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Art By:

KUWABARA @imkuwabara X EXOSHAKEEM @exoshakeem

EXOSHAKEEM, an 18 year old creator and member of the vast Boston Hip-Hop scene, has always been drawn to creating from within. As we talked of the importance of balance between influence and individuality, he shared that since a young boy he always sought influence from community centered artists, that fearlessly broke musical and social boundaries in the industry. While focusing on the meaning of balance in his own work, EXOSHAKEEM reflected on how by being a leader, everyone can create a more balanced environment; “real communities require everyone to be a leader, this understanding means self growth leads to community growth”. But stigmas within the art community in Boston had caused EXOs own individuality to struggle when it came to facing the struggle every artist must go through; the outside pressure to sell an image rather than being themselves. Luckily with age, his desire to connect with those around him only grew as he continued making uplifting, experimental, music with other Boston creatives. This mindset has allowed him to belong to something bigger and more impactful than himself; a community. In the past two years of self discovery, EXOSHAKEEM has been building his pride and joy, Memorial Drive, his album coming out 4/02/21 on all platforms. To get to know EXOSHAKEEM, go listen to Memorial Drive as he takes you through the ride of his life. —Rosie Fawzi

photo by Nate Lamkin

Underground Flex: EXOSHAKEEM

BCICF 2021

As our biggest comic event focused on stories by and about people of color, the Boston Comics in Color Festival’s absence was sharply felt amongst the 2020 cancellations. The BCICF team kept busy, however, attending and studying the last year of online events. The resulting 2021 festival shares the virtues of virtual content with an expanded audience, while never forgetting the community that made it. Headliners John Christian Gill and Ben Passmore, fresh off their respective 2020 hits Fights and Sports Is Hell, commence two days of online panels and workshops covering animation, works by women creators, piece by Taraneh Azar crowdfunding, and live drawing with a slate of local greats—LJ Baptiste, Tak Toyoshima, Calyn Pickens Rich—and hard-to-get talent—Black Kirby, Tuskegee Heirs, and more. But a festival is Attempts to intimidate, silence Boston freedom fighter and anti-racist activist prove unsuccessful more than talented guests sharing expertise. Co-founder Cagen Amid pending charges following an altercation initiated Luse reflects, “I have participated in several virtual comics by a Trump supporter on Dec. 12 in Swampscott, attempts festivals and they were amazing but it felt like something was by law enforcement and right-wing agitators to silence missing without the in-person component.” Luse and the local activist and Freedom Fighters Coalition co-founder BCICF find their missing component in an open-air, COVIDErnst “Shimmy” Jean-Jacques have been unsuccessful. conscious art market beneath the shade of the solar cells at Jean-Jacques, 32, was participating in a counter-protest Roxbury Community College. Masked and distanced attendees at a pro-Trump MAGA rally late last year when 80-year- will interact with the local panel guests with cosplaying and old Linda Greenberg doused him with a water bottle in photography highly encouraged. “Roxbury Community College an incident captured on video.* Greenberg and other was always the place we wanted…it is right in the community, Trump supporters had been dancing to music when easily accessible to public transportation and has a rich history Jean-Jacques had gone to join them, dancing along of activism in the creation of this urban campus.” The Boston on the other side of a metal barricade. “I just realized Comics in Color Festival runs virtual panels from April 22nd to this lady just threw water in my face, in the middle of a 23rd and the Art Market on April 24th. Visit comicsincolor.org pandemic,” explained Jean-Jacques. “I simply swatted and follow @comicsncolor for details. the water bottle out of her hand, so she could not follow up again and throw more water in my face. It could have been acid. It could have been anything for all I know.” —Adrian Alvarez

Justice for Shimmy

In that moment, Greenberg, along with surrounding Trump supporters, began exclaiming that Jean-Jacques punched her. Video evidence indicates otherwise. JeanJacques, the only Black man present at the demonstration, was arrested within minutes based on the words of the white pro-Trump protesters. Immediately following the incident, Swampscott police captain Joseph Kable was recorded on video by Boston activist Hibah Nour stating to Jean-Jacques: “What I heard was that you hit a woman,” quickly adding that “other officers saw it” when called out for speculation. Someone who was later identified to me as eyewitness Mary Farrell can be heard in the same video urging repeatedly, “[Jean-Jacques] didn’t touch [Greenberg].” continued on page 2…



4/22-23 Virtual 4/24 Outdoor Marketplace @ Roxbury Community College LAYOUT DESIGN:

Phoebe Delmonte: p.1,4,& 5 Hannah Blauner: p.2 & 3 Adrian Alvarez: p.6 & 8 Julia Baroni: p.7


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1..... “Shimmy was the victim of a crime, rather than the perpetrator of a crime,” explained Murat Erkan, Jean-Jacques’ lawyer. “It seems that police and the prosecution are still unwilling to abandon the narrative… of the Black man as aggressor and the white woman as the victim. This is a false narrative. We have video evidence which shows that this is a false narrative.” Systemic racism is intrinsically woven into the fabric of American life and the criminal system is the spearhead. Jean-Jacques was determined guilty until proven innocent from the start. In a police report, Swampscott officer Brendan Reen noted that he made the arrest based on Trump supporter Diana Ploss’ livestream footage that he was watching back at the precinct, citing having seen Jean-Jacques “punching Greenberg with his right fist.” Nowhere does the livestream footage reveal a fist, however, and other footage reveals Jean-Jacques’ open hand at a distance from Greenberg’s person. This footage, along with the word of other Trump supporters, appears to be Swampscott Police Department’s point of reference for Jean-Jacques’ arrest based on the police report and video footage of the arrest taken by witnesses. Swampscott Police Department denied our request for comment. The people of Swampscott have spoken out against the prosecution and called for an internal police investigation, the results of which have been withheld from the public. Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan stated in a press release: “After watching several videos related to the arrest of Mr. Jacques, I am concerned there may have been opportunities to handle this incident more constructively.” Despite this, Jean-Jacques is still facing assault and battery charges as Prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Danielle DohertyWirwicz signaled her intent to move forward with the case following a pretrial conference in Lynn District Court on Feb. 24. At the first hearing on Dec. 14, DohertyWirwicz attempted to frame Jean-Jacques as a danger to society and requested that he be held until the next hearing — motions which the judge denied. Jean-Jacques has lost his job and health insurance as a result of the charges. The next hearing will be on March 29. Greenberg remained at the rally and in another video taken later that day by counterprotester Hannah Connolly, Greenberg admits to a Swampscott police officer: “He


was gyrating in front of me and I was getting mad and I did get water on him, I don’t want to lie.” The officer stops taking Greenberg’s statement after she incriminates herself on camera. Greenberg turns to Connolly and says, “Oh, why don’t you fuck off… You’re not America.” “I think it’s a way to scare us. It’s a scare tactic. Attack him, try to silence him to teach the rest a lesson,” explained Nour. “This is an attack on the movement itself, the movement being against police brutality, the BLM movement, being outspoken against immigration laws, against racism in general. Islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia, any sort of xenophobic behavior.’” Greenberg, reached by phone, denied our request for comment. Her lawyer, Richard Chambers Jr., could not be reached for comment after multiple attempts to contact him by phone. “I honestly think that they’re just trying to drag this out as long as they can, until they mentally and financially break me. But that’s not gonna happen. I’ve got too many people that genuinely support me,” explained JeanJacques. Jean-Jacques has received death threats and countless racist remarks online from neoNazis and alt-right Ploss-adjacents. Many social media users have threatened to attack, assault, and brutally harm him, including details which deserve no further mention. He described the remarks as being “on some Emmett Till stuff.” Economic hardship, threats to personal safety, and repeated attempts to intimidate and silence Jean-Jacques have not stopped him from organizing actions and mutual aid events for his community. “What I can do is I can use my time and my energy and resources that I have available to me, and I can give back,” explained JeanJacques. “We’re gonna keep doing this mutual aid thing… because we’re literally all we got.” The Freedom Fighters Coalition can be found every Friday at 6 p.m. on Atkinson Street in the South End serving food and distributing supplies to community members. “Swampscott, Halifax, Arlington, some of these towns are far from Boston. Some of them are right next door, but there’s hatred, and bigotry, and nastiness in all of these towns. We can no longer sit back,’” explained Jean-Jacques. “If I’ve got to be the beacon, if I’ve got to be the martyr,” he added, “I’ll take the responsibility because it has to happen.”

---------------------------- TARANEH AZAR



Hi BCN readers! I have exciting news. We’re hosting a print sale at the Dorchester Art Project’s new store to honor the featured artists of our 2020 issues. The sale is also accessible on the DAP site. Typically after the year ends, BCN puts on an art exhibition and party to celebrate all of the featured artists and contributors of the year. At the end of 2019, we had a great show at the Boston Neighborhood News Network. Due to COVID, we weren’t able to do something like that this year, and the print sale is our exciting alternative. The sale includes gorgeous Risograph prints by six of the featured artists of 2020: Rosie Fawzi (#121), Lilly Dickinson (#122), Indë (#125), Marianne Radnitzky (#126), Naijah Nine (#127), and Spion/Jose Varon (#129). Each featured artist will have multiple brightly colored, high-quality prints for sale! These artists have continued to make fantastic art for their community in the midst of a global pandemic, which is no easy feat. Help us support these amazing artists and BCN, and celebrate a year of art!

-------------------------------- JULIA BARONI


How have your interactions with the public shifted over the past year? I would say, overall, it’s a lot more…tense, I think, is really the word. It’s not like we feel that we’re in a constant battle with the customers (although it does feel that way, sometimes), it’s just like, we’re all tired. We’re all tired & frustrated. Scared, scared of getting sick. Thankfully, at our store, very few people have gotten sick, but there is always a risk. And with the more transmissible variants going around, and with essential workers in Massachusetts being pushed further and further back in the [vaccine] groups… ...I remember, especially early on, people would just come in and walk around for hours, because they had nothing else to do. And it’s like, we don’t want you near us constantly. This isn’t a playground for you to come to just browse because you’re bored. This is our workplace, where we have to be... People are coming to the store and they want to socialize, [but] we’re tired...[It] sucks and we feel bad about it sometimes, but this is just a job for us, and I think that with Trader Joe’s especially, people really forget that. It may seem like we’re having fun, but it is our job. How do/did you feel about being called a hero?

I guess at first it was, you know, nice to be recognized. This can be a hard job in general, and there is some skill involved in it… But, it did very quickly become very performative, and it didn’t feel genuine a lot of the time. Sometimes people truly were genuine about it, especially some of the regulars that you see often and recognize you. But, for me, it always felt very performative. It felt like a way for people to assuage their feelings of guilt. And it went away pretty quickly. I’m sure you have seen those signs that say “heroes work here” -- there was one between two stores and it just sort of got dirty over time. It fell over a few times, eventually people stopped fixing it, and one day it just disappeared. It felt very emblematic of how we were being treated, you know? Can I say one more thing? I feel like I said a lot of negative things, but I do want to give a shout out to my coworkers and the people at my level that have been working through this whole thing… camaraderie has been a really good thing that’s come out of this. That happens in groups of people going through a traumatic situation--they’ve made something that could have felt totally impossible, bearable.

------------------------- DANA FERRANTE



Things are warming up, and after what was inarguably the worst winter in our generation’s collective experience (and I’m not talking about the weather), we all need some time outside. If a walk is what you need, I invite you to visit some of the pieces in our second installment of Murals For All: a collection of Boston street art created by and for locals- or anyone who appreciates the work of skilled painters. Universally Rooted, Sobek (Instagram: @ supersobeksix) Heavily inspired by graffiti artists in his youth, Sobek has been painting in Boston for many years. His most recent work can be found on a series of concrete barriers in a lot across from the Grove Hall library. Sobek worked alongside the Boston Arts commission’s Sunflower project, a movement spearheaded by local artist Ekua Holmes to bring life to underutilized lots in Roxbury through gardening and art projects. Unfortunately, permits are slow to move due to the pandemic, so he decided to call Ekua and say, “I’m gonna paint in that lot and see what happens”. What happened was this: the production of a vibrant piece stretching about 15 feet featuring a sharp cascade of color woven into the dreadlocks of a bust in profile. Sobek plans to host an event in the area in early spring to bring as many muralists as possible to the area for collaborative project. Rules of Engagement by Ricardo “Deme5” Gomez (website: deme5.com, Instagram: @deme_phive) Following the George Floyd uprising, Gomez was inspired to make a large-scale piece with a message quite literally too large to fit on a wall, and so, he used the street as a canvass. It’s reminiscent of the “Black Lives Matter” lettering painted on prominent streets in cities across America during the summer of 2020. The reason for the resemblence? Ricardo was going to make one as well, but locals Kai Grant and several volunteers beat him to the punch with a street mural on Washington and Palmer. Instead, he decided to adorne Bartlett

Station Drive (just a stone’s throw away from the Roxbury police precinct) with the words “Love, Respect, Compassion”- what the artist deems to be essential “rules of engagement” for people interacting with each other in a healthy society. This phrase usually refers to standards (presumably) used by the military and police when engaging hostile threats. It’s nice to see it applied to a message of mutual respect and decency without the context of violence.


Rising is the sun amongst the existence of human life, in the abundance of light that pours -- unfolds a new beginning. A new beginning unfolds through the stages of the sunrise for humanity to awaken and to move their minds towards a greater purpose. If it is a greater purpose that the mind gravitates towards naturally then the source of energy comes from the horizon of light, it comes from the rising of the sun as it illuminates the ghetto, as it illuminates the streets and houses of every borough throughout every state and country that stands. Within this matter of illumination, there is an understanding that the kind of light the sun provides is also accompanied by temperature -- and by temperature there is a sense of warmth that goes against the layers of cold lingering from the darkness, lingering from the phase of the moon light. I’ve begun to understand this as a source of energy, a matter of energy being provided from the sun as it spreads throughout the world.

Lady Blue, Sobek (Instagram: @ supersobeksix) A melancholy piece (also by Sobek) found on the corner of Cobden and Washington street memorializes Lady Blue- a Beta fish under the care of Sobek’s son who tragically passed (no cause of death determinedit’s often hard to say with a fish). The fish, adorned with a halo in the painting, was given a small service by Sobek and his son, who is portrayed via a figure on the opposite side of the piece.

The Sun is a ball of energy, radiating the solar system with light - warmth and energy. The Sun is the origin of life, it is what holds the solar system together keeping everything in place within its axis. While the sun is the heaviest planet amongst the rest, it is bound to have a bigger gravitational pull than the lighter planets which makes it the origin, the focus point, the muscle that keeps the rotation of the solar system together. Underneath the Sun, memories project themselves into blank spaces that once was a house from the views within a bus ride. Imagining these memories vividly to feel something, the process of understanding the dialogue and emotions within these memories give me a sense of growth - experience, hope. Underneath the Sun unfolds the reality of whom we are, where we are. 18 degrees underneath the Sun, all you can think of is why is there not any warmth to protect me from this cold? Then when you look around you see the faces deep within coverage wondering if they too are thinking the same as you. Black faces in black places, when the Sun is bright and close to your roof - tie the knots of the shoes of your brain a little tighter for the ground it be flat and everlasting. The exercise is needed indeed because the ghetto is full of wisdom, the ghetto when the Sun shines throughout the four seasons will tell you everything about who it is you are. All you have to do is relax. In the many phases of the Sun, the variation of temperatures determine our emotional patterns and how we consume a thought process. What is around us at the moment is the bit of information that could be useful to recognize one’s own purpose, one’s own image and place of existence. Perhaps filling into the stereotypes projected by white superiors and black sellouts. The beauty of the Sun’s purpose will last a lifetime, we exist underneath it for 12 hours.

-------------------------- QADIR SHABAZZ



Hey there, beautiful people. This is Amelia and you’re reading Waste Is Woeful, a column where I talk about, haha you guessed it, waste! Today I’d like to discuss something very near and dear to all of our hearts: plastics. Readers, I’d like you to take a look at your heart, right now. What do you see? My heart is covered in cloth. Like many of you, I am wearing a shirt, and like some I am also wearing a bra. Both of these garments are made of fabric. But what IS fabric? At the Boston Compass we like to get our info from the source. At the back of my shirt there is a tag that says, “95% COTTON, 5% SPANDEX.” The one in my bra reads, “82% NYLON, 18% SPANDEX.” What are those? Like many Americans, I turn to the internet in times of uncertainty. Apparently, spandex is a polymer fiber designed by chemical engineers and present in 80% of US clothing as of 2010. Nylon is another chemically engineered plastic. It is derived from coal and petroleum, its creation releases an extremely potent greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, and 80-100% of all nylon ever made winds up in landfills. Both of these materials are nonbiodegradable and shed “microplastics,” miniscule plastic particles that ferry pathogens and toxins throughout the food web. They’ve been found on all 7 continents and in most of the world’s beer. Yikes! I need to sit down. My favorite rocking chair has a “natural” look, but the headrest is 100% polyurethane foam, which is also derived from fossil fuels and contributes to the microplastics crisis. It’s highly flammable and extremely hazardous when burned, so it’s been further treated with toxic flame retardants. The finish on my chair’s wooden armrests is a polyurethane synthetic varnish. Its production releases powerful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are toxic to the humans who make, use, and dispose of it.

Down the hall to get some milk for my queasy stomach. The coating on the milk carton is polyethylene, a non-biodegrading, petroleum-derived plastic that releases potent greenhouse gases when exposed to ambient solar radiation. The kitchen’s “latex” wall paint is actually acrylic, a non-biodgegradable, nonrecyclable, and fossil fuel derived plastic that generates microplastics. [whispers] It’s everywhere... Looking around the apartment, I’m pissed. I’m extra pissed because fossil fuel companies and plastic producers want this problem to continue. NPR and PBS Frontline recently exposed that plastic recycling is not viable, and that plastic companies have lied about this for decades to increase sales. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/ plastic-wars/ What can a person do? “Consumer solutions’’ start to smell pretty funky when you realize polluters are pro-puchasing. Buying less might be a place to start. I’ve joined online groups like Everything Free, Buy Nothing, and Zero Waste Beginners Boston where neighbors share items, ideas and labor for free. Bigger picture, though, I think we need to take down the whole system. Here are some organizations that target the capitalist, big corporate roots of plastic waste: Stop the Money Pipeline: https://stopthemoneypipeline.com/ Alternatives for Community and Environment: https://ace-ej.org/ Extinction Rebellion: https://xrmass.org/ Chelsea Green Roots: http://www.greenrootschelsea.org/

---------------------------- AMELIA YOUNG


In March I celebrated my second birthday as a covid shut-in. The previous year we were just a few days into hunkering down, and my partner returned from what would be his last trip outside in weeks with a melodica from Allston’s Mr. Music. That perfect pandemic birthday gift shifted the space, cut through some of our uncertainty and stress, and invited a playfulness to seep into what was otherwise looking like a bleak year ahead. As we begin our second year of covid I find myself hitting all kinds of walls, depressed about my lack of productivity and the exploitation of the little creative energy I do have. I figured I’m not alone, so I reached out to createress and creativity consultant Morgan Mitchell for some tips on how to get unstuck when late capitalism in a pandemic has you feeling like there’s just no point in trying anymore. “The mainstream bumble and bristle of capitalistic culture is often not conducive to the rise of a flow state,” says Mitchell. “That’s where intentional spaces of meandering exploration come in.” I first encountered Mitchell’s work in February at Naomi Westwater and Nan Macmillan’s Song & Sanctuary virtual retreat. After days of learning, writing, and sharing work, Mitchell set us up with a meditation and about 45 minutes of structured, unstructured time. We were instructed to do whatever was in our gut. It wasn’t about being productive. She gave us

permission to be tender with ourselves, take a nap if we needed it. Step away from the screen if we wanted. “Against the velocity of the zoomscape within which we are currently living, to rest is an act of resistance,” says Mitchell. “To create for creativity’s sake is radical, to say no is counter cultural, to slow down is a rebellion.” Michell paints wearable art pieces, and helps others tap into their innate creativity as a flow coach. She runs BeMobius with her soul friend and business partner, Peejo Sehr, where they offer “individual coaching, seasonal retreats, and weekly circles to practice presence, be witnessed and explore your own creative curiosities.” She rejects the idea that “artist” is a word set aside for the special few, those cherry picked by elites to encourage obedience and consumerism. She believes that creativity is innate, and it’s on our side. It wants to move through us, but the circumstances of our lives and our society block it. Her advice to start breaking through is to claim space, be playful, and embrace the process. “If everyone was boldly embodying their creative power, capitalism in its current form would seize and sputter,” says Mitchell. “There is a reason why the poets, philosophers and artists are often jailed or killed in totalitarian regimes. We are dangerous.”

------------------------------ JENN STANLEY




Mass Action Against Police Brutality A campaign to prosecute the police and jail those who are guilty; open all past cases of police brutality; end the harassment of victims and witnesses. Visit www.maapb.org for info on actions/protests in the Boston area.

Follow Voices of Liberation for regular information and advocacy for housing equity in greater Boston. They host meetings, summits, and actions to engage the public in this important cause! Follow Survivor Theatre Project for online events and opportunities that support women, queer, and POC voices. More info on IG @survivortheatreproject CityLife/VidaUrbana: Organizing for racial, economic, and gender justice since 1973. Building solidarity to put people before profits. Support their Homes For All Act at homesforallmass.org/act Support SD. 2105 An Act To Rebuild the Commonwealth’s Cultural Future! The bill will establish the Cultural Economy COVID-19 Recovery Grant program, to support the stability and recovery of the cultural sector in Massachusetts. Visit Mass-Creative.org for details on how to get involved. Save Our Stages! Even with the Save Our Stages Act passed, it could take many weeks, even months for the funding to flow. The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, with The Giving Back Fund as its 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, continues to raise money to assist the venues at greatest risk of permanently going under as we wait for the grants to be issued. Saveourstages.com

Pride 4 the People: Boycott Pride until Real Transformation Happens! The current Pride Board no longer holds the trust of LGBTQ+ community that Boston Pride is supposed to serve and Pride for the People has called for the current board of Boston Pride to step down. pride4thepeople.org

MUSIC & AUDIO Friday 4/10 NOX Spring Festival! Experimental, electronic, noise fest featuring Andrea Pensado, Emily Grogen, Violet Nox, J Bagist, Noell Dorsey, Audrey Harrer, and so many more! Live streamed. More info and stream link on Facebook. Check out WECB fm Boston! WECB is a student-run, creatively independent internet radio station at Emerson College in Boston. They host dozens of radio shows by hundreds of DJs and highlight new and exciting music both locally and beyond! Also check out their music review platform Milk Crate! To listen, and for more info, visit: www.wecb.fm Boston Stream Party April Lineup! Follow @BostonStreamParty on IG for the streams! All shows at 8pm on the following dates: 4/3 - Annie Elise 4/10 - Hawthorne 4/17 - Maya Lucia 4/24 - Trophy Wife Sonorium. Ever check out the sick, recurring, Salem based experimental music expose known only as Sonorium?! Well you can see their past live performances online and stay informed on upcoming virtual performances. Videos on Youtube and more at www. sonorium.net Follow Bummer City Historical Society to sign up for their monthly online open mics, virtual performances, live

music, and more! “The Bummer City Historical Society & Civic Engagement Coalition is a Boston-based community of DIY artists and organizers trying to develop intentional, inclusive, civically engaged communities throughout the Greater Boston area” More info at bummercityhistoricalsociety. com Boston Lyric Opera present BLO Street Stage! “BLO Street Stage is a mobile performance space bringing beautiful live music to your neighborhood. Join us in-person for an outdoor performance near you!” blo.org Lunch is Ova! on Spark FM with DJ WhySham: Every Tuesday/Thursday from 1-3pm www.sparkfmonline.com/ Feel it Speak it: Boston’s only monthly open mic movement dedicated to voices & experiences of the LGBTQ+ communities of color every Thursday. Open mic sign up: tinyurl.com/fisivirtual @feelit_speakit The OOZE New England’s only party dedicated and catering to all the rad underground genres of electronic music and internet subculture. Check out @kerrydabrunette on IG for info and updates. Did you know that Modern Party Art hosts Open Mic Night every Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm EST? From beginners to people who do this for a living...the stage is yours! Reserve your seat by buying tickets in advance. 20 person limit during Covid. Follow @modernpartyart for more! Nonevent is a Boston-based concert series devoted to the presentation of experimental, abstract, improvised, and new music from New England and around the world. nonevent.org Virtual First Fridays Open Mic: All ages and talents welcome! Sign up here! https://bit.ly/FF-OpenMicSignup https://fb.me/e/3mcZiSGsT

VIDEO & FILM Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival is entering its 37th year with 17 short film programs set to be screened all month (April 1-30) on Xerb streaming service. From April 8-18 they will be showcasing feature films, and filmmaker Q+As and virtual parties will also be happening throughout the month. There will be special screenings with ArtsEmerson and the Brattle Theatre in their virtual cinemas. Check out their Facebook for schedule specifics and updates! https://www.facebook.com/ wickedqueer/ TRANS EXPERIMENTAL Experimental Film and Animation Organized by Boston LGBTQIA+ Artist Alliance (BLAA) Hogan Seidel, Curator. Trans Experimental is a group show featuring Trans, Gender Nonconforming, Binary artists in the Boston Area. The show displays cool experimental film and animation. Support our

local artists and the LGBTQIA+ community. Viewable 24/7 @ Fountain Street’s Sidewalk Video Gallery 460C Harrison Avenue, Suite 2. Running till April 10, April artists TBA ShowPlace ICON is host to a redefined movie experience with cutting-edge digital and theatre technology. Check out their website for events. www.ShowPlaceICON.com @showplaceiconboston The DocYard is an awardwinning film and discussion series at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge which also sponsors special screenings and copresentations throughout the year. Thedocyard.com PBS Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers (Deadline: April 16) To further amplify the voices of emerging and diverse/ BIPOC content creators across public media, PBS has issued an open call for proposals to support long and short form documentaries produced and created by diverse/BIPOC filmmakers https://csfilm.org/2021/02/ editing-the-story-with-imageand-sound-workshop-2/

VISUAL ART Kingston Gallery Exhibition: Ilona Anderson - “Flying Without a Parachute” Opening Reception: (following socially distanced guidelines) Fri 4/2 2021, 5-8pm More info at: kingstongallery. com/exhibitions Kingston Gallery Exhibition: Kledia Spiro - “Too (un)Familiar” Opening Reception: (following socially distanced guidelines) Fri 4/2 2021, 5-8pm More info at: kingstongallery. com/exhibitions Kingston Gallery Exhibition: Nat Martin - “All Is Well” Opening Reception: (following socially distanced guidelines) Fri 4/2 2021, 5-8pm More info at: kingstongallery. com/exhibitions New Exhibition: “Memento Mori” by Yuri Shimojo @ Praise Shadows Art Gallery Open through 4/18 More info: praiseshadows.com CALL FOR WORK: Aviary Gallery is currently seeking work for our weekly online exhibition features on a rolling basis. All mediums are

accepted, so long as the work can be represented by high quality images. More info at aviarygallery.com Boston CyberArts presents: In the Future Everything Will be Perfect by Anne Spalter. “In the Future Everything Will be Perfect includes a series of interactive work that can be accessed through Cyberarts’ windows featuring rotating abstract crystal balls in a sea of kaleidoscopic color. On view in the windows of Boston Cyberarts Gallery 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.” Som Vibes Art Studio in Attleboro is an expressive visual arts and entertainment center with lots of cool events this month including a Glow in the Dark Paint night for kids and adults! Somvibesstudiollc.com

LITERARY ART & NEWS MEDIA Check out Input/Output Magazine by Magdalena Abrego for interviews, music reviews, and more! Also check out their corresponding podcast for episodes featuring Susan Alcorn, Camilla Ortiz, Amanda Monaco and many others. More info, and listen at: inputoutputmag.com Check out the Papercut Zine Library virtual library! They are “a free, volunteer-run browsing library with a collection of 16,000+ zines & independent media”. www.papercutzinelibrary.com/ Boston ABG: Asian Book Group. Join the Boston Asian Book Group! We meet monthly in Kendall Square. Like our page to be notified about our next meeting! www.facebook.com/bostonabg

PERFORMANCE ART Studio 550 Performance Discussion and Panel “SPACE!” featuring Lonnie Stanton, Riley Watts and Emily Beattie. “In or out of the screen, looking at the choices you have when creating work for live performance” Sat 4/3 6pm Studio 550 Performance Discussion and Panel: “Workflow from Idea to Production: Working with a Media Designer” featuring Christopher Konopka, Stephen Petrilli, and other panelists TBA. Sat 4/17 6pm

Studio 550 Performance Workshop Series! This workshop series is geared for performance creators (dance, theatre, music, etc.) as an introduction to the incorporation of utilizing digital media (ya know, cameras, projectors, streaming, etc.) into the way you create and present. Session 1: Media Design Basics/The Working Environment - Sun 4/4 12-2pm Session 2: Content Design and Creation - Sun 4/11 12-2pm Session 3: Media servers (using Isadora) - Sun 4/18 12-2pm Session 4: Projection Techniques - Sun 4/25 12-2pm Session 5: Streaming - Sun 5/2 12-2pm Check out Artists’ Theater of Boston! They produce “thoughtful, evocative work that challenges systemic injustices facing our communities through the collaborative process of making theater”. Online opportunities and performances can found at artiststheater.org Free programming through New Rep Theatre including a monthly script reading book club and “Quarantine Creatives” - short online plays based on community members’ experiences during COVID. More info at newrep.org/free-programming HOME Poetry Series - April Edition HOME consists of a featured reader and brief open mic every first Friday, followed by a writing workshop the following Saturday morning. The series is curated by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and hosted by Anthony Febo. The poetry reading and open mic will be on April 2 at 7:30pm boston.gov/poetry. The Cambridge Poetry MashUp, a National Poetry Month celebration! The series of virtual and in person socially distanced events will celebrate the artistic and cultural diversity of poets who live in Cambridge & its neighboring cities. —Sat. 4/10, The KickOff 3-6:30PM —Sun. 4/18, The Poetry of Toni Morrison hosted by The New England Poetry Club, a Poet in the House workshop - 3pm —Sat. 4/24, Poets In The Garden, at Squirrel Brand Park & Garden, - 3pm —Sat. 5/1, Future Leaders Read: youth & teen poets Check out the event listing for updates and specifics! https://fb.me/e/5nyPHEjjd The Cambridge Poetry MashUp is founded & curated by Toni Bee, Poet Populist emeritus of Cambridge, with planning & support from The Mash Up Crew. FOR INFO, EMAIL: cbridgemashup@gmail.com Poets of Worcester Present: A Writing Workshop with Worcester’s Poet Laureates led by the City of Worcester’s Poets Laureate Juan Matos and Amina Mohammed! Experienced poets and novices, teens and adults alike are invited to join this virtual workshop in celebration of National Poetry Month. For ages 16+. Wednesday, April 14 7:00 8:00 PM Register here: https:// mywpl.assabetinteractive.com/ calendar/poets-of-worcesterpresent-a-writing-workshopwith-worcester-s-poet-laureates/

Midway or the Highway Open Mic! On Zoom! Find us on Facebook for the address. All are welcome when Angela Sawyer & Dave Robinson host some of the city’s most talented comedians, musicians, and weirdos too! If you’re feeling brave, put your name in the bucket and get a moment onstage under the lights. Every Monday night! The Black Comedy Explosion: Wednesday nights at Slades Bar and Grill starting at 7pm. Join us as we bring you some of today’s funniest comedians from BET Comic View, HBO DEF Comedy Jam, and more, with both national and local acts. sladesbarandgrill.com @slades.boston Concord Poetry at the Library Series presents: Andrea Cohen / Fady Joudah Join acclaimed poets Andrea Cohen and Fady Joudah reading from recent work and talking about their practice. Sunday, April 18, 3-4pm Register here: https://us02web. zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ VJAOcupgTu6_urHpqWV8Pw Mayor’s Poetry Program Virtual Reading with City of Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. Several poets will be reading their poems, which revolve around this year’s theme of Boston Futurism. Free, open to the public, and will be livestreamed on the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture Facebook page. Monday, Apr 27, 2020 12-3pm Event website: https://fb.me/ e/2eT2YZw5u

COMMUNITY Building a Just Transition through the Climate Crisis: Green Building, Racial Equity, and Climate Resilience featuring Kenya Lazuli,Director of Every Town and Henry Harris from The Center for Grassroots Organizing Collective. This workshop is an introduction to the connections between regenerative/”biophilic” building practices, access to land and housing for BIPOC people, and a resilient, survivable economy through the climate crisis. In partnership with the Yestermorrow Virtual Spring Speaker Series. April 28th 7-8 PM Follow @grassrootsnorth Join Urban Outdoors Association (UOA) in collaboration with The Bikenista and That Bike Lady for 30 Days of Biking Slow Roll SLOW ROLL on the Neponset Trails. For the month of April, we will ride the Neponset Trail beginning at Mattapan Square every Wednesday Evening from 6:15-7:15pm 30daysofbiking. com Somerville Media Center: “Intro to Grant Seeking” workshop Tuesday 4/13 11am - 1:30pm Register at: somervillemedia. org/grant-writing Somerville Media Center: “Grant Writing 101” workshop Tuesday 4/20 11am - 1:30pm Register at: somervillemedia. org/grant-writing

As vaccinations continue to roll out and the end of the pandemic begins to come into focus, theater’s continue to operate in survival mode with virtual programming and even some outdoor performances this summer. Keep your eyes peeled for future outdoor programming at the Central Square parking lot turned pop-up venue, Starlight Square. Among Starlight’s collaborators are the Central Square Theater, ImprovBoston, Global Arts Live, and Studio at 550 for dance. Stay tuned at starlightsquare.org. This month however, virtual theatre still reigns supreme with some important past productions recorded for the screen, along with some promising new shows and workshops which we’ve included in our listings below. Suggestions? Tips? Email TheatrescapeBoston@gmail.com —CEEK 4/2-4/18 Unveiled This digital one-woman show written & performed by Rohina Malikvia tells the story of 5 Muslim women living in a post-9/11 America. A powerful perspective on racism and the strength to remain true to one’s own culture and beliefs. Originally a 2018 co-production from New Repertory Theatre and the Greater Boston Stage Company. WHERE: NewRep.org 4/8-5/8 Hype Man: A Break Beat Play Company One’s 2018 show is cinematically reimagined for the virtual A.R.T. stage. Break beat poet and playwright, Idris Goodwin tells the story of two childhood friends and partners in hip-hop facing success

M.O.B. Melanin Owned Business Market! At Dorchester Art Project Every Saturday in March from 12-5pm at 1490 Dorchester Ave come support an amazing selection of Melanin Owned Businesses curated by Shakenna Appleberry of @2fruitswellness! Check out a new nonprofit grocery story Daily Table at 684 Mass. Ave in Central Square! Affordable, sustainable food for all. Open from 9AM - 8PM on Monday - Friday, and 11AM - 7PM on Sunday WEEKLY MUTUAL AID (FFC) around Atkinson street and Topeka Street, Boston every Friday at 6 PM. Food, clothing, cold weather supplies. Donations always welcome (funds and gloves, hand warmers, socks, hats, snacks/sandwiches). All volunteers are welcome. Love to cook? Bring a hot meal to serve. Boston Democratic Socialists of America: Chill With Comrades in person and online! Find events on FB and on their website including February meetings that tackle discussions and actions surrounding rent control, prison abolition, immigration, mutual aid, community building, and more. Email mentalhealth@bostondsa.org with any questions. Boston GLASS operates Drop-In Community Centers for LGBTQ+ youth of color between the ages of 13–25! GLASS provides a continuum of services to LGBTQ+ youth of color and their allies in the Greater Boston and Greater Framingham areas and also provides education and

together as they are confronted by social injustice. As black lives continue to be lost at the hands of the police, the lines become drawn between dormant bystanders and those compelled to engage. Too timely to miss. WHERE: $25 tickets or pay-what-you-can at americanrepertorytheater.org TBA The Cherry Orchard: A New Media Workshop The Arlekin Players are hard at work redefining virtual theater with this workshop for their upcoming interactive production of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard. A classic play experienced like never before as the company fine tunes blending cinema, theatre and even video games to engage audiences in an entirely new

consultation to other providers and community organizations. Women Explore Lecture and Discussion Forum: Women Explore provides lecture series within a feminist learning community for women, to connect with the sacred dimensions of their experience and to support and encourage each other in the world community. womenexplore.org Community Fridges! There’s a bunch of these popping up all around the city! Free food for all! Run by volunteers! Check Out @bostoncommunityfridge @dotcommunityfridge @allstoncommunityfridge @matcommunityfridge @cambridgecommunityfridge Boston LGBTQIA+ Artists Association is revamping with a new director and a new website! They just put out a survey asking what LGBTQIA+ artists in Boston would like to see happen with this new organization. Find it at www.blaa.us

way. This sold out quickly in February but more dates are forthcoming. Join their mailing list so you don’t miss the next opportunity to catch this. WHERE: ArlekinPlayers.com April Othello Actors Shakespeare Project brings a virtual version of this okay to life, adapted by Mfoniso Udofia. This timeless tragedy stirs up racism, jealousy and manipulation into one pot until it boils over. Rewriting Shakespeare is ballsy, but this looks promising. WHERE: ActorsShakespeareProject.org

Welcome to BCN Comics! every month, we will share our favorites, the underseen, and the weird!

Welcome, Wonderers! Welcome TO

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Art Schoolin by Laura Meilman @l_meilman

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by Hana Alshahab

For the police to legitimize and successfully protect white property and wealth, Blackness must be criminalized and contained through sophisticated and violent means. One method is the unmitigated surveillance and control of Black movement that is justified in the name of “security.” In the rare event a police officer is brought to trial for killing a Black person, US cities anticipate war in the case of a "not guilty" verdict. It’s a neo-colonialist tactic, an updated version of plundering a village then raising the moat. It is audacious and calculated for a justice system to let police kill with impunity, then work double time to play into racist paranoia and incendiary notions about Black violence as a reaction to the absence of accountability. Anti-blackness has informed the heightened security measures in preparation for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer to be tried with the murder of George Floyd. The city of Minneapolis has spent more than $1 million on security measures and is preparing to deploy up to 1,000 additional police and up to 2,000 National Guardsmen. St. Paul City Council nearly passed a proposal that would’ve required groups of five or more people to have a permit to gather. The perimeter of the Hennepin County Courthouse where the trial will take place is fortified with barbed wire, fencing and concrete barriers. This flexing of state power in the false notion of “safety” inflames the original tension and works in direct service of white supremacy. Heavy-handed policing increases the risk of violent escalation, which in turn justifies the militarized crack down on Black protest under the guise of maintaining “law and order.” This law and order framework is a racist


political tactic that completely glosses over the violence of the police themselves, and perpetuates the myth that in a democracy police are apolitical actors who only intervene in political activity, like protests, when demonstrations cross the line into criminal activity. According to a report produced by the US Crisis Project, 95% of 10,600 BLM protests that occurred between Floyd’s murder and Aug. 22, were peaceful. Despite this, more than 9%, or nearly 1 in 10, were met with government intervention compared to 3% of all other US demonstrations last year. Over 5% of all events linked to the BLM movement were met with force by authorities, compared to under 1% of all other demonstrations. While the world watched thousands march against police brutality, cops tear gassed, pepper sprayed, shot rubber bullets, beat, car rammed, kettled, and carried out unprovoked mass arrests of demonstrators with no repercussions. In his book The End of Policing, Alex S. Vitale writes that the police, “have always focused on detecting and disrupting movements that threaten the economic and political status quo, regardless of the presence of criminality.” Following this summer’s uprising, bills that criminalize the right to peacefully assemble are being filed across the country, including increasing penalties for protest adjacent offenses like rioting, trespassing, and obstructing traffic. The designation of a movement as peaceful, lawful, or illegal is up to the discretion of a system with costly motivations to criminalize any opposition to its operation as a violent, racist money making nation.


Legends of the Women of Duvergé

Plant "GrowingbutHerbs not Magic THAT HERB"

My great grandmother Tata is not remembered for her kindness just for the way she left knives in legs of men who owed her money.

This is the time of year where everyone stops at ye olde Trader Joe’s and HAS TO pick up a basil plant. What you were thinking of growing weed? Naaaah! You pop that basil on your windowsill and it promptly wilts and you assume that you have, once again, murdered an innocent plant babe.

The men in my family never live long enough to be remembered as anything other than victims.

Fear not plant lover! Herbs simply need more water and sun than your average tropical houseplant friends. Here are some tips for keeping your spring herbs happy:

It is said the women of Duvergé are brujas who bury their husbands in the ashes of their alchemy.

Having these bbs around for adding a little spice to your life will make the slow transition into spring feel a little quicker. As always if you have questions or want more plant info find me at @plantmagicshop on Instagram!! Happy herbing! ;)

That the women of my family cast spells in silence as they serenade their childrens’ spirits asleep.


Repotting party! Give that cutie more soil to roam around in. It’s probably already taken up most of its little teeny nursery pot it came with. More potting soil and a pot that’s about 6-8 inches wide will do it for a bb plant and leave plenty of room to grow.

Pour some water on me! Set a calendar event every day (if you have to) to remember to check on/water your herbs. It’s plants like dramatic basil and sad-looking parsley that give windowsill herbs a bad rep. They’ll wilt when they’re thirsty but water them ASAP and they’ll perk right up! Rosemary and lavender like sandier soils and a bit less water so keep that in mind when making sure your herbal buds are happy.

Sunshine for DAYS! Your herbs need sunlight! If you don’t have a window that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun then you might want to think about a grow light. However I’ve had a basil in a north-facing window for months and it’s magically fine...so trial and error is also an option!

My eyes are as dirty as the water, sit on the edge of a sea of brown that are my ancestors’ bodies. Are muddled in centuries of cries that can conjure a curse. —Michelle Garcia Fresco

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