Multimedia — Oct 15, 2008

PNCA+FIVE Idea Studios: Climbing PoeTree


An excerpt from Hurricane Season: The Hidden Message in Water, a performance by Climbing PoeTree artists Aliza Garcia and Naima Penniman.

PNCA+FIVE Idea Studio presents Climbing PoeTree — artists and poets Aliza Garcia and Naima Penniman — have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformations. Their latest production Hurricane Season uses a tapestry of spoken-word poetry, video projection, dance, shadow art, and a sound collage of personal testimonies, Hurricane Season connects the issues that surfaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the “unnatural disasters” disenfranchised communities are experiencing nationwide and worldwide on a daily basis. Hurricane Season tackles global warming, environmental injustice, policing, prisons, militarization, corporate domination, gentrification, and displacement as they manifest from one gulf to another, with a powerful tale of resistance, resilience, creativity and survival.

The show is followed by a “solutions-cipher,” a forum that addresses the impacts of the issues surfaced in Hurricane Season on a local level, and illuminates solutions that are already underway. The objective of the post-show “solution-ciphers” is to cross-pollinate creative strategies for self-determination and to turn the passion generated in the show into action manifested in the community.

Climbing PoeTree uses their art to expose injustice, heal from violence, and generate vision to help us all imagine a more just and compassionate world. With roots in Haiti and Colombia, Garcia and Penniman reside in Brooklyn and tour around the globe on a mission to overcome destruction with creativity. Climbing PoeTree visited PNCA as part of a 50-city tour traveling the nation in a bus converted to run on recycled vegetable oil.

The performance is part of a series of Idea Studios programs, generating from the College’s innovative Ford Institute of Visual Education (FIVE). Idea Studios engages leading thinkers and artists from a range of fields and practices to enrich the mix of ideas within the College and its broader community by introducing new elements, questions, possibilities and challenges to the prevailing curriculum.

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