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To the rhythm of praying gray whales

Re_Generation-Talk with Alexis Pauline Gumbs

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For several years, the American writer and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs has been studying the life and work of Audre Lorde. She has now turned her research into a biography of the impressive writer and activist. In doing so, Gumbs does not limit herself to a mere retelling of Lorde’s impressive life and work. She intertwines the narrative about Lorde’s time at Freie Universität Berlin with poetic word pictures about gray whales. About how gray whales communicate rhythmically with each other underwater; how mother whales guide their children through the oceans, feeding them as they go, while they themselves go months without eating. These thoughts intertwine with Lorde’s understanding of womanhood, motherhood, blackness – and also of being sick and disappearing.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs‘ reading and subsequent talk with artist and activist Siegmar Zacharias will be available on our YouTube channel until May 15, 2023. The talk took place as part of the Re_Generation series. The series ends with a festival from 5/5 to 5/14 that includes workshops, performances, listening sessions, parties, and a symposium.