Performing Political Education: Fighting Formations

A Residency by Music Research Strategies

Performing Political Education: Fighting Formations

April 6th - 28th, 2019

Curated by José Navarrete, Southern Exposure Curatorial Council Member

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Featuring: Mutual Aid Project (Music Research Strategies/Marshall Trammell, Tracy Hui, Nick Obando)
With Guest Artists, Musicians and Speakers: Sharmi Basu, Jemma DeCristo, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Arnoldo Garcia, Tanya Hollis, Umesh Mallery, Brenda Rojas, Roger White, Jocelyn Wong

Southern Exposure presents Performing Political Education: Fighting Formations, a project and residency by Music Research Strategies (MRS). Curated by SoEx Curatorial Council Member José Navarrete, the project will consist of four events featuring performances by Mutual Aid Project – Marshall Trammell/MRS (percussion), Tracy Hui (banjo and electronics), Nick Obando (alto saxophone and electronics) – with special guests and performers to explore collaboration, improvisation and making music together as a methodology for transforming our ways of being together and creating an emergent community-accountability framework. 

During the four week residency, MRS will work with these guest musicians, social justice activists, archivists and cultural theorists to enact a live community archive making. The project is inspired by the work of prison abolitionist organization Critical Resistance and their working framework of a “Harm Free Zone,” the historical process of building community autonomy and self-determination in the struggle to abolish the prison industrial complex in an effort to transform our ways of treating each other.

Throughout the month of April, Southern Exposure will present four musical events with a participatory discussion. The project will open April 6 with Indexical Moment/um, the launch of a visual archive of codes, symbols, and images that signify safety and community welcoming, in the tradition of quilts from the Underground Railroad. The opening reception will include performances by poet Tongo Eisen-Martin, with music by Marshall Trammell, electronic musician Sharmi Basu, accordionist Umesh Mallery and turntablist Jemma DeCristo. 

On April 12, Mutual Aid Project will perform the music suite What Does A Harm Free Zone Sound Like? Part I, which will explore the Four Pillars of Critical Resistance’s Harm Free Zone Framework (Prevention, Intervention, Transformation, Reparation). The suite consists of individual solos, parallel solos, collective improvisation and a recitation, and will be followed by a conversation with archivist Tanya Hollis.

On April 20, Mutual Aid Project will be joined by solidarity economists, restorative justice and labor activists, and the general public to listen, translate and broaden practical applications of What Does A Harm Free Zone Sound Like? Part II in everyday practices. 

On April 28, to conclude the residency, Trammell will launch the Indexical Moment/um visual archive and the Heavy Discipline podcast series addressing i/Improvisation in everyday life. Trammell will perform with Arnoldo Garcia.