Lutze Segu’s workshop “Writing for Liberation”, the first workshop of the RQ Writing Academy 2017 – 2018 season at O Cinema – Wynwood, broke important silences many of us hold inside. She began by creating a safe space and set the tone by reading Audre Lorde’s essay “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.” In this essay, we were reminded that the machinery of white supremacy will “try to grind us into dust anyway, whether or not we speak.”
Also, the essay reminded us to not fear difference and examine mockeries of separation: just because a black woman’s experience may not be our own, does it really mean we can’t teach or learn from Black Literature? How many years have we spent teaching and learning from Plato, Shakespeare and Proust?
To encourage us to break and examine these oppressive silences, Lutze had us write to questions like, for what do you not have words, yet? and what do you need to say? (list as many things).
In order for us to be the decision makers of our writing, we also wrote to the prompt “if we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language, first ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” As a last exercise of breaking silences, of being bold and vulnerable, workshop participants paired up with someone who was different from them, and exchanged answers they wanted to speak up about.
Workshop Description: Who would you be if you could radically decenter the white heteropatriarchal gaze? The most insidious act of violence white supremacy inflicts is it robs us of our imagination. White supremacy is a fight that first begins in the mind. A world where Black lives truly matter, a world where the gender binary is dismantled, and a world where all bodies are worthy of love and having their basic needs met can exist if we can cultivate these worlds in our creative minds. This workshop is for writers and aspiring writers who want to decolonize their thinking and pluralize the concept of freedom. In using an intersectional framework and series of writing prompts, writers will wrestle with the question: what does it mean to be a QTPOC and thrive against the backdrop of white supremacy?