A #DIGNITYINPROCESS B l a c k D r e a m i n g E x o d u s
The People Can Fly roots in the ancestral technologies of Ring Shout folk medicine to reimagine more embodied, intersectional, and whole forms of movement organizing that last the next seven generations and beyond. A Queer Afro-Indigenous folktale conjured through four years of interdisciplinary land-responsive performance ritual igniting a movement of Ring Shout artivism and QTPOC land stewardship!
listen to the land
gather ancestral stories
embody Ring Shout folk medicine
ignite movements of QTPOC land reclamation!
The People Can Fly is an interdisciplinary four-year freedom ritual in the U.S. Gulf South that sets the foundation to reimagine movement organizing as we know it.It is inspired by an African American folktale describing the liberation of enslaved peoples who fly away from a plantation in a vertically spiraling Ring Shout. Afro-futurist sound and movement scores surrounding altar installations queer the traditional folktale, The People Can Fly, through a deconstructed investigation of Gulf South cultural technology, the Ring Shout’s core elements: the moan (aka “the shout”), shufflin’/stompin’/steppin’, the counterclockwise circle, and the freedom call-and-response. Collaborative organizing across movement intersections create opportunities for dialogue, healing, resource mapping, and creative solution building between QTGNC+ Black and Indigenous farmers, medicine folk, healers, activists, scientists, and culture bearers throughout Louisiana. Taking place on sites of Afro-Indigenous resistance, trauma, and collective memory— this four-part performance ritual folktellin’ culminates in a mass, public Ring Shout action in Congo Square (an origin site of the Ring Shout)—calling in a new kind of movement sustained by land-responsive ancestral healing. This interdisciplinary artivist rites-of-passage reimagines organizing as we know it, to ignite collective bodies to take flight!
The People Can Fly culminates in the reclamation and stewardship of ancestral land— a Freedom farm, home, shout house, or station in an Afro-Futurist underground railroad where Queer/Trans/Gender-Nonconforming/Two Spirit+ medicine people-of-color can safely dream radical worlds of love and freedom into being.
A space to learn about what we’re currently growing in this 4-YEAR journey of land-responsive ritual organizing known as, The People Can Fly
The People Can Fly utilizes Queer+ Afro-Indigenous cultural strategies to address issues of climate gentrification, environmental racism, and land displacement for communities most impacted by climate adaptations in the Gulf South. Celebrating the Black-Indigenous Southern tradition of kitchen-table-organizing, Take this Hamer is a #DignityInProcess dinner series bringing dignity back into collective land stewardship. Title inspired by the Great Migration Freedom song, we continue the legacy of activist ancestor Fannie Lou Hamer’s 1972 Freedom Farm and the many invisibilized Queer, Black, Indigenous leaders who contributed to the ongoing Cooperative Farming Movement.
#DignityInProcess Founder/ Artivist Director, ChE and Director of Freedom Freequencies, kei slaughter, are traveling throughout rural Louisiana gathering stories (filmed interviews) with Queer, Black and Indigenous farmers who are celebrated as honored Wisdom Keepers in a series of strategic interdisciplinary dinners in New Orleans. Responding to the ongoing traumas of land dispossession, climate gentrification, and food apartheid, Take this Hamer gathers QTGNC+ Black, Indigenous artists, activists, folk healers, and farmers in circles of meal sharing, storytelling, seed exchanging, freedom song shoutin’, and filmed screenings of Black farmers sharing wisdom rooted in ancestral soil. The dinners serve as site for cultural organizing and resource strategizing, as we create Black & Indigenous environmental justice maps and form a susu(a traditionally Black womxn-led microfinance strategy common across the African Diaspora) to collectively reclaim and steward ancestral land in Gulf South Louisiana.
The recorded stories and field recordings will be woven into The People Can Fly Ring Shout performance rituals. We will continue to share with you our updates from the field in our ongoing applied research in Gulf South cultural resistance strategies, examining adaptations (through climate change, global diaspora, colonization, and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) on Afro-Indigenous spiritual traditions, community organizing, and folk healing.
To connect with the work please email ChE at firstname.lastname@example.org