As racialized, Indigenous, and mixed-race folk, we very often come into the world with a story of what we are not: white, whole, beautiful, enough. This story is the soul of colonization: it drains us of the will to struggle, of the confidence to name ourselves and our ancestors, the vision to see each other and act in solidarity. The colonizer’s story is thus an anti-story, an unstory; it erases and diminishes our bodies and rips away our languages. The colonizer’s story surrounds and suffocates us, blocking out life and light. But the most powerful stories are born in the dark. The potential of stories as both revolutionary and therapeutic will be explored, as will the possibilities and limitations of writing/storytelling in indigenous versus colonial languages. Participants will experiment with the use of story tools, including meditation, visualization, play, story-listening, and group creation. Poets, writers, rappers, spoken word artists, slam poets, storytellers of all kinds and at all stages welcome!
This workshop will be facilitated by Kai Cheng Thom. Kai Cheng Thom aka Lady Sin Trayda is a fiery writer, performer, spoken word artist and drag-dance sensation. She has featured at such venues as the Vancouver Poetry Slam, the Throw Poetry Collective, Montreal’s Radical Queer Semaine, and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, competing as a finalist at the Verses International Poetry Festival 2012. She has also completed the Spoken Word Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the ARISE Residency at Eventual Ashes Theatre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Kai Cheng has been widely published as an essayist and poet. She is currently a Feature Writer at Everyday Feminism. Her work also appears in xoJane, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Youngist. She was a a featured columnist on race, sexuality, and gender at The McGill Daily for two years running. Her poetry has appeared in, Matrix Magazine, ditch, OutWrite: A Queer Review, and What If? Magazine, as well as the anthology Where the Nights are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets. She also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work from McGill University, and is the co-founder of Monster Academy Montreal, a radical mental health initiative for youth.
This workshop is co-hosted by Lambda and is part of the Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice’s Spring Symposium: Racial Justice & the Arts. Light snacks will be provided.