|Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists in performance work exploring sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop work that challenging normative paradigms of “normal” and “sexy” to offering a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities.
“Disposable Bodies” will address whose bodies are considered “fit” and which lives are held as valuable as we reclaim our bodies through the lenses of disability, queerness and race. Colonization and storytelling, epilepsy and eugenics, community history and personal narrative, Black families and the construction of masculinity will all be explored in this multidisciplinary performance based on the experiences of the writers and performers. We hope to unpack this work in dialogue with the audience following the performance.
Juba Kalamka, Writer/performer. Juba is an African American bisexual artist and activist recognized for his work as founding member of homohop group Deep Dickollective (D/DC) and his development of the micro-label Sugartruck Recordings. Kalamka’s personal work centers on dialogues on the convergences and conflicts of race, identity, gender, sexuality and class in pop culture. He has written and illustrated articles for magazines and journals including, Kitchen Sink, ColorLines, and the now-defunct bisexual issues magazine Anything That Moves. He has been a speaker, panelist, and curator for numerous organizations and conferences, among them the San Francisco Black Gay/Lesbian Film Festival, GLAAD, Hip Hop as a Movement at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Burning Closets/Working Our Way Home at Oberlin College. In November 2005, Kalamka was chosen to be one of six plenary speakers at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force‘s Creating Change Conference and received a Creating Change Award for his activist work in queer music community. In December 2006, Kalamka completed the MFA program in Poetics (minoring in Queer and Activist Performance through the schools Experimental Performance Institute) at New College of California in San Francisco.
Nomy Lamm, Performer/Vocalist. Nomy is a writer, musician, and activist whose work has been featured in magazines (Ms., Punk Planet, Make/Shift), anthologies (Listen Up, Body Outlaws, and most recently Word Warriors and Working Sex, all from Seal Press), and onstage across the U.S. She has toured with Sister Spit, the Sex Workers Art Show, and the cabaret showcase Dr. Frockrocket’s Menagerie and Medicine Show. She has released two solo albums (Anthem, 1999, and Effigy, 2002) and co-wrote, co-produced and performed in The Transfused, a post-apocalyptic rock opera about multigendered animal-human hybrids, in 2000. She teaches voice lessons, and is currently working on her first novel, The Best Part Comes After the End.
Leroy F. Moore Jr., Performer, is a contributing writer and performer for many Sins Invalid shows. He is a Black disabled writer, poet, community activist, and feminist. Leroy is the author of a spoken word CD and chapbook entitled Black Disabled Man with a Big Mouth & a High IQ, and his poems and articles have appeared in numerous publications. His film-based collaboration with Todd Herman on disability and sexuality resulted in the internationally award-winning work Forbidden Acts. Leroy lectures regularly on the intersection of race and disability and is the founder of the Krip-Hop Project, which produces hip-hop mixtapes featuring disabled hip-hop artists from around the world.
Aurora Levins Morales, Contributing Writer/Vocal Performer, is a nationally known writer whose work has been widely anthologized and taught. She was a contributor to the groundbreaking 1981 collection This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Her fiction has appeared in Ms. and The American Voice and four collections of Latina/o writing. She is also a frequent contributor to the Jewish feminist journal Bridges. Her first book, Getting Home Alive, (Firebrand Books, 1986) written with her mother, Rosario Morales, was hailed as “a landmark in Puerto Rican literature,” and “the most important book to come out of the diaspora in a generation.” Her most recent books are Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (Beacon Press, 1998) a prose poetry retelling of the history of the Atlantic world through the lives of Puerto Rican women and their kin, and Medicine Stories, (South End, 1998) a collection of essays. Her 9/11 poem Shema was broadcast on Pacifica and other radio stations, distributed online and read at anti-war events and religious services across the country in the wake of September 11, 2001. Her poetry commentaries on the news are aired regularly on Pacific Radio’s Flashpoints news magazine. She is currently working on a novel.
Todd Herman, Filmmaker, is also a photographer and co-founder of Sins Invalid. His film and photographic works, often exploring relationships between documentary images and poetic texts, range from a newly released photography book about several marginalized communities in Kathmandu, Nepal; to film and book projects exploring the connections between birth, memory and mourning; to video productions and visual art exhibitions exploring aspects of disability, sexuality and eugenics. He was the recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s 2004 Emerging Curator Award, and was the 2008 winner of the 51st Annual San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award for best bay area short film. Todd has facilitated filmmaking workshops for adults with disabilities for nearly ten years. He exhibits his work internationally. For more information, visit www.todd-herman.com.
Patty Berne, Artistic Director is a Co-Founder of Sins Invalid and has served its Executive and Artistic Director since 2006. Berne’s background includes advocacy for immigrants who seek asylum due to war and torture; community organizing within the Haitian diaspora; international support work for the Guatemalan democratic movement; work with incarcerated youth toward alternatives to the criminal legal system; advocating for LGBTQI community and disability rights perspectives within the field of reproductive and genetic technologies; offering mental health support to survivors of violence; and cultural activism to centralize marginalized voices, particularly those of people with disabilities. She is pursuing a Psy.D., focusing on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and state-sponsored violence. In 2008, she had a chapter published in the Routledge Press book, Telling Stories to Change the World, on the work and history of Sins Invalid. She currently chairs the Board of Directors at San Francisco Women Against Rape and the 2009 recipient of the Empress I Jose Sarria Award for Uncommon Leadership in the field of LGBTQI and disability rights by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
This event received a Creating Queer Community Commission from Queer Cultural Center funded through the San Francisco Foundation.
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