blood/Labor/Liberation’s Laughter

December 17, 2021


Archive News


May: blood/Labor/Liberation’s Laughter
Virtual Round Table: Tuesday, May 17 4:30-6:30pm PST
Live/Livestream Workshop (Hybrid): Sunday, May 22 11am-12:30pm (location TBA)

Roundtable: blood/Labor/Liberation’s laughter: where we gather to trade(share) our understanding of our trades (labor, jobs, skills); where we investigate how our human labor informed the development of our cultures(dance, song, humor, storytelling). How do we recognize and value our relationship to the work we do as a livelihood (money) towards sustaining life. Bring the knowledge/skills of your job as we gather to recognize and bring forth our innate dancers, choreographies, oral histories and humor from various fields of labor (midwife, nurse, farmer, builders, cooks and server). How do we bring awareness to the value of our labor and the transformative craft of our artistry in our efforts towards liberation.  Panelists: Asatu Hall, Sheila Russell, Sarah K Khan, Linda Black Elk, and others. Moderated by Ellen Sebastian Chang.

Workshop: Labor Movements: this workshop following the roundtable will focus us as group in creating 21st Century labor songs, movements(dance/gestures), and stories. Workshop will be facilitated by Ellen Sebastian Chang, Asatu Hall, and Shelia Russell with movements based in West African, Tap, Hip hop and Street Dance, as well as creating theatrical gestures rooted in storytelling.


About the panelists:

Asatu Hall is a San Francisco Native of Liberian descent. She is a midwife, seasoned performer, choreographer and founding member of Emesè: Messengers of the African Diaspora a collective of artists founded in 1998 with a mission to promote and present the rich cultural traditions of the African Diaspora.



Sheila Russell is a currently a postpartum nurse. She is also the director of See Through Soul. See Through Soul draws from various street and club dance styles including House, Hip Hop, Vogue, and Waacking as well as contemporary dance and elements of Tap.






Sarah K Khan (b. Mangla, Pakistan) utilizes food to provoke thought about injustice towards people and the planet. She explores food, culture, women, migration, and identity in urban and rural environments. A multi-media maker and scholar, she uses photography, films, video art, print-making, maps, and writing. To defy erasure and to build archives, simultaneously, Khan reveals the often invisible labor and mastery of the disregarded. To inscribe the denied into global and local multi-visual cultures, she researches and documents the lives of ordinary people who are extraordinary. Engaging slowly, she gets to know her subjects with empathy and respect. The subjects and subject matter, real or conjured, are complex individuals dealing with the challenges of life. The work captures a moment in time and space revealing the emotions and lived experiences, the humanity of those she encounters.


Linda Black Elk (Korean/Mongolian/Catawba descendant) is an ethnobotanist specializing in teaching about culturally important plants and their uses as food and medicine. She is Food Sovereignty Skills Instructor at United Tribes Technical College. She is the author of Watoto Unyutapi, a field guide to edible wild plants of the Dakota people.


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