Implemented in 2017, In-Session is a remix of a traditional lecture or panel and critical interdisciplinary salon that incorporates reading, conversation, and response together. The salons are focused on a selection from a shared reading list which is compiled by Threewalls and based on a theme. The curated reading list is an act of decolonization: citing texts and creators that are not centered in mainstream culture and expanding scholarship that shapes lived experiences of our Threewalls community. The list is also Threewalls’ contribution to uplifting the brilliance of ALAANA (African descent, Latinx, Arab, Asian and Native American) culture producers and culture bearers.
The program is an opportunity for artists & creatives to hold space, in community, and have conversations about texts that illuminate their lived experiences and artistic practices. In-Session allows space for intimacy and vulnerability that are important characteristics to building relationships across differences. It is an invitation for those who participate and bear witness to show up as they are.
New Iteration: After a two-year hiatus, In-Session has been reimagined as a 7-month fellowship program to include mentorship from the Threewalls team, wellness support that includes financial planning, mental health services, digital coaching, and a health stipend.
Similarly, to its predecessor, In-Session will center conversation and audience engagement with a response activation to the selected text. However, in this new iteration, we are limiting the conversation and fellows to a pair: two artists or creatives will form a collaboration to be in conversation together. The collaborative pair may collaborate with others on the response and use their materials+supplies stipend to cover their fees.
Unlike the former iteration, where the salons took place at Threewalls’ space, the salons moving forward will take place in the fellows’ neighborhood, in a space of their choosing. This follows the organization’s ethos of supporting artists where they live and supporting the neighborhood economy.
The In-Session theme for 2023-24 is Bearing Witness. We invite proposals that engage witnessing as an act of and catalyst for joy, worldbuilding, imagination, love and restoration. Put simply, bearing witness can be defined as demonstrating that something is true or does exist. In relation to harm, especially against Black communities, it is often discussed as a term to describe active watching and listening to the revisitation of trauma as a form of healing and protection. While this holds true for many, we invite a careful consideration of its use, especially when embodied by those most impacted by systemic oppression and harm. Its invocation can also serve as a tool of self-determination, equipping us with the power to forge our own path, future and liberation by any means necessary. More importantly, it can demonstrate these possibilities while leading with evidence of a joyful existence.
We contemplate what it would mean to bear witness to that which makes our soul sing. How do we cultivate the courage to witness radical possibilities for others and ourselves? Through communal witnessing, how might we dream up practices and worlds that have yet to come into being? By bearing witness to that which is most authentic and life-giving to our humanity, we allow ourselves to remember what we always recognized to be true inside of us. We hold fast in knowing that thriving in the layeredness of everyday existence is, in itself, an act of resistance.
Successful applications will clearly detail a commitment to exploring a process and approach to defining expanded definitions of “bearing witness” as a pair and in community with others.
Click here to access the full application.
Solicitudes disponible en Español, aqui.
For frequently asked questions (FAQs), please follow this link.
FAQ disponible en español, aqui.
Bearing Witness can also serve as a tool of self-determination, equipping us with the power to forge our own path, future and liberation by any means necessary.
What are the consequences of a citizen’s performance as superhuman while being classified as subhuman by the world at large? (AJ McClenon and Angel Bat Dawid, 2019)
Threewalls is always finding new ways to share our artist’s unique voices through exhibits, talks, and gatherings. We would like you to be the first to know about these opportunities.