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Your Silence Will Not Protect You
March 8, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
An Afternoon with Staceyann Chin
Spoken word poet, acclaimed performing artist and political activist, Staceyann Chin is the author the autobiographical novel The Other Side of Paradise, and has also published in The New York Times and Washington Post.
In The Other Side of Paradise, Chin recounts being an outspoken child – always questioning things around her. She continued to be outspoken during her college years while coming to terms with her sexuality and identity. But it wasn’t until she was sexually assaulted on campus when her voice was muted and silenced. In the book, she describes her attack as a form of punishment for openly being a lesbian and not conforming to a sexual identity placed by her peers. She talks about the anger after her silence and how it inspired her to write and voice issues around sexual assault through an artistic lens.
Chin will deliver a poetry reading and performance entitled “Your Silence Will Not Protect You”. Much like Audre Lorde urges in her iconic 1977 speech to the Modern Language Association, Chin has taken on the work of transforming silence into language and action. Poetry, writing, and performance are the vehicles that Chin uses to interrupt silence and speak loudly against a patriarchy that silences those who have experienced racial and gendered violence.