Many of us in Portland feel like we are living in a dystopia.
We are trying to survive a deadly pandemic. We continue to endure the presence of uninvited federal troops escalating the excessive force began by Portland police against the ongoing Black Lives Matter protesters. These protests are happening in our community and around the nation.
Literary Arts’ staff felt compelled to restate our statement of solidarity that we released in June, which can be read in its entirety here.
“We extend our support and compassion to everyone impacted by ongoing acts of racist violence and hatred. We, too, demand a just and equitable present and future, and ask our community to join us in active solidarity with all those who fight for justice.”
In addition to our weekly roundup of online literary events and connections, our staff has curated some reports and articles about the current situation in Portland.
What You Need to Know About the Battle of Portland
A comprehensive report of the last 50 days of protest by Robert Evans, a former conflict journalist in Iraq and Ukraine who has reported extensively on far-right extremist groups in the United States, who has been covering the protests since they started in late May.
A long feature from Democracy Now!
Interviews from prominent Portland-based Afro-Indigenous organizer Lilith Sinclair and lawyer Juan Chavez of the Oregon Justice Resource Center.
PART 1: Portland Protests Grow Despite Violent Crackdown from Militarized Federal Agents & Local Police
Though no one organization or “protest leader” encompasses the demands of all protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement, the following proposals have broad support.
Unite Oregon & PAALF Action Fund
Demands for the Portland Police budget after the murder of George Floyd.
List of demands regarding housing & policing organized by Don’t Shoot Portland, Community Alliance of Tenants, Care Not Cops, and other organizations at the start of the COVID pandemic that continues to inform the protests.
All of the Proposed Police Reforms Facing Portland City Council (Portland Mercury)
8 to Abolition campaign, created as a rejoinder to the 8 Can’t Wait Campaign viewed by many activists as inadequate in addressing police brutality as many of their proposals have already been implemented in police departments to little effect.
OTHER RECOMMENDED READING
Letter From Exile: Finding Home in a Pandemic (LitHub)
From Portland author Samiya Bashir
Your White Neighbor’s “Black Lives Matter” Yard Sign Is Not Enough (In These Times)
Adapted from Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient Shayla Lawson’s new book This is Major.
UPCOMING VIRTUAL EVENTS
Affinity Space Conversation: Honoring Multiracial Identity and Navigating Antiracism (Oregon Humanities)
Tuesday, July 28
7:00 – 8:30 p.m (PDT)
For bi/multiracial people, whose identities are complex, navigating the world, relationships with others, and relationships with ourselves is nuanced and can be difficult to do alone. How do we honor ourselves and our cultural identities? How do we respond to society and individual assumptions about how we think, act, question, and live based on how we look or identify? How do antiracism, whiteness, and white supremacy affect us?
Facilitated by Jacqueline Fitzgerald
The Cinema Unbound Drive-In at Zidell Yards (Northwest Film Center)
August 6 – September 27, 2020
Gary Cole presents Black Box: Page to Stage (Coho Theatre)
Friday, July 24 – Friday, September 4
Beginning July 24th, the red carpet will be rolled out for the digital opening of a limited “Page to Stage” run featuring scenes adapted from Black Box, Gary Cole’s debut novel. Black Box revolves around a black box theater very much like CoHo’s home in Northwest Portland. Scenes from the novel will be performed live for socially distanced media representatives and captured on video. Due to the continuing public health restrictions on Portland theaters, there will be no subsequent live performances, but each week of the run will feature an online event, such as the release of a new scene on video, or an interactive “talkback” with the actors, author, and CoHo Producing Artistic Director. The virtual run will continue until Portland theaters have fully reopened and plays can be staged without restrictions. Funds raised from this campaign will go towards direct relief for local arts and cultural organizations through the Oregon Arts and Cultural Recovery Program, established by the Oregon Community Foundation
The Moth Presents: Play it Again, SLAM!
Wednesday, July 29
4:15 – 6:15 p.m. PDT
Join The Moth for their second ever SLAM showcase, featuring beloved storylines picked from our StorySLAM series. Stories that split guts, broke hearts, took up residency in the backwaters of our minds. No hat. No judges. Just stories carefully curated and directed anew. SLAM selects, director’s cut, fresh takes!
Litquake on Lockdown
San Francisco’s Literary Festival returns to the online ethers with summer programming featuring a diverse set of authors talking about their books, books in general and the writing life.
Litquake on Lockdown: Afrofuturism: Risen From a Poet’s Sun
Tuesday, July 28,
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PDT
Litquake on Lockdown: Peter Orner and Maggie Brown & Others
Thursday, July 30
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PDT
Sundance Film Festival Shorts 2020 Tour (Hollywood Theatre)
Streaming Friday, July 24
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour “Virtual Edition” is a 82-minute program of 6 short films selected from this year’s Festival. Widely considered the premier American showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers for more than 30 years, the Short Film Tour includes fiction, documentary and animation from around the world, giving new audiences a taste of what the Festival offers.
For Kids/ Teens
What We’re Reading in August: A Mother-Daughter List of Favorites (Reading is Resistance)
Powell’s CEO Reflects On Retail In A Pandemic (Think Out Loud)
The most recent anthologies from Write Around Portland are now available online
Write Around Portland, recipient of our 2020 Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, holds free creative writing workshops in hospitals, shelters, senior centers, prisons, schools and treatment facilities. Their anthologies publish the stories of people who are often unheard in professionally-designed books, connecting writers from our workshops with readers from the public.
Blog cover image by Steve Dykes/ Getty Images