Touch / Don’t Touch: Dis/Course with Gabrielle Civil

How do we navigate the imperatives of touch? The edges of bodies? The possibilities within constraints? In our virtual encounter, we will touch ourselves, texts, and perhaps even each other with consent and care. Here, touch will encompass the tactile, the energetic, and the ancestral as sites of exploration. Recognizing the weightiness of touch (+ the impact of recent touch starvation), we will prioritize pleasure and positive touch: touch as a means for creativity, self-knowledge, and re/generation. Wear clothes that you might want to stroke, bring sweets for your mouth, surround yourself with objects to handle or hold in your gaze with awe. (What if awe radiates as a kind of touch?) Inspirations for our time together include the work of mayfield brooks, Malcolm-x Betts, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, D.D. Dourvillier, Pope.L, Nick Cave, Lorna Simpson, Sonia Renee Taylor, Petra Kuppers, Toni Morrison, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. With their help, we will be in touch soon.

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer, originally from Detroit, MI. Her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish (2017), Experiments in Joy (2019), (ghost gestures) (2021), the déjà vu (2022), and In & Out of Place (2022). Her writing has also appeared in Black in the MiddleTeaching BlackMigrating PedagogiesNew Daughters of AfricaKitchen Table Translation, and Experiments in Joy: a Workbook. A 2019 Rema Hort Mann Los Angeles Emerging Artist, she teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

This event will take place virtually over Zoom. Registration through The Poetry Project's Eventbrite is required. Zoom links will be shared upon registration to the event. In an effort to build and hold collective community, we ask that Zoom links not be shared.

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