By Hannah Asuncion
The Consistent Resistance was an art protest show that revolves around the advocacy for Black Liberation through intercultural solidarity that took place on October 23 at Fillmore St. Cafe. There were speakers who talked about a variety of important issues such as housing, health, abolition, justice, and even defunding the police.
Eira Kien, one of the event coordinators for the art protest show, said she came up with the idea right after the various protests for George Floyd happened. She was looking for ways to address anti-racism through the Community College system.
Kien went over to City Hall and heard Syd Seragosa, the Vice President of the Glendale Community College Black Student Union speak. They had conversations revolving around prioritizing Black students first.
With the help of Dean Preston, District 5 Supervisor, they wanted to focus on supporting and centering Black students and to also address different colors of society. Kien then reached out to CCSF Collective and CCSF Black Student Union.
They initially came up with the idea of representing intercultural activities. “How can it be done so it could engage a culture where people are continually rejuvenating, how can Black lives matter be incorporated in the education system, what are trustees doing for Black students and what are politicians doing for the Black community?”
Kien hopes that people were able to learn about these different circumstances that speakers organized during the event, hopefully gaining “familiarity between attendees as protestors and people involved in this movement, as they hear about it and look at art.”
Kien wants to reach out to the voting population because she wants people to know what they are jeopardizing overall in the Fillmore community. She wants to gain allies for the Black community so she wants to make sure everyone is engaging and joining these efforts especially since it’s still “a learning process for us too.”
Kien wanted to add that she doesn’t want Tom Temprano and Shanell Williams to be reelected especially since our trustees are the highest leaders at City College. The link https://linktr.ee/ccsfcuts shows a list of articles of Board of Trustees decisions.
A speaker from the Midtown Park Apartment Tenants started the SaveMidtown Instagram account to spread awareness of what’s been happening. Kien asked them to join the Consistent Resistance Art Protest Show, which was this opportunity to join others in solidarity.
The tenants from the Midtown Park Apartments believe that they “will benefit from putting ownership on the forefront and only speaking about ownership with options profitable for residents.” Their target audience is anyone with an open mind and heart.
“We, as Midtown Residents, have to gain awareness and support as we solidify our future at Midtown Park Apartments with equity ownership.”
Addie Kitchen, the grandmother of late Steven Taylor, spoke about justice for her grandson. Whenever she gets invited to speak about the murder of her grandson, she always wants people to understand that it’s important to know the grief and pain that families go through.
“POC are feeling the effect of what has happened to me.The color of our skin should not be a DEATH SENTENCE. Why should I have to represent justice ? As an American citizen I should be afforded justice,” Kitchen said.
“As an American citizen I should be afforded justice. I want justice for the murder of my grandson and I hope whatever I do along the way it would help all the families to get JUSTICE for their loved ones murdered by law enforcement. There’s no specific audience I’m reaching out to. This is for all POC and our young folk. We love you and want to see you survive the madness..”
Ricky Rat, one of the artists at the event made a realization during the start of the pandemic. So, Rat has decided to have fun and show San Francisco culture he grew up to love and try to preserve it.
“Art is meant to express yourself. Instead of just abusing my body with drugs and alcohol (which I still do) I wanted to direct some of that energy towards something that would make me feel less alone and hopefully in return make folks feel the same way. It’s a crazy world, and it’s important to remember we’re in this together.”
Afatasi, an Afro-Polynesian textile artist chooses textiles from both the African and Polynesia diasporas to create fine art tapestries which reflect her “unique San Francisco upbringing.” “My views are as unique as my identity, and through art, I have been able to express and explore what my identity means to me, and how that relates to the greater world around me.”
Afatasi wants to let students know that they have the right to express who they are. She notices how society is constantly changing and how before it was never like this, but now the youth are being affected by identity politics. She believes that people in this country who are biracial or multiracial deserve to have spaces that represent them.
Eseosa Edebiri, an interdisciplinary artist thinks about community and intergenerational trauma quite often because she believes that they go hand in hand with one another. “I find it important to note that everyone should have their basic needs met and respected, that act isn’t political, it is kindness and consideration, a basic human right.”
Edebiri’s goal is to start a conversation “that takes shape across demographics.” She loves having those conversations that revolve around wanting a more diverse and inclusive future, but at the same time she wants a conversation that includes people “who may not envision a different future,”.
Marria Evbuoma, a community member from City College believes that art is essential. “There’s so much that can be said in a few lines of poetry or pieces of jewelry that would take hundreds of hours to speak about. And who wants to listen to all that?”
Evbuoma also believes in the importance of radical change at every level. She mentions the idea of our Earth continuously suffering for a while now due to a racist, capitalist system and because of that people are the ones suffering as well.
“If we are to create a better future, we must let go of the systems that no longer serve creation…Those of us who know the way must show the way. Those of us who have the strength must carry the load,” Evbuoma said.
Amy Emerald, another artist from the event mentioned how art has been a life saving for her because it has allowed her to take ideas from her head and express them visually. Art allows her “to branch outside of being held captive to my own mind and to release emotions.”
“Healing ourselves and our communities is a very important aspect in this movement. Through the act of creation, we can explore different realms of healing as well as building new ideas,” Emerald said.
Aaron Bogan took this opportunity to showcase his art and to also be with the Black Community in solidarity. The event was very moving and it hit home for Bogan since he has family who were in the Black Panther Party.
“My art is visceral and horror based on account of watching an ample amount of horror films as a child. I took a different approach when painting a Black Panther piece for this show… Art ultimately is a statement and it can either exude rage, sorrow, passion, power, etc. The sentiment that I hope my painting gives is empowerment to whomever takes it home.”
Bogan wants students to know that his art is just as intense as his personality because it’s constantly screaming to evolve into something much better for every finish.