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Destroy this World with Desire: A Black Femme World-Wielding Salon

Black Femme Brunch
Washington, DC

Saturday, Nov 6, 2021
1:15pm EDT/10:15am PDT

Working Group: 90 min

Open Call Session
Organized by Black Femme Brunch
Presenters: Tuere Khanyisa, Janae Williams

“For to survive in the mouth of this dragon we call America, we have had to learn this first and most vital lessonthat we were never meant to survive. Not as human beings. And neither were most of you here today, Black or not.” —Audre Lorde

In this Working Group, Black Femme Brunch organizers will guide participants in leaving behind the present and pursue the possibility of a future world: a world in which Black, fat, dark-skinned, poor, disabled, neurodivergent, queer and trans femmes and women (henceforth: The Center) do not exist in the clutches of the dragon, but instead glide through life free of its menace. All participants will then collaboratively facilitate a dreaming salon that imagines sustainable futures for The Center.

From the session organizers:

We will craft a world in which the needs and desires of The Center are the standard of care, access, and community. To guide our visioning, we will discuss how power and access to humanity is withheld from The Center and then framed as individual moralistic failing. This is done in order to maintain the illusion that we deserve less. When we stand in the resonance that there is no need to repress The Center, we can imagine all that we do desire.

Working together in small, self-selected break-out affinity groups, we will actively vision a future that sustains the needs and desires of The Center. Our dreaming will garner a safe place for kikis, connection, care, learning, family, gender expression, sexual expansion, sustainable living, and interdependence.

Fatphobia, ableism, patriarchy, transmisogynoir, and whiteness require the fuel of anti-blackness to sustain trauma, pain, and the disintegration of our wholeness. Our goal is to manifest a world that opens us to our fullness. May our brave dreams generate enclaves of care, safety, pleasure, play, rest, and ease that will allow us to pierce the dragon.

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Tuere Khanyisa is an afrofuturist writer, editor, visual artist and curator of black trans and queer spaces. She is a Dominant genderqueer Black femme who is also fat, kinky, poly and playfully describes herself as “gender suspicious.” Her messianic imperative is to invigorate and unite the black queer and trans community with the radical notion that pursuing pleasure is affirming, powerful, and a long denied and reclaimed right of black people’s humanity. She works to demystify understandings of kink, leather, and sex positivity by offering people safe containers to explore and encounter them without judgement. Zaddi loves writing black speculative fiction and imagining new worlds where black people in the future not only survive, but thrive. Zaddi is the creator and co-organizer of Black Femme Brunch, Road Captain of the Mid-Atlantic Onyx Pearls, an intern of the Carter Johnson Leather Library, and the POC Liaison of IMsL/BB.

Janae Williams is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice takes many cues from the black baptist church pews she was raised in. As a 2019-2020 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow, JANAE composed “hand-i-work”, a collection of hymns and spirituals recovered from her childhood memories re-envisioned. Currently, she is constructing a world, futureniggaheaven, protected by over 330 peculiar beings called ALLUS (a portmanteau of “all of us”). Angels, ALLUS appear in startling, absurd and peculiar forms akin to their human-animal-object hybrid namesakes of the Bible. The angels and the world they protect serve as a meditation on the expansive possibilities for black liberation.