This event opened our 2014 Foundry Dialogues – which examined the radical imagination in practice as we explore the creation of alternatives to current policing and imprisonment practices, alternatives that strive to achieve authentic safety for us all.
“Without new visions, we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics, but a process that can and must transform us.”
-Robin D.G. Kelley / Freedom Dreams
Robin D.G. Kelley is an author and Professor of History and American Studies at UCLA. Recent books include: Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times; Thelonius Monk: The Life and Times of An American Original, and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. He lives with his family and his Baldwin baby grand piano in LA.
“Robin Kelley may be the hippest intellectual in the land … he writes unflinchingly of freedom and love, dreams and visions, and revolts of the mind.” -The Nation Magazine
“Kelley’s belief is that if we are to make a better world, we must first imagine it.” -Library Journal
“Robin Kelley produces histories of black radicalism and visions of the future that defy convention and expectation.” -Angela Davis
“Most of all I believe theater is community and I think of myself as a community activist: someone whose job it is to bring people together, give them a shared experience and remind them of the things they’ve forgotten, dismissed or buried.” -Taylor Mac
Taylor Mac is a multi-award-winning playwright, singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, actor, performance artist, and sometime director and producer who performs his work across the world.
“Fabulousness can come in many forms and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming every one of them.”
-The NY Times
(about The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac) “An intellectually arduous and beautifully realized piece about the dangers of homogeneity, and what happens to the soul when it forgoes the richness of the imagination.” -Hilton Als, The New Yorker
“An unflinching witness to a host of society’s ills… he can have you helpless with laughter, then overcome by an urge to weep — and ultimately left thinking and wanting to make life better.” -The Herald Scotland