Community Forum and Conversation
In the past few weeks, Galería de la Raza’s Digital Mural Project, Por Vida has ignited conversations around issues of homophobia, displacement, appropriation and trauma within and outside the Chican@/Latin@ communities.
Since its inception in 1970, Galería has been dedicated to pushing the limits of the art world to be inclusive of multiple narratives, including the marginalized sectors of our communities who have been excluded from the Chican@/Latin@ experience. We engage artists that explore contemporary issues in art, culture and civic society, and advance intercultural dialogue by embracing concepts such as community memory, popular culture, ceremony, family and social activism. It is in this spirit that Galería invited Maricón Collective to create the Por Vida Digital Mural.
The defacement and arson of the Por Vida Digital Mural are tactics of aversion towards Chican@/Latin@ LBGTQ visibility. However, these actions have also created channels of communication between sectors of our communities that need to be heard and discussed in an open platform. Thus, we have decided to host a community forum/conversation on Saturday, July 25th, 2015, at the City College San Francisco Mission Campus.
The forum will consist of two panels that begin at 10am, followed by ample time for a community conversation mediated using a restorative justice approach by a third party. The panels will address the historical and contemporary role of Galería in the Chican@/Latin@ arts movement; gender identity and sexuality in the Chican@/Latin@ communities; and the trauma and health issues that have been raised in part by the mural. We have reached out to community elders, artists, and activists who work around these issues to speak on these panels and facilitate what we hope will be a meaningful and substantive community conversation. We will continue to outreach to both supporters and opponents of the mural with the goal to have as many perspectives on the issue.
In the coming days we will provide a program with the speaker bios and outline for the day. Visit our Facebook page to invite people to this important discussion.