Shaping a Counternarrative

Teresita de la Torre holds up a sleeve of the shirt. It disintegrated with the passing of time. Photo: Victoria Heilweil (Todos los días currently on view at Royal Nonesuch Gallery.)

Even as the White House removes the Spanish language version of their website, and replaces the pages that existed for climate change, health care, LGBT, and civil rights issues with pages for military, law enforcement, and trade issues, we at 100 Days Action have launched our efforts in providing a counternarrative. With features in KQED, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vice’s The Creators Project, we hope many are on their way to join our artistic resistance.

This week, we welcomed LA artist Teresita de la Torre, whose piece Todos los Días, threw our team into a frenzy of admiration. For Todos los Días, de la Torre took a migrant’s shirt she found along the border and wore it for one year. Imagine wearing a shirt for one year. De le Torre gave an artist talk at our Inaugural Ball, and candidly spoke about the manifest weight of that unknown immigrant’s journey on her conscience.

At our Inaugural Ball we also helped to swear in countless gallery goers who chose their office — Concerned Citizen, said one, Criticona in Chief, said another — and took an oath on a book of their choosing to protect our values and constitution. We were honored and thankful for the fact that there was barely standing room. And we were touched because our podium, around which people crowded and took oaths, was constructed by an immigrant. Deni Schmidt offered us his time and his carpentry skills after reading about us in the San Francisco Chronicle. He had marched in South America in the 80s and wanted to support our artistic protest.

Katina Papson Rigby takes the Oath in Spanish. Photo by: VIctoria Heilweil. 100 Days Action, Royal Nonesuch Gallery.

This week we marched, four times — in Oakland and in San Francisco — feeling tireless and hopeful and looking to be in communion with those who in the face of this administration’s antagonism would embrace us and our mother tongues and our identities and our histories, and who would recognize what is at stake and how much.

No Scrubs, a women of color dancing brigade, by Jenifer Wofford for 100 Days Action. Women’s March. Photo by Instagram’s @_snafoo

This week on our calendar 100 Days Action chose efforts that aspire to happen throughout the length of 100 Days. At the launch of this project we want to feel inspired by endurance, by actions of self care, and by actions of love to others. We featured one artist this week who committed to not saying the president’s name. We featured another artist who committed to writing love letters to known and unknown persons, one a day, for 100 days.

How shall we go forward into this era? Let these small answers of endurance help guide the way.

COMING UP

1/25: Boldface, a Daily Poem, by Mariella Bisson, inviting you to CUT UP TODAY’S HEADLINES and ARRANGE INTO A POEM 
1/26: We are honored to be publishing “It’s All the Rage,” an original poem by MK Chavez. Stay tuned on this date, we will publish this gem of a poem on our Medium page. 
1/27: My Immigrant Route, by Lizania Cruz, inviting you to share a photo of the first immigrant who brought your family name to the United State 
1/28: Fear Doctor by Hunter Franks. Go to Market St between 6th and 7th in San Francisco and share your fears at the official Fear Doctor Booth. 
1/29: 10 Contemplative Responses by Tana Quincy Arcega, in which the artist will write short essays about what she’s seeing in these times, and invites you to do the same.

SAVE THE DATE: 2/2/17

DANFORTH LECTURE HALL, MILLS COLLEGE, 7 PM
Not My Precedent: A reading and conversation featuring National Book Award finalist Karen Tei Yamashita, Guggenheim fellow and playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, and AAWAA co-founder and artist Betty Kano. Moderated by Vivian Fumiko Chin, Chair, Ethnic Studies Department, Mills College. Not My Precedent is organized in response to Trump campaigners asserting that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is a precedent for the proposed ban and registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. Not My Precedent is a reading and conversation about the acute realities, complexities, and ramifications of Japanese Internment Camps.
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