Decolonize This Place is an action-oriented movement centering around Indigenous struggle, Black liberation, free Palestine, global wage workers and de-gentrification. Facilitated by MTL+ Collective. #decolonizethisplace
We welcome this step by the museum leadership as an act of good faith, responsive to the staff, community groups, activists, organizers, artists, and thinkers who have demanded the removal of Kanders.
Now we address the day after Kanders and call on Adam Weinberg and the museum leadership to meet with stakeholders to discuss, from tear gas to decolonization, a process of reformulating our museums to be responsive to the constituencies they claim to serve.
We are planning a Town Hall Assembly that will address the crisis at the Whitney Museum originally sparked by the staff letter concerning Warren B. Kanders’ presence on the board of the museum. Your presence would be invaluable to our collective effort to hold the museum leadership accountable. Spontaneous participation is crucial to the assembly, but we also welcome anyone who wishes to speak at the event to reach out to us in advance as well. For those who cannot attend or fear speaking out we have created this comment card to be completed anonymously.
The Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Cultural Institutions is a comprehensive guide for institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, and universities to recognize and respect Indigenous homelands, inherent sovereignty, and survivance.
We declare this to be Indigenous Peoples Day, even though Mayor De Blasio refuses to do so.
We demand that the AMNH, which collects revenue from exhibiting indigenous cultures of the world, starts to pay back by publicly honoring the day, by acknowledging the Indigenous land it sits upon, by repatriating human remains and sacred objects, and by undertaking meaningful and radical steps to decolonize its exhibits and holdings.
We demand that the AMNH leadership publicly acknowledge the cultural violence perpetrated by the Roosevelt Monument on its steps, and its own memorial cult of Theodore Roosevelt, a champion of male chauvinism and white supremacy.
We demand that the AMNH president and board chair convene a public meeting to hear testimony from those who have experienced harm from their visits to the museum.
We call on our elected representatives in city government to suspend the annual $17 million subsidy to the AMNH until the museum has taken substantial steps to meet these above demands.
We call on these representatives to appoint a committee to oversee a decolonization process at all city museums that enjoy subsidies through taxpayer support.
We commit to join and actively participate in any efforts on the part of the Decolonize This Place coalition to pursue the above demands.
On Indigenous Peoples Day, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) organized an electronic direct action as Decolonize This Place and its many collaborators reclaimed and decolonized the American Museum of Natural History.
On October 8th, we will be returning to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for the third year in a row. Unlike the guided anti-Columbus tours of previous years, the next visit to the museum’s dusty cultural halls will be fully participatory and will culminate with a People’s Assembly. Why the change of plan?
We expect the museum to take extraordinary measures to address the public concern surrounding this specific hiring decision, and, in doing so, to resist falling back on the default criterion of Ivy-League expertise that by its very nature is biased towards white scholars, But we also believe that the current crisis calls for a more wide-ranging, structural response. We are thus calling for the Brooklyn Museum to participate in the creation of a Decolonization Commission of the kind that has recently been demanded of institutions, like the city’s own American Museum of Natural History, that are being publicly asked to account for their own role in the histories of colonialism and white supremacy. This would send a strong message to the people of Brooklyn, and to other art institutions around the country, about the museum’s will to redress ongoing legacies of oppression, especially when it comes to the status of African art and culture.
New York City Council,
To: Mayor de Blasio, New York City Council, and the Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History
Decolonize This Day
Many U.S. cities have chosen to do what is just and renamed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Why is New York not among them? There is no reason for holding out any longer. It’s time for the Mayor and City Council to stand on the right side of history. New York City sits on the territory of the Lenape, and over one hundred thousand Indigenous people live on this territory today-- more than any other city in the United States! Let’s honor the persistent presence of Indigenous Americans, despite attempts toward their elimination and reject the celebration of imperial conquest. This public holiday must be relaunched as an occasion to respect our Indigenous brothers and sisters and no longer commemorate a figure widely associated with exploitation and enslavement. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) officials have told us that they will neither advocate for nor enter the public conversation about renaming Columbus Day. Their position of non-advocacy functions as an action against Indigenous peoples. Now is the time to reconsider and rename.
Author of "10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Man" and "Love Above All Things," Falú wlll facilitate a free writing workshop and curate a pop-up gallery titled "Niggas Die Everyday" for the Insurgent Poets Society at Decolonize This Place Headquarters.
Please join us for a special workshop in bystander intervention and de-escalation, conducted by Rachel Sarah Blum Levy, LMSW, Decolonize This Place this coming Sunday, Dec 4, at noon.
Bystander intervention and de-escalation involve a series of tools that can be consciously employed to defuse volatile situations. In this interactive workshop, bystander intervention and de-escalation will be presented in the context of self-defense and harm reduction. Students will identify verbal and non-verbal techniques and tactics to de-escalate conflict. Students will also learn the four Ds of bystander intervention – direct, distract, delay, and delegate. All of these tactics will be presented in tandem with the importance of larger scale community organizing and alternatives to policing.
As we face the prospect of a Trump Administration and the need to resist and protect ourselves from a growing wave of race-based aggression and violence unleashed in the wake of the presidential election, how should black artists and activists move forward?
We are convening a round table of artists, activists, and cultural workers currently engaged in the cause of social justice and black liberation to discuss and strategise our options within the art world. In this open forum, we hope to address which artistic and institutional practices are currently working best, how should art and activism prepare to adapt in an ever more perilous racial climate, how can we ensure that our civil rights and artistic freedoms persevere?
Please join us on December 02 for #RPMLive : NYC—a benefit concert for #StandingRock—curated by Revolutions Per Minute! The concert will be held at Decolonize This Place following a #NoDAPL teach-in at The New School from 3-6pm. Admission is by donation. All proceeds will be donated to #RezpectOurWater and the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.
The show will feature performances by:
Venue: Decolonize This Place (55 Walker St)
Admission: By donation
Here is what would make capitalism and white supremacy mad: If we dressed in clothes that represented our ideas of resistance and had a free party in one of their most expensive neighborhoods. Think about it, a resistance themed celebration designed to build community during these times of state sanctioned violence and gentrification. A political action, framed as a party so that we can dance all over their exclusivity, We can play spade, chess, dominoes, and video games. You know Tribeca don't want us to show up with no black hoodies, camouflage, Kafias, and Rainbow triangles. They don't want us to be Milly-Rocking in their galleries in the middle of the day. They need to know that they they can’t depress us into silence.
WHAT: BKHP x Insurgent Poets Society: House Party Wakanda
WHEN: November 26th at 5pm-10pm
WHERE: 55 Walker Street #DecolonizeThisPlace Headquarters
WHY: BECAUSE WE MEK DI TING FLOOD OUT!!
November 20, 2016 will mark 2 years since our brother Akai Gurley was murdered by former NYPD officer Peter Liang, in the Pink Houses. November 20th will also mark 2 years that we having fighting for justice for Akai! And what has happened along this journey has been extraordinary!
The program will include speakers from police brutality family members, Akai's family and allied organizations.
Black Feminist Cuir/Queer Artivism in Cuba & Mexico
with Logbona Olukonee
Saturday, Nov 12, 1pm-3pm
55 Walker Street, New York, NY
Logbona Olukonee – unx afrocubanx queer feminista y educadorx-organizadorx de larga trayectoria, proveniente de la Habana y ahora radicada en San Cristobal, Chiapas – visitará NYC en un evento especial de Decolonize This Place para presentar sobre sus años de vibrante trabajo cultural. Este diálogo será en español con traducción al inglés.
Logbona Olukonee – a longtime AfroCuban queer feminist educator-organizer from Havana and now based in San Cristobal, Chiapas – will be in NYC at a special Decolonize This Place event to present on several years of vibrant cultural work. This dialogue will be in Spanish with English translation.
Robin D.G. Kelley
Friday, November 4, 7pm
“To fight for a truly democratic, non-racist, humane, sustainable, economically viable, safe and secure world for the people of Palestine/Israel is merely to demand what we have been struggling to achieve in this country for decades. As long as the lives of Salem Khaleel Shamaly and Eric Garner and countless others can be snuffed out by the state or vigilantes for merely being rendered a criminal threat, then none of us are really free.”
– Robin D.G. Kelley, “When the Smoke Clears in Gaza”
WHEN: November 3rd, at 7pm
WHAT: Rainbow Crossbow: Black Queer Voices For Liberation.
WHO: Roya Marsh Chauvet Bishop Simone Davis Timothy DuWhite
WHY: Because all of us aren't free if we aren't all free.
Grant writing specialist Courtenay Barton has over 10 years of professional experience. She has overseen the administration of more than 70 million dollars in endowed restricted funds. Some of her past and current funding projects include Brooklyn College, New Heights Academy, and NYC PBS affiliate Thirteen/WNET. On November 2nd, at 7pm she will conduct a free grant writing workshop for artists, activist, and educators.
Please join Artists Space and Decolonize This Place for the second in a series of discussions bringing together local residents, artists, activists and organizers for a candid dialogue on the role of artists within gentrification in New York City.
Shellyne Rodriguez, Take Back the Bronx
Alicia Grullon, Mothers On The Move
Pati Ankalli Rodriguez, Mi Casa No Es Su Casa
Anthony Rosado, Bushwick Artivist
Raquel Namuche, Queens is Not For Sale
Chino Mayday, NYC Is Not For Sale*
Sandra de la Loza, North East Alliance (LA)
Nancy Meza, Defend Boyle Heights (LA)
Samuel Stein, adjunct at CUNY Graduate Center
Michael Higgins, Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network
Picture The Homeless
Martha Rosler, artist
This week Colloquium for Popular Culture and MTL + present Flag Wars, a film that explores gentrification. In the decaying, historically black Olde Towne East area of Columbus, Ohio, residents perceive themselves as being forced out of their homes by affluent gay couples trying to create a neighborhood for themselves.
You are invited to come through 55 Walker St, NY, and have drinks and make banners around gentrification. Amazing folks come through! Have fun, socialize, make art and plug-in to the work taken place at #DecolonizeThisPlace and borough-wide.
Thursday, October 13th #BlackPoetsSpeakOut: Community Reading [NYC}
"I am a black poet and I refuse to remain silent while this nation continues to murder black people. I have a right to be angry."
7pm-10pm Hosted by #BlackPoetsSpeakOut
The event will begin with the history of Al-Awda-NY, its work and principles, analysis of Palestine in the expanding solidarity movement, upcoming project, plus a workshop on Surviving and Defeating Infiltration. This will be followed by an evening of Palestinian Music and Debka, which will begin at 7pm and will be led by preeminent Palestinian Vocalist & Musician, George Ziadeh.
In solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the Sacred Stone camp, Harlem-based country/Native Americana artist Kandia Crazy Horse presents a circle of leading New York City country and roots music acts in concert to benefit the Standing Rock and to counter the attack on tribal sovereignty. With Kandia Crazy Horse, Ebony Hillbillies, Alex Battles & The Whiskey Rebellion, Lonnie Harrington, Morgan O’Kane, Luis Sanakori Ramos and emcee Tina Eagle Woman Johnson.
Please join us on Sunday, September 18th for Casbah, a 50th anniversary screening of Battle of Algiers (1966) followed by food, drink and a conversation with writer Sohail Daulatzai on his new book Fifty Years of "The Battle of Algiers": Past as Prologue (University Of Minnesota Press, September 2016), organized by Razor Step and MTL+.