This weekend, expand your ideas about what art can do in a conversation with Ericka Hart. Hart is a queer black femme who describes herself as a kinky, poly activist and sexuality educator—as well as a cancer warrior, after surviving a diagnosis of breast cancer at 28.
Sex Positive St. Louis and Afrosexology are co-presenting Hart’s talk, “Art is Resistance,” at the Clark Fox Forum in Washington University’s Hillman Hall Saturday at 2 p.m.
“Ericka Hart came on my radar during the Women’s March this year,” says Nick Speed, a co-leader of Sex Positive St. Louis who coordinated Hart’s visit.
“I was on social media and I came across the speech that she gave in Philadelphia and it literally gave me chills, just how open and honest and vulnerable she was on that stage, and that she had the courage to give voice to folks that usually don’t have it. I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to find a way to get her to St. Louis!’”
In that talk, Hart called out the cis-centric and white supremacist failings of the march overall. She asked everyone in the audience to consider who was there and who wasn’t, and what it said about their feminism and intersectionality—or lack thereof.
“Her journey as a queer black femme as well as her use of the arts as a form of resistance to oppression—she’s done all types of work from sexuality education to breast cancer awareness to working with youth to working with adults,” Speed says.
Hart will discuss the use of art to resist oppression, Speed says. Hopefully audience members can leave the talk with tangible ideas for next steps, both in St. Louis and the wide world.
“The arts provide a really powerful platform,” says Speed. “It provides opportunities for people to really engage in some of the issues that are happening in our society. When it’s framed in an art context, people are less afraid and more willing to engage, versus addressing systemic racism and oppression directly.”
Tickets are $15. Get them here.