Art Therapy: Responding to 9-11 Through Poetry, Theater, and Hip-Hop

Suheir Hammad, author of Born  Palestinian, Born Black
photo: Tarek Aylouch
Suheir Hammad, author of Born Palestinian, Born Black

From the children's drawings that filled city firehouses to large-scale public-art projects like the "Tribute in Light," art works have been so interwoven in the city's response to the tragedy of September 11 that one might possibly take them for granted. This year, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of 9-11, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has created "What Comes After: Cities, Art and Recovery," an international summit on how the arts develop and sustain a city after catastrophic events, running from September 8 through 11 at various locations in Lower Manhattan. On Sunday, September 11, the conference culminates with "Political Cabaret," an evening of eclectic performances by some of New York City's own rock-steady social, political, and cultural artist-activists. Danny Hoch blends hip-hop, theater, and humor in his solo pieces, deep cuts into contemporary culture, while Rennie Harris's dance synergizes African American traditional forms with the voices of today. Carl Hancock Rux reads from his novel Asphalt, and Brooklyn-born MC Suheir Hammad adds her unique poetry to the night's mix, celebrating arts that have been both respite and regeneration to a New York City that never sleeps on its drive to thrive.

 
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