A Kavad for Remembering 9/11: Together We Are New York
“The sense of urgency to write often comes from a place of necessity – to discover truth, to challenge the simplification of stories.” (Hossannah Asuncion)
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 will bring an outpouring of emotions and remembrances: this project ensures, through community interviews by poets and poetic responses, that Asian American community voices are presented, shared, and a vital part of the fabric of our city memory and our nation’s journey forward.
Though time has been swift, our memories of 9/11 and its aftermath remain indelible, profound, and visceral. As New York City – and our nation – prepares for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011, Kundiman seeks to ensure that this historic anniversary includes public remembrances and the vital voices of a key marginalized community fundamentally transformed by the tragedy: Asian Americans. Kundiman will bring the poet’s ear and vision to a unique community history and public remembrance arts project: “Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and Re-Vision 9/11.”
The poet has an integral role in recording difficult periods of our lives. In fact, immigrant poets are an essential voice for ensuring our histories are not erased. Asian American poets have captured the experiences of Chinese American railroad workers, Japanese American internment camp survivors, and more recently, South Asian and Muslim communities facing scrutiny and violence in the aftermath of 9/11. To ensure we remember the diverse communities affected by 9/11, Kundiman poets will interview Asian American community members on their experiences on 9/11 and the decade since. This material will be crafted into a series of public readings in September 2011 and beyond. This project uniquely combines historical documentation with artistic production & public engagement in the context of a vital moment in history.
As the leading organization for Asian American poetry and poets, Kundiman seeks to ensure our communities have voice in this key moment in U.S. history. At Kundiman we believe our community voices will not only bring healing and hope within our community but also foster much-needed light and new understanding to the wider New York City and national community in order to enable a road forward – for all of us together.
The project will add to the texture of 9/11 remembrances while enabling the public to engage with Asian Americans as Americans as well as the difficult issues of hate crimes, religious tolerance, and civil rights. Furthermore, the poems will be available for future generations to mark how this moment in history has had such diverse legacies – and how we can respond as one community in the strongest diverse, inclusive spirit of New York City and the United States.
Opening Performance & Dialogue: September 13, 2011, 7-9 p.m.
Featured poets include Hossannah Asuncion, Tamiko Beyer, Marlon Esguerra, April Heck, Eugenia Leigh, Bushra Rehman, Zohra Saed, Purvi Shah, and R.A. Villanueva.
Fordham University, Lincoln Center
140 W. 62nd St. (Law School Entrance)
Upon entering the double glass doors and informing the security desk that you are attending the English Department event, walk up the stairs and take a quick left. After going through another pair of double doors, take the first right and enter the Atrium through its glass doors. The Auditorium will be ahead of you to your left.
Additional performances to be scheduled at later dates in other locations.