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

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

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.

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