Virtual Choir #2: Survival Is Resistance

Inspired by Kao Kue, Boone Nguyen, and Carol Zou. By Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis

Activist Songbook honors organizers and organizing through collective music-making. Material emerges from interviews with individual organizers to engage communities. Activist Songbook Virtual Choirs, made up of musicians and non-musicians, record songs from the songbook repertoire and perform together from the safety of their own homes. With a single Zoom rehearsal under their belts, performers use guide tracks to record their parts separately, singing along and improvising.

This piece, SURVIVAL IS RESISTANCE, springs from the words of Philadelphia-based Hmong artist and activist Kao Kue, with additional inspiration from Boone Nguyen and Carol Zou. Their work speaks of the infinitely creative ways individuals, families and peoples survive in the face of oppression, and how culture--especially song--carries life and resistance through generations.

To support leaders of color mobilizing mutual aid in the New Haven area, check out:  CT CORE Organize Now

To learn about the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School where Kao teaches in Philadelphia's Chinatown, go to:

Inspired by Kao Kue, Boone Nguyen, and Carol Zou
By Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis
Featuring Diane Phelan

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Featuring: Diane Phelan (@dianicaphelan)
Piano: Anton Kot (@a.n.t.o.n.k.o.t)
Aaron “Coach Hawk” Hawkins (@iamcoachhawk)
Amelia Allen Sherwood (@hood_montessorian)
Anne Rhodes (@rainbownoisy)
Anthony DeQuattro
Brianna Chance (@briannachance)
Elaine Kolb
Erika Schroth (@schrotherika)
Fi Schroth-Douma (@figuratively_fi)
Florian Testa
Jennifer Heikkila Diaz
Julia Zhao  (@juliayzhao)
Kao Kue
Magdalena Diaz
Madeleine Woodworth (@madeleinewoodworth)
Paul Davies (@paul.evan)
Sara Culver (@spcfromscratch)
Tahj Galberth (@big_boi_tahj)
Z Bell (@queerchaosbear)
Music Director/Audio & Video Editor: Stephanie Tubiolo (@stephanietubiolo)
Produced by Octopus Theatricals (@octopustheatricals) in partnership with The International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Activist Songbook was created as a part of (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence, a project of Asian Arts Initiative, Original support for (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence was provided by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia. Additional support from Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Residency Program.

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