Looking back …
In late April, we sat down at at a cafe to record our reflections on the year’s programming, and the capstone project as a whole. Transcripts of the audio files will soon be available in the Project Archive.
Reflections on the April Archival Workshop
Faith Institutions and Mutual Aid hosted by the Hennepin History Museum || April 24, 2021
Faith-based institutions such as mosques, synagogues, and churches played a huge role as both sites and center points of mutual aid organizing this year. What does the slogan “solidarity not charity” mean for the folks organizing mutual aid in these spaces? We invited our peers at the University of Minnesota, Heritage Studies and Public History graduate students Amber Delgado, Mohamud Mohamed, and Treasure Tinsley, to lead a public workshop to explore histories of activism and community care in faith-based institutions. The virtual workshop took place in late April, 2021, hosted by the Hennepin History Museum with much event planning, marketing, and technical support from Sophie Hunt.
Reflection on the Soul Food Monologues: Project Expansion & Decision Making
The Soul Food Monologues Workshop and Performance || Workshops April 9-11, Performance May 19, 2021
Where does our food come from? Who prepares our food and brings it to us? How do our personal experiences with food shape our identities, our relationships, and our political praxis? Food is one of the most basic and essential survival needs. In the past year, we also saw food used as a tool for sustaining marches, rallies, and community meetings. The Soul Food Monologues invited six food justice activists and graduate students in the Twin Cities to write creative monologues engaging their experiences with food and mutual aid, and to perform their monologues for a live audience. Produced by food justice activist LaDonna Redmond, this cohort and performance of The Soul Food Monologues was co-organized by History for the Future and Climates of Inequality, a project of the Humanities Action Lab.
This performance of The Soul Food Monologues is scheduled to take place outdoors, in-person at the exhibition space on May 19th, 2021.
Reflections on the Community Panel Parts 1 and 2: Sustainability, Burnout, Funding, and Partnership Building
Solidarity NOT Charity Community Panel || February 14, 2021
We asked local mutual aid workers within the Twin Cities networks including Twin Cities Relief and Community Aid Network MN, to talk about their experiences, challenges, and goals for long-term movement building. We learned that the need for mutual aid groups and networks are capable of bringing millions of new people into work that deepens their understanding of the root causes of the crises and inequalities they are fired up about and that builds their capacity for bold collective action. The criminalization of mutual aid work has been ongoing throughout social movement history precisely because mutual aid directly confronts unjust systems and offers alternatives.
Reflections on the Youth Photography Workshop: Creativity and Partnerships During COVID
Youth Photography Workshop || December 4, 2020
How do young people see mutual aid in action? What does community care mean for the youth in our communities? We partnered with photographer and media strategist Clarke Sanders for a virtual photography and caption writing workshop for youth ages 18-24. Participants learned composition tips and narrative storytelling through a photographic medium. Afterwards, we asked them to go out into their everyday lives and document how they witness care in their lives.
Thank you Reilly, Ianna, and Kaylee for sharing your stories and photographs!
Reflections on the October Archival Exploration: What’s (Not) in the Archives
Archival Exploration || October 24, 2020
What are the stories of housing, food, and political organizing that tell how people in the Twin Cities have survived together? Our first public program was an archival exploration workshop partnered with the Hennepin History Museum. Prior to the workshop, we visited local archives to research local histories of mutual aid and prepared photographs, organization records, and personal stories for the interactive workshop. These archives of community care initiated conversations about the meaning of mutual aid, the difference between mutual aid and charity, and personal engagements with mutual aid organizing.
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