Join us Friday, February 25th at 12 pm EST for “I Made This For You: Strategic Generosity and Artistic Activism“, a conversation about generosity as practice and strategy, and how we can better lean into creative and experimental activist practices that are grounded in a love ethic.
An event moderated by Ibou Niang, Head of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and featuring Aaron Gach of the Center for Tactical Magic, Alanna Coady a doctoral student in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), and Maanasa Guram from Free the Vaccine.
Ibrahima Amadou Niang (Ibou) is a passionate democracy and human rights advocate, artist, and author with solid experience in advocating for social justice. He is the West Africa Advocacy Manager at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. Ibou holds a PhD in Political Science, an MA in International Governance, and an MA in International Public Law from Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal). He completed his Bachelor in International Relations and Economics at Reading University (UK) where he was a recipient of a full-tuition scholarship. A 2018 Yale World Fellow (Yale University) and Draper Hills Summer Fellow (Stanford University) he is also an expert BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) trainer. The author of the poetry collections ‘The Grapes from the Baobab’ and ‘Forty Ways to paint Autumn’, Ibou is an artist and creative activist who has performed in major literary festivals such as Festival Voix Vives de Méditérranée (France) and Festival Paroles Indigo (France).
Maanasa Gurram is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland College Park, majoring in neurobiology and physiology and minoring in public policy. She serves as a member of the North American Coordinating Committee for Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), helping coordinate student chapters across the nation to build the access to medicines campaign and encourage the implementation of a more socially responsible licensing policy. She served as a Project Manager for the Free the Vaccine Campaign, a collaboration between UAEM and C4AA. She has worked specifically with activism around the TRIPS waiver, utilizing artistic activism to grow support for the waiver and garner public attention surrounding global vaccine access. As a premed student pursuing a career in the intersection between clinical medicine and public health, she hopes to continue leading efforts for reform within the system and advocating for social and health equity.
Aaron Gach’s diverse artistic practice consistently addresses public concerns, social politics and power dynamics. Inspired by studies with a private investigator, a magician, and a ninja, he established the Center for Tactical Magic in 2000. This collaborative authoring framework is dedicated to the coalescence of art, magic, and creative tactics for encouraging positive social change. Although the collaborations take many different forms, the work is largely the result of creative partnerships with a wide array of individuals and organizations, including hypnotists, biologists, engineers, activists, nurses, military intelligence officers, journalists, radical ecologists, former bank robbers, security experts, street vendors, community organizers, and many others.
Alanna Coady is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) and holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School in Religious Studies. She is interested in the neurological underpinnings of moral judgments and social cognition, and particularly the role of moral emotions (e.g., shame, guilt) in shaping health outcomes. In collaboration with the advocacy group, Moms Stop The Harm, her research on stigma, shame, and barriers to care among families harmed by the overdose epidemic has been presented to Canadian provincial and federal government leaders to help inform health and drug policy. Her current work investigates the impacts of shame and guilt in caregiving relationships for stroke survivors to enhance social and emotional functioning post-stroke. While Alanna pursues positive change in healthcare through scientific research, she is a devoted art enthusiast and believes that both science and art can offer creative solutions to problems on individual and global scales.