November 20, 2019 Ten trans and non-binary visual artists and poets of color from across the country, including Chicagoan Benji Hart, have collaborated to honor Trans Day of Resilience ( TDOR ) by creating original artwork to celebrate their communities.
The TDOR art project is an extension and re-imagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance ( November 20 ), the annual event memorializing people, primarily Black trans women and femmes killed by anti-trans violence. The project's goal is to expand the conversation towards honoring and supporting trans people while they are alive, and not just in memoriam.
Led by Forward Together, a national women of color-led organization, whose mission is to unite communities to win rights, recognition and resources for all families, the TDOR art project acknowledges how violence disproportionately impacts trans people of color. The art project simultaneously uses visual art and poetry to uplift trans power and resilience. Trans artists and poets of color are telling their own stories of resistance, hope and liberation.
"Forward Together is honored to present this project to the world for the sixth year in a row," said Micah Bazant, Forward Together Artist in Residence. "At a time when white supremacy and anti-trans oppression are killing trans women of color, we offer this art to share our vision of trans freedom. Trans communities of color have always existed and have always used art to survive. As the government tries to erase trans people from laws and policies, art and culture are especially critical. There is no way to erase the beauty and power of trans resistance."
VIEW THE ART AND LISTEN TO THE POETRY HERE tdor.co/ .
*Glori Tuitt ( Bronx, NY ) and Benji Hart ( Chicago, IL )
*FÃ©i Hernandez ( Gardena, CA ) and SA Smythe ( Long Beach, CA )
Kah Yangni ( Providence, RI ) and Vita E ( Chicago, IL )
Malachi Lily ( Philadelphia, PA ) and Mia Willis ( Atlanta, GA )
Shea Coco ( San Bernardino, CA ) and *Xoai Pham ( Brooklyn, NY )
TDOR artists and poets created a Femifesto for Trans Liberation, outlining some of the politics that catalyze the Trans Day of Resilience art project. The Femifesto informs and drives our practice and our commitment to building trans and non-binary movements that hold us all. Contrary to the dominant framing of trans politics as a "new frontier" or the "new civil rights," we understand trans liberation as part of a 500+ year history of anti-racist and decolonial struggle. We situate the Trans Day of Resilience Art Project in this legacy of resistance.
Forward Together transforms culture and policy to work for all of us nationwide. Since our founding in 1989 working in Asian communities for reproductive health access, we've continually fought to dismantle the ways our society marginalizes us based on race, sexuality and gender. Today, we build courage and foster connection among our multi-racial community of changemakers to secure the rights, recognition and resources all families need to thrive.
For more info visit: www.ForwardTogether.org .
From a Press Release