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MEET US QUICKLY WITH YOUR MERCY: Part 2 of the Decarceration Trilogy

A large scale public art performance bringing together Black and Jewish voices to explore issues of race and capture.

Overview

MEET US QUICKLY WITH YOUR MERCY is the second work in Flyaway’s The Decarceration Trilogy (2018-2021).

Jo Kreiter has been contemplating the shared pain of Jewish and African-American histories of race and capture since the incidents of white supremacist, neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, NC and in Squirrel Hill, PA.  With MEET US QUICKLY, she wants to link the fracture felt by women such as herself who are sucked into secondary incarceration, with a specifically Jewish dehumanization that flourished in the 20th century and is becoming bolder today.

Historically, Black-Jewish relations in the U.S. have emerged from a long trajectory of solidarity and discord. Shifts date from deep unity in the Civil Rights era; to divisions following the 6-day war in Israel and a split between Jews loyal to Israel and Blacks focused on Israel in an anti-imperial context; to present day alarm over the rise of White Nationalism and the crisis of mass incarceration.

By way of ART AS ACTIVISM, Jo is working to catalyze this harsh political moment as an opportunity for greater reconciliation between the Black and Jewish communities. Acknowledging the complicated, problematic, and honorable history of solidarity between Black and Jewish movements for social change, she is posing the question, “How can Jewish voices amplify the call for racial justice via an end to mass incarceration?”

She is exploring this question in a spectacular physical language, within an intersectional feminist framework, and with a coalition of Black and Jewish voices. Committed partners to MEET US QUICKLY are the Museum of the African Diaspora; Bend the Arc, an organization for Jewish Action; and PRISON RENAISSANCE.  They are activists, individuals, and non-profits who have the capacity to mobilize resources, networks, audiences.

The performance will take place on the exterior of Counterpulse – a three-story building in SF’s Tenderloin, a diverse community with a 50.6% poverty rate.  We will be working ½-block away from a halfway house run by GEO, one of two large, privately owned companies that operate private prison facilities in the U.S. Its occupants are primarily black men.

Using the walls, corners, and shelves of the theater’s exterior façade, Jo will suspend multiple frames of steel bars that allow the dancers to resist capture. The soundscore will be rooted in Jewish ethnomusicology and include Black acts of resistance to the prison system, as articulated by Rahsaan Thomas and including contemporary, national efforts to build “new terrains of justice” —a phrase coined by Angela Davis.

PROJECT OUTCOMES TO ADVANCE THE FIELD OF RACIAL JUSTICE:

• 10 free, site-specific performances for 5,000 people.

• Temporary art exhibition of art by Prison Renaissance at MoAD and CounterPulse. Rashaan Thomas will direct the visual artists from within San Quentin.

• An evening of conversation hosted by MoAD and curated by MoAD and Bend the Arc, bringing Black and Jewish communities to discuss race and capture.

• A suite of actions designed by Bend the Arc, to inspire personal action to end White Supremacy, such as phone banking, door to door work or letter writing.

Project Media

TENDER (n.): A Person Who Takes Charge
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TENDER (n.) is a site-specific dance celebrating 100 years of outcast activism in The Tenderloin. Co-produced with the Tenderloin Museum, Asian Art Museum, CODE Tenderloin, and The Cadillac Hotel.

Performance: 40 minutes
Location: The Cadillac Hotel (380 Eddy, SF, CA)
On-the-street residency: April 1 – June 7, 2018
Performances: June 7-9, 2018
Choreography: Jo Kreiter
Original score: Vân-Ánh Võ
Set design: Sean Riley
Dancers: Bianca Cabrera, Laura Elaine Ellis, Sonsherée Giles, Marystarr Hope, Yayoi Kambara, Megan Lowe, and Honey Mahogany.

The Right to Be Believed
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A site-specific dance asserting women’s credibility.

Performance length: 40 minutes

Location: UC Hastings College of Law outdoor wall (333 Golden Gate, SF, CA)

On-the-street residency: April 1- May 25, 2017
Premiere Performances: May 25-27 and June 1-3, 2017

Restaged for CAL Performances commission at 12th Street Oakland: October 6-7, 2017

Choreography/Direction: Jo Kreiter
Composers: FR333 (MADlines and XOA)
Dancers: Bianca Cabrera, Sonsherée Giles, Marystarr Hope, Yayoi Kambara,
Megan Lowe, and Sonya Smith

Jewlia Eisenberg and Charming Hostess – Dilmano Dilbero
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Features: Jewlia Eisenberg

Jewlia Eisenberg and Charming Hostess perform EAT: A hoedown where bodacious babes belt the blues in Bulgarian while a punk-klezmer band rocks out in accompaniment. Featuring the Charming Hostess big band, EAT blends eerie harmonies, complex rhythms, and a playfulness about gender: it’s Girly-Punk/Klezmer-Funk. New-2007 reprint of 1999 original.

Start and End Dates

06/01/201910/20/2020

Location

San Francisco, California

Project Created By

San Francisco, California
Flyaway Productions was founded in 1996 by Jo Kreiter. For 21 years, we have produced award-winning cultural programs that raise women/girls up.  Flyaway Productions has challenged dominant ideas about women’s strength and position in society by producing free site-specific performances on the street, along with educational/social activism programs for youth from communities at risk. Our programs…

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