ABOUT 


Established in 2017, POETIC SOCIETIES is a Transmedia Poetry and Healing Technologies 501(c)(3) Network located in the North End neighborhood of Waawiiyatanong/Detroit that is dedicated to body-conscious modes of expression and governance. Since its founding, POETIC SOCIETIES has supported Detroit poets, artists, musicians, healers, and organizers with diverse intergenerational experiences of forced physical, environmental, and sexual movement, cultural reappropriation, and gaslighting to revitalize and circulate their ancestral healing modalities through linguistic and ritualistic modes of poetic process.

Our projects, workshops, and public programs encapsulate temporal and spatial zones that remove pain from the sensual, institutional, and digital bodies and cultivate celebratory memories of alignment with self, land, and senses of belonging in local and global modes. We cocreate multilocation and multilingual vital media and interventional urban-cyber temporary spaces that celebrate the medicinal usage of language and rituals of release in experimental slow modes and resist the patriotic, capitalist, and ableist systems of production and time that suppress the highest potential of human forms.

As displaced, mislabeled, and disabled bodies equipped with the art of interdependency, POETIC SOCIETIES is a strong house of queer technologies with transforming practices replacing the body-suppressing manners of organizational work. Our nonprofit organization is modeled after and for the organic network of bodies—from humans to animals to plants to planets—to liberate from the colonizing and alienating control of free body navigation and collective mind across the earth.

We are located in North End—the legacy-land of Motown, Funk, Soul, Jazz, HipHop, and Techno movements with poets, polymaths, urban technologists, architects, farmers, and healing justice organizers who protect the land and its cultural heritage from the development plans that are out of touch with the community or attempt fake alignments—at the historical building of Underground Resistance, an anticorporate label and guardian of Detroit Techno for the global sonic revolution, close to the Motown Museum.

MISSION


Somatic, Sonic, and Scenic Liberation of the Oppressed Bodies through Translingual, Transcultural, and Transnational forms of Poetic Communication, Participation, Organization, and Celebration.

VISION


Ancestral and Digital Alignment of Bodies, Lands, and Senses of Belonging, Living and Non-living, Seen and Unseen.

OBJECTIVES


Through ongoing research, creative productions, and cultural and community organizing efforts concerning organic bodies, POETIC SOCIETIES circulates liberating and survival tactics among diverse communities with similar concerns.

POETIC SOCIETIES builds global solidarity by revitalizing ancestral knowledge lost due to migration, forced displacement, processes of enslavement, and cultural appropriation and against the normalization of imperial, colonial, and fascist forces.

At a time of restricted travel, limited physical proximity, online scrutiny, and suppressed public creation, we work within and beyond the North End neighborhood of Waawiiyaataanong [Detroit] to amplify intersectional dynamics of solidarity and resonate with the multiversal vibrations of cosmic transformation against ethnic cleansing all across the globe.

We recognize the importance of this work for our local, national, and global communities in this historical duration of slow genocides and initiate essential sharing strategies to address the intergenerational traumas caused by the constant and mass-scale forms of control opposed on our bodies.

As a community of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant, Queer, Non-conforming gender, and Displaced bodies, we are gifted with daring life experiences and observations. We use our power of interdependency to navigate unconventional moments of growth, conflict, and suppression for our continuation.

To us, humans are poetic beings who are not subjects of any nation-state and flourish in poetic environments.


We design digital and physical spaces to cultivate transnational memories of healing and hand over immortal acts of social justice across temporal and spatial zones beyond the environmental, socio-geographical, and political media separations.

We value, document, and share experiences of migration and imagine a global justice network that elevates healing frequencies across the earth beyond the corrupted media and communication technologies through respectful cocreation and multi presence forms of manifestation.

INSTITUTIONAL STANDING


INSTITUTIONAL STATUS:


POETIC SOCIETIES is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is registered in the State of Michigan, USA.

DECOLONIZATION STATUS:


POETIC SOCIETIES is a constant practice and dialogue of decolonization of our tongues, minds, bodies, work habits, and lifestyles. We function in cosmic pastes and spaces and are not obligated to the notions of time, productivity, and existence dictated by the white privilege including deadlines, senses of perfection as well as ideas of productivity and professionalism.

As a collective of Indigenous, Black, Immigrant, Brown, Queer, and Non-conforming gender beings, we are healing from the experiences of complex and interconnected traumas of colonialism and constantly practice setting boundaries to respectfully communicate our values, commitments, and priorities. For more information please read this.



LEGAL STATUS:


All POETIC SOCIETIES‘ contracts, agreements, and collaborations are co-created from the space of abundance with a solid commitment to reparation. We practice gift economy, value poetic currencies, and receive humans as poetic-beings emerging in poetic environments.

ECONOMIC STATUS:


POETIC SOCIETIES generates income through artistic, cultural, and educational exchanges, partnerships, and grants. We price our products and services on a sliding scale so fees are thereby reduced for those who have lower incomes. We do not tolerate nor accept resources or partnerships from individuals and entities that sabotage intersectional and environmental justice.

CULTURAL STATUS:


POETIC SOCIETIES is a registered Art Space Sanctuary and requests the immediate determination of the wide-ranging crime, violence, and assault on selective populations, including Indigenous, Black, Immigrants, Refugees, Muslims, Latinx, Women, and LGBTQAI+ communities, as well as artists, academics, scientists, and the press inside the US and across the globe. Our residents stand together to build horizontal and non-hierarchical networks of meaningful inclusion and participation. Our mother-hub is Detroit, a resilient city of diverse immigrants.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS


FOUNDING DIRECTOR:
TRANSCULTURAL ALIGNMENT

Ava Ansari, is an Iranian immigrant transmedia poet, transcultural curator, and Iyengar Yogi. Ava channels poetry through the combination of voice, movement, imagery, and cultural organization and create urban-digital spaces/processes for sensual alignment and synergic embodiment. Their practice is focused on the intersections of computer-mediated communication; choreographic, linguistic, and musical composition; virtual performance and radical cyber celebration; and collective embodiment and body's free navigation. Ava has been designing and producing multilocation telepresence celebratory curatorial and educational interventions, tactical media, and public art since 2010.

DIRECTOR: RESPECTFUL PERFORMANCE & EMPATHIC PROCESS 

Halima Afi Cassells is an interdisciplinary community-engaged artist, mom of three, and an avid gardener with deep roots in Waawiiatanong/Detroit, MI. Halima practices the collaborative and indigenous notions of freedom, work, value, and disposability in participatory contexts through projects such as the Free Market of Detroit. Her book, Fashioning the Free Market, documents the project’s journey from its hyperlocal inception to its global receptions at Njelele Art Station in Zimbabwe and FLORA ars+natura in Bogota, Colombia. As an advocate for all artists and cultural practitioners, Halima has spearheaded many grassroots movements that uplift cultural capital from the marginalized communities. 

DIRECTOR: TRANSPARENT CONVERSATIONS & STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY

Taraneh Fazeli is an Iranian-American curator, writer, and educator living between Waawiiatanong/Detroit and Lenapehoking/Brooklyn. After a decade working at NYC-based arts organizations such as Artforum, e-flux, Triple Canopy, and The New Museum, she became an independent curator in 2016. Taraneh is currently working on a book rooted in her traveling group exhibition Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying. Both a space for reflection on the project and a field guide of associated approaches, within the artists, curators, and cultural organizers involved draw a map towards possible emancipatory futures centered on healing justice, disability justice, racial justice, and climate justice. With Aiko Fukuchi and Owólabi Aboyade, Taraneh is also co-founder of Relentless Bodies, a Detroit-based creative disability justice collective. Taraneh roots the accessibility practices she brings to Poetic Societies at the intersection of the disability and diasporic art communities she calls home. She makes delicious Kuku-sabzi, gives epic studio visits, has Virgo organizing skills, and a mean left hook.

DIRECTOR: SPATIAL JUSTICE & ARCHITECTURE OF COLOR

Recognized as one of the leading scholars on African Americans in architecture, Dr. Craig L. Wilkins is an architect, theorist, author, critic, and 2017 National Design Award Winner. His essay, “(W)Rapped Space: The Architecture of Hip Hop” (2006) is the first theoretical source that predicted the influence of hip hop on architecture. His first book, The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on race, space, architecture and music received a 2008 Montaigne Medal and 2009 National Indie Excellence Award.