Stance Takes: The Power of Culture with Tarana Burke, Janet Mock, Rafael Casal, Nnedi Okorafor & Marc Bamuthi-Joseph
Award-winning arts, culture and current affairs podcast, Stance, has just released a new episode of Stance Takes - its shorter, experimental off-shoot. We recorded this episode live at the YBCA 100 Summit in San Francisco - an event recognizing some of the most exciting people, organizations and movements using their platforms to create change and move society forward. The summit asked ‘How can we re-imagine political power? What is the role of culture in the current political climate?’. Stance caught up with this year’s honorees to hear their takes.
We hear from Janet Mock a journalist and New York Times bestselling author of two memoirs, Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty. She made TV history as the first trans woman of color to write and produce for a series - Pose on FX. Born in Hawaii, Janet’s story of growing up trans caught the nation’s attention in a 2011 Marie Claire article. Since then she’s become a millennial media powerhouse. Variety named her one of its 2017 “Power of Women,” TIME called her one of “the most influential people on the Internet” and one of “12 new faces of black leadership” while Fast Company named her one of 2015’s “most creative people in business.”
Stance is joined by Tarana Burke, who is the founder of the Me Too movement. Tarana Burke has been working with victims of sexual violence since the 1990s, with a focus on healing. She ran several workshops across America which all start with her sharing her story and experience of being a survivor of sexual abuse and assault and invite others to join in. In October of 2017, women all over the world adopted her tagline and flooded social media to share their stories. Tarana was among a group of other prominent activists named "the silence breakers", and honored as Time Person of the Year for 2017. Tarana discusses the importance of people power with Stance and the work she has been doing to ensure that Me Too doesn’t lose sight of its original mission.
For over a decade, Nnedi Okorafor has published a number of multi-award winning science fiction and fantasy novels, and is one the most cutting edge and visionary writers of this generation. Her stories cover social themes of racial & gender inequality, colourism, political violence, the destruction of the environment, genocide and corruption and are often set in West Africa, She’s won several high profile science fiction and fantasy awards, including the Hugo, the Nebula, World Fantasy Award. Her Akata series was called “the Black Harry Potter” and she has recently signed a deal to write a third book. She is currently working on several high profile projects including a project with Marvel Comics’s Black Panther series and her novel, “Who Fears Death” is being developed as a series for HBO. Stance caught up with her on the power of her stories to imagine new futures.
We also hear from, Rafael Casal is an American poet, actor, singer, and writer. He was a feature performer on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and he is the co-producer, writer, and stars in the film Blindspotting along with rapper, writer and actor of Hamilton fame, Daveed Diggs. Casal reflects on the power of language and the stories we choose to tell.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, the Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, hosted the YBCA 100 Summit and asked the key questions that framed the event’s discussions. He is a 2017 TED Global Fellow and a proud honoree of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship. He is also a spoken-word poet, dancer, and playwright who has worked alongside Katherine Dunham, Joe Hahn and Mos Def. Joseph discusses how an arts institution can be accountable to the political moment with Stance.