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About the event

Watch a recording of this event below:


Throughout the history of "New York" there have been alternative visions for peace and sustainability put forward by people suffering from displacement. Those visions include radically different methods for the management of land, structure of government, and other fundamental transformations that seek to create harmony among people and nature. Join us for a discussion among practitioners Kazembe Balagun, Ashley Dawson, Dio Ganhdih, and Aurash Khawarzad working at the intersection of art, politics, and the development of such alternative narratives for the future of the city.

Click here to read a re-cap of the event by Rights Here!

Aurash Khawarzad is an artist, educator, and urban planner working out of New York City. Recently he developed The Upper Manhatta(n) Project, a multi-disciplinary strategy that prepares NYC for climate change. His work combines art, design, and scientific practice to create community-based plans. You can see more of his work here.

Kazembe Balagun was born in Harlem, NY, and received his B.A. in Philosophy from Hunter College. From 2007 to 2013, he was the Education/Outreach Coordinator at the Brecht Forum. He now works as a Project Manager at the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. He brings a rare depth of knowledge on social movements and an ability to visualize the spiritual connections within our work. Read Kazembe's writing on Frantz Fanon here.

Dio Ganhdih is an indigenous lyricist going by the name @D.I.O (Do it Ourselves). Dio is Mohawk from Akwesasne, or in today's colonized terms, New York. Their music is revolutionary hip hop that infuses the sounds and culture of their indigenous roots. In recent years Dio has toured the US performing their music and works as an activist protecting our environment environment and creating political change. Listen to their music here.

Ashley Dawson is Professor of English at the Graduate Center, CUNY and the College of Staten Island, and leader of the Climate Action Lab, and the Art, Activism, and the Environment research group from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of two recent books on topics relating to the environmental humanities: Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso Books, 2017), and Extinction: A Radical History (O/R Press, 2016). Dawson is currently working on a book entitled The Energy Commons: How to Fight Fossil Capitalism and Reclaim Public Power.

Co-sponsored by Climate Action Lab, and the Art, Activism, and the Environment research group as part of the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

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