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London. Tbilisi. San Juan. Berlin. These are just a few places around the world where organizers have used parties as their main site of protest.
In movements for reproductive rights, the decriminalization of drugs, and human rights–parties have successfully mobilized rage for freedom, togetherness, and democracy.
And at Revolutionizing Activism: PARTIES, we’re talking about why parties can work, and how they can promote freedom of expression and community while cutting through the tension. We’re particularly excited to present examples from different parts of the world, across varied social justice issues, which demonstrate how these movements have centered the reclamation of space, freedom of expression, and community!
Learn how parties can bring the powerful to their knees and more about our panelists below!
JAY JORDAN (JJ)
Labeled a “Domestic Extremist” by the UK police, and “a magician of rebellion” by the French press, Jay (formerly John) Jordan (he/they) has spent three decades applying what they learnt from theatre and performance art to direct action. Together with Isabelle Fremeaux, they co-facilitate the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, which since 2004, has brought artists and activists together to co-design and deploy creative forms of disobedience.
They like spaces betwixt and between, especially between art and activism, the masculine and feminine, resistance and proposition, party and protest. He has performed in museums and International Theater Festivals, trained people in squats, co-organised climate camps, choreographed carnivalesque riots, written a BBC radio play for today, and an opera-for-one.
Co-founder of the anti-capitalist rave and direct action collective Reclaim the Streets (1995-2000), in 2004 JJ co-launched the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army.
They co-edited and co-authored We Are Everywhere: the irresistible rise of global anti-capitalism (Verso, 2003), The User’s Guide to Demanding the Impossible (with Gavin Grindon, Minor Compositions 2009), the film/book Les Sentiers de l’Utopie (with Isabelle Fremeaux, Zones/La Découverte, 2011) and We are ‘Nature’ Defending Itself: Entangling Art, Activism and Autonomous Zones (with Isabelle Fremeaux, Vagabonds/Pluto/Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, 2021).
Paata Sabelashvili is the founder of Georgia’s first ever LGBTQ+ organisation and a member of the White Noise Movement, a political group that focuses on drug decriminalization in Georgia. Paata has extensively sought and used artistic methods to campaign for IGLTBIQ human rights, the rights of displaced persons, the rights of people who use drugs, people who live with HIV, and access to treatment for Hepatitis C in Georgia.
Throughout these campaigns, Paata has used the dancefloor as the main site for mobilizing people facing injustice, violence from their families, and the state.
Paata was one of the main organizers of RAVEolution, a dance protest movement in response to aggressive drug raids in Tbilisi, Georgia. RAVEolution brought over 10,000 people together for a two-day rave in front of parliament.
Kate Kelly is a zealous advocate and passionate activist. She has a JD from American University Washington College of Law, the only law school in the world founded by, and for, women. She is a vocal women’s rights champion in the U.S. and worldwide.
In her legal career, she has had various incredible opportunities including working as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Strategic Advocacy & Policy Counsel at the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah; She has spent the last two years working in the U.S. House of Representatives, primarily on the Equal Rights Amendment.
Kate is also an organizer with Shout Your Abortion (SYA), a collective that normalizes abortion and elevates safe paths to access, regardless of legality. SYA makes resources, campaigns, and media intended to arm existing activists, create new ones, and foster collective participation in abortion access all over the country. Shout Your Abortion actions have included pop-up lemonade stands, celebratory abortion pill info stands, online storytelling festivals, and other actions that bring defiance and joy into the fight for reproductive justice.
Kate hosts the podcast Ordinary Equality. She has a forthcoming book, Ordinary Equality, which is about the history of the women who have shaped the U.S. Constitution.
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