmonials will explore the experience of gentrification and erasure, two extremely pertinent issues to the Lower East Side and Chinatown. By positioning projects in the intersections between native and non-native New Yorkers, Anthony Rosado hopes to crack open the insular nature of these land grabs and reform the pieces into a functioning community. Art, expression and writing are powerful tools for undoing the insularity of new development and priced out people looking in.

Though at times it seems like there is no good way to approach these topics, listening is a start. Expression of oppression is more than angry facebook rants and protests, it’s in the very fabric of art and media. ‘Writing On It All’ gives physical space to these stories in all of their forms, from the temporary user-generated “graffiti,” to the conversations held in this space. Hopefully such interactions extend to our whole neighborhood.

The transportation options to land yourself one of these free and enlightening experiences are much more numerous than in times past. From the LES, take the Pier 11 East River Ferry for $2.75 each way, or the $2 Governor’s Island Ferry from Pier 6 (free for NYC ID holders). Remaining exhibitions are Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, 1-4pm. Saturday is open to the public; Sunday requires a simple RSVP to writingonitall@gmail.com.

Recent Stories

Police Barricades Set Along LES Route for Sunday’s Half Marathon

Police started installing metal barricades around the Lower East Side Wednesday night in anticipation of Sunday’s Half Marathon. Part of the route runs through the neighborhood just off the Manhattan Bridge. Approximately 22,000 marathon runners will flow off the bridge onto Canal Street, then follow East Broadway to its termination at Grand Street, and up […]

Rivington Street’s ‘Bar Alaska’ Takes Over Where Stay Classy Failed

There is a slice of the Klondike on eastern Rivington Street. A new sub-grade cocktail den dubbed Bar Alasaka just made its winter splash last week. Bar Alaska is a self-described “laid back, yet elegant American cocktail bar—but with a Russian accent,” and features a “selection of elite Russian vodkas and vodka-based cocktails,” according to […]

Pickle Guys will Start Grinding Super Hot Passover Horseradish this Weekend

Passover falls quite early this year – at the end of March – so the Pickle Guys are getting a head start on serving up their special sauce. Homemade super-hot horseradish ground onsite. Horseradish sales begin on Sunday (March 18) and will likely draw crowds. Expect the gas-masked grinder, as always, and a horde of […]

Here’s Banksy’s Return to the Bowery

So, Banksy is in town. Not just his little clock rat on 14th Street, but the Bowery Mural Wall on the Lower East Side. He’s the artist behind that new 70-foot-long protest piece – and also street writer Borf – aimed at shining a light on the plight of Turkish prisoner Zehra Dogan. Dogan is […]

Banksy Makes a Statement with ‘Free Zehra Dogan’ Message at the Bowery Mural Wall

A change of the guard just happened at the Bowery Mural Wall. London-based artist Lakwena is no longer on display. Her #KindComments marketing stunt, in conjunction with Instagram, was scrubbed clean earlier this week after holding court for six months. Banksy took over. The high-profile canvas was scrubbed of its message – “lift you higher” […]