CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
Join CEE for a conversation with author Asale Angel-Ajani on her book "A Country You Can Leave". We have 4 books available for in-person pickup for the first interested readers that get in touch with us (email@example.com).
When sixteen-year-old Lara and her fiery mother, Yevgenia, find themselves homeless again, the misnamed Oasis Mobile Estates is all they can afford. In this new community, where residents are down on their luck but rich in humor and escape plans, Lara navigates what it means to be the Black, biracial daughter of a Russian mother and begins to wonder what a life beyond Yevgenia's orbit—insistence on reading only the right kind of books (Russian), having the right kind of relationships (casual, with lots of sex)—might look like.
Lara knows that something else lies beneath her mother's fierce, independent spirit, but Yevgenia doesn't believe in sharing, least of all with her daughter. When a brutal attack exposes the cracks in their relationship, Lara and Yevgenia are forced to confront the family legacy of violence and the strain of inherited trauma on the bonds of their love.
A Country You Can Leave is a dazzling, sharp-witted story, suffused with yearning, as Lara and Yevgenia attempt to forge their own identities and thrive in a hostile land. Compelling and empathetic, wry and intimate, Asale Angel-Ajani's unforgettable debut novel examines the beauty and dangers of womanhood in multiracial America.
We are excited to present an asynchronous virtual screening of Be Holding, an original performance created by a team of professional artists in collaboration with students at Girard College. It transforms
Ross Gay's award-winning poem of the same name into a multidisciplinary, site-specific experience that combines poetry, music, choreography, and video.
Inspired by Philadelphia 76ers basketball legend "Dr." and his iconic baseline scoop in the 1980 NBA Finals, Be Holding wonders how the imagination, or how our looking, might make us, or bring us, closer to each other. How our looking might make us reach for each other.
And might make us be reaching for eachother.
And how that reaching might be something like joy.
Produced by Girard College, a tuition-free boarding school for underserved youth that was at the center of Philadelphia's civil rights movement, Be Holding opens the school's historic campus to the city and fosters conversation on social justice issues that continue to impact its majority Black population today.
Over two years of on-campus residencies, students collaborated with the acclaimed team of professional artists to study the themes of the work, explore how these artistic disciplines interact, and gain hands-on experience in developing a pertormance for the stage.
Be Holding is staged at center court in The Cheesman A. Herrick
Fieldhouse & Armory at Girard College in Philadelphia, PA.
Major support for Be Holding has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from The MAP Fund, which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Mellon Foundation.
Please join us for book talk and conversation with the talented scholar, journalist, and poet Stephanie Saldaña. Stephanie will share from her new book "What We Remember Will Be Saved."
Journalist and scholar Stephanie Saldaña, who lived in Syria before the war, sets out on a journey across nine countries to meet refugees and learn what they salvaged from the ruins when they escaped. Now, in the narratives of six extraordinary women and men, from Mt. Sinjar to Aleppo to Lesvos to Amsterdam, we discover that the little things matter a great deal. Saldaña introduces us to a woman who saved her city in a dress, a musician who saved his stories in songs, and a couple who rebuilt their destroyed pharmacy even as the city around them fell apart. Together they provide a window into a religiously diverse corner of the Middle East on the edge of unraveling, and the people keeping it alive with their stories.
At the first virtual Third Thursday of the academic year, Dr. Jasmine Johnson conversed with incoming CEE Fellows Jennifer Harge and Sosena Solomon, who are teaching interdisciplinary master classes with students from across the schools.
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