Center for Art,
Research and Alliances
04 – 05 May, 2024

HOPE AGAINST HOPE: A woman-led weekend of parade, community, poetry, song, and food

Publication Cover

HOPE AGAINST HOPE was a parade and gathering of feminist poets, activists, musicians and artists to raise questions about how woman activist histories can inform radical presents.

Catalyzed by artist Ines Doujak’s decades-spanning practice which stages interventions into socially prescribed boundaries. HOPE AGAINST HOPE is a parade convened to remember, honor, and express solidarity with women land defenders from around the world. The artist's works, currently on display in CARA's galleries, transformed into props for the parade, bringing together bodies in public space to ask: How will you show up for your role as a member of the collective body? When we gather in hope, what worlds are born?


The weekend began with a parade on May 4, co-presented by CARA and New York City AIDS Memorial. Weaving together pasts and futures of hope, participants form a chorus of voices celebrating the history, present and future of women/trans/femme-led activism.

The parade opened at CARA with an invocation by poet Pamela Sneed, who read work that honors the lives lost to AIDS. Her words led us into the streets, guided by the heart-beat of the parade: the percussion of Black-led, Afro Brazilian, all-women musical troupe Batalá New York. Joined by BRUJAS, a New York-based experimental union and skate collective, we processed towards St. Vincent’s Triangle (the New York City AIDS Memorial), which acted as a space for performances and gathering. At the memorial The Blacksmiths, a coalition of artists and organizers committed to using the arts to support direct action and civic engagement in the service of Black liberation and equity, organized a performance by Jordyn Davis, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, Lessie Vonner, and Nikara Warren, performed with vibraphone, trumpet, vocals, and percussion. Artist and writer Christen Clifford, whose work centers reproductive justice and organizing against gender-based violence, performed. The afternoon was book-ended by a final offering from Sneed.


Sunday, May 5 continued the spirit of the prior day’s parade, drawing in artists and educators for reflections on praxis, performance, and organizing. CARA’s Spring show artists Ines Doujak and Paloma Contreras Lomas were in conversation with the exhibition’s curator and CARA’s Executive Director and Chief Curator Manuela Moscoso. This first public exchange between the artists delved into their intimate, political practices. Complementing the artistic dialogue, feminist academics and activists Nimmi Gowrinathan and Loretta Ross spoke about their work across institutions and human rights movements. Both Gowrinathan and Ross engage in scholarship that informs organizing around women’s political identities, reproductive justice, and structural violence. The day also featured a performance with music, poetry, and live illustratio by This Time’s QuartetHuda Asfour (Oud/Song), Farah Barqawi (Poet), Tracy Chahwan (Illustrator), Elsa Saade (Song).


A woman-led weekend of parade, community, poetry, song,

Batalá New York, BRUJAS, Christen Clifford, Kinky Taco, Pamela Sneed, The Blacksmiths Present: Jordyn Davis, Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, Lessie Vonner, and Nikara Warren, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Ines Doujak, Nimmi Gowrinathan, Makina Café, This Time's Quartet and Loretta Ross.

Images by Elodie Adam.

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