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Between 8 May and 15 June 2019, The Community Reading Room presented Black Tourmaline -  a space to consider the inclusivity of our education system, problematise ‘resilience’ narratives and contemplate how our institutions of knowledge privilege particular ways of knowing and being.

Over six weeks Laniyuk and this mob, Negro Speaks of Books, Mary Quinsacara, Blk School, Beaziyt Worcou and Torika Bolatagici curated a program of events and installations including panel discussions and workshops for focused reflection on how Black, Indigenous and people of colour experience mainstream education in an ‘Australian’ context with an emphasis on healing, self-determination, dreaming and visioning.

Transforming the ‘passive’ library into a participatory project, the artists invited the public to create an archive of lived experiences by contributing anonymous written reflections of their own education.

Programmed events included:

  • Noble Savage Book Club discussing Parable of the Sower presented by Negro Speaks of Books.

  • Siblings of the Yam: Tongues of Fire - a journalling workshop facilitated by Soreti Kadir, BLK School and Negro Speaks of Books.

  • Performance Poetry for Mob - a series of three workshops by Laniyuk for this mob - facilitated by Alison Whitaker, Maddee Clarke, Neil Morris and Laniyuk.

  • Siblings of the Yam: Knowing Peace - two restorative yoga sessions for women and folx of colour facilitated by Lauren Gower, BLK School and Negro Speaks of Books.

  • BLK Schools Discussion: Self-determined learning spaces - presented by BLK School and Negro Speaks of Books.

  • Breaking Atoms: B-Girl Being and Knowing in the Cypher - a public jam and conversation Demi aka demiltion bgirl, Melo, Sammie and Stash. Presented by Mary Quinsacara.

Black Tourmaline is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the Carstairs Prize, funded by a private donor and administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). #navagrants

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