Radical Fictions: Transformational Art in an Era of Alternative Truth
April 12 – 14, 2018
The Institute for Theatre & Social Change (ITSC) in partnership with Roski School of Art and Design and the California African American Museum, hosted its first annual conference at USC on the theme Radical Fictions: Transformational Art in an Era of Alternative Truth. World-renowned scholars, artists, and activists shared performances, presentations, exhibits, workshops, and panels dedicated to exploring expressive and interactive art as a tool of social change to over 1,000 guests.
Radical Fictions can interrogate, disrupt, and critically reframe dominant false cultural norms and narratives, particularly about race, class, gender, nationality, and the basic identity of people at the margins of power. Keynote speaker Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and the panel collectively address the question, “What more is needed from artists, activists, and academics in this period of oppressive fiction?”
The conference featured a sold-out performance by Bryonn Bain, award-winning actor and author of Lyrics from Lockdown; a panel led by Internationally renowned artist Suzanne Lacy and Richard Montoya, actor and Culture Clash founder; a panel led by actor and trans-activist Alex Billings, co-star of Transparent; a devised, interactive Theatre of the Oppressed piece on anti-black racism called A Seat at the Table; a fully staged production of An Octoroon, the breakaway hit Broadway play tackling themes of race and identity which the New York Times called “this decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today;” breakout panels including representatives from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office on Legislative Theatre, Meiling Cheng, scholar and performance art expert on Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s treatment of the Syrian immigration crisis, and a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop with Afro-Brazilian practitioner and human rights activist Alessandro Conceição, among many others.
Special thanks to the JIB Fund who sponsored the ITSC 2018 Conference.