Story Archives 2014

African American Leaders Partner To Host First Annual Music, Art, and Self-Advocacy Event in 2014.

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
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Community Empowerment Programs Incorporated (CEPI) is pleased to announce that our organization will be working extensively with

Leroy F. Moore Jr., Founder of Krip-Hop Nation (KHN) on programs that empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) in arts, self-advocacy, and music.

KHN and CEPI share common goals in community integration, professional development, and leadership development of PWDs across the country and internationally. It’s been nearly two decade since the combine work of Moore and KHN his/its advocacy, outreach, education policy, and African American Leadership programs. CEPI began its nonprofit venture during 2008 with a focus on providing education to families with children which includes working with and on behalf (PWDs) through its outreach, disabilities, and self-advocacy department and believes strongly in the practice of nothing about us, without us across platforms.

Leroy More, Founder of Krip Hop Nation says: “Very rarely for me that I find myself in spaces where music and activism flow together with political and historical expressions on people of color around disabilities but when it does happen it opens up new friendships, partnerships, education, trust and deep conversations.”

Chester Finn, Professional, Self-Advocate, As a Leader in the Self-Advocacy Movement, and Co-Founder of Community Empowerment Programs, Inc. I enjoy working on local and national self-advocacy, community integrated services for PWDs, and presenting during workshops to a variety of audiences and stakeholders who share common goals of help families and individuals enhance their personal and professional lives.

John McKnight, Co-Founder and CEO: Having worked with a variety of populations in the social service sector one thing has always stood out for me. That is, we all share a common goal of helping other people achieve better outcomes in one way or another. Whether it’s through creating microfinance opportunities for targeted community members, creating livelihood programs with the help and support of community based organizations, non-government organizations, local states and government partners, and educational institutions. The residual effects are long lasting and impact families, children, and youth in ways that affirm for me the value of giving back through the level of appreciation that has been shown to me.

KHN’s International Movement travels around the world to provide workshops on disabilities initiatives and Human Rights for PWDs through music and hands on workshops/lectures & performances. Moore helped produce Pushed Limits 3 part radio series on Hip-Hop & artists with disabilities at KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, CA. in 2004 and also coordinated a workshop on Hip-Hop with community advocates with disabilities and LGBTQ persons at University of California at Berkley.  KHN has performed at other prestigious universities/colleges like New York University, NYU and more.  KHN also traveled to annual festivals like DADA Festival in Liverpool, UK and other venues in Germany, all over the US and Canada and is planning an Africa tour.

Upcoming venues & other Krip-Hop Nation’s work in 2014 are run by a core group of Krip-Hop Nation who are people from around the world like Binki Woi in Germany, Lady MJ in the UK, Ronnie Ronnie in Uganda Africa and Leroy Moore in the US who all provide advocacy and outreach and information can be found in the Poor Magazine online publication, San Francisco Bayview newspaper, and the Philadelphia I.D.E.A.L Urban Magazine. Self-Advocates & others gain a perspective on what it takes to run self-advocacy organizations around the country by participating in activism, arts, and music workshops.

Combined with CEPI’s local early intervention provider programming, national policy and governance outreach, and international Tools for School Kids Abroad program in Eastern Visayas municipalities of the Philippines, it makes practical sense to combine our expertise around education, arts, outreach, music, and advocacy to co-develop programs and services that continue to strengthen the knowledge-base of beneficiaries across the nation and internationally.

Beginning in January 2014 the partnership will start working on its first annual Activism, Music, and Arts event facilitated by African American leaders hosted in Albany, NY and a location to be determined in New York City shortly thereafter. Future 2014-2015 plans include scaling up the program on an international level by establishing a networking music conference in Africa. This will be exciting and the partnership is support in the form of sponsorships for PWD attendance, donations of conference facilities, air-travel, and lodging for participants and presenters.

Contact info:

Leroy Moore


John McKnight


Chester Finn









On the Passing of Nelson Mendela : SHU Political Prisoners in AmeriKKKa

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Phillip Standing Bear
Original Body

Editors Note: Jose is one of several power-FUL PNN Plantation prison correspondents who was involved in the Hunger Strike to end all solitary confinement and the in-human treatment of all of our incarcerated brothers and sisters.


December 19, 2013

In recent days we’ve seen the passing of Nelson Mandela.  Many prisoners here in SHU can relate to his struggles against a settler state and his being held as a political prisoner for over 20 years.

There are many similarities between prisoners living as political prisoners under an oppressor nation, no matter if the prisoner is in Amerikka, Palestine, or Apartheid South Africa.  When a settler state is securely embedded in the host nation, it will criminalize large swaths of the population, and particularly its most rebellious sector.  Aztlán, New Afrika, and the First Nations face not only occupation of our land by the settler state, but our peoples face oppressive laws that work to criminalize us, and then, once imprisoned, those captives who continue to resist and develop a consciousness face what I call a “dungeonization.”  This is most acute in Amerikka’s Supermax prisons, whether they are called a SHU, SMU, etc.

The truth is SHU prisoners are overwhelmingly qualified to be called political prisoners.  Like Mandela, any one of us can be released from isolation today if we would be willing to make up stuff and incriminate others, but like Mandela we refuse to aid the settler state and compromise another.  For this, we experience torture from our oppressor.  It is true that not everyone was conscious prior to arriving to the Pelikkan Bay Death Kamp.  Many have broken with bourgeois ideology in these torture chambers despite the odds and nature of this kamp.  Either way, we are held in this torture center not for actions or wrongdoing but for thought crimes—that is, our beliefs oppose the state and this is our crime.

The state propaganda spews their hate messages aimed at poor folks.  They say we are the “worst of the worst” and deserve to be tortured.  I have heard their spokespeople call us everything in the book and scare the public.  I came to prison for a nonviolent petty dope case.  I’m not ashamed of this because it just shows that people held in the Pelikkan Bay SHU have petty dope cases, and yet they talk of the “worst of the worst.” It was only while in prison- while I made the leap in consciousness and began to rise up for prisoner’s rights and attempt to conscientize my fellow prisoners- that I was snatched up out of the general population and placed in solitary confinement in SHU with a bogus gang label.  My past drug history also reflects that the enormous odds stacked against poor folks cannot stop our development, because even when we die our spirit of resistance lives on in those we touch.

Today, the “drug war” is blamed on the poor colonized folks in the barrio, ghetto, or reservation.  These lumpenfolks are blamed for the dope because they may be caught with a small quantity, but drugs have always been controlled by the state.  We’ve seen a glimpse of this come out in the 1980s with the Iran/contra debacle, where it came out that U.S. agencies were bringing in dope.  But today Amerikkka blames Mexico for its dope problem.

The drug exports from Mexico to the U.S. began as far back as the 1870s when Chinese settlers in Western Mexico began to cultivate and then export “Adormidera” (opium gum) into the US and beyond.   When prohibition kicked in, it attempted to halt Adormidera as well as liquor from entering Amerika, but instead this created an underground economy and a tidal wave of corruption in Mexico, from police to military and, of course, bourgeois politicians.  Contrary to media claims, most of the people who were sending dope into the U.S. were bankers, governors, and, of course, businessmen who used their contacts with U.S. counterparts, who they schmoozed at state functions.  For over a hundred years this was business as usual.  It was only when they were cut out of the action that it became an “epidemic.” Like everything else Amerika does, when you are of no more use the honeymoon is over.

The same goes for the treatment of migrants, when they are needed the door is open, and then the time is right, whole families are deported without a blink of an eye.  During World War I many Amerikan industries discouraged Mexicanos from coming to Amerika.  At this time, many Mexicanos were deported as the Amerikan economy declined, even U.S. corporations pushed for deportation, like in 1920 when the Ford motor company sent 3,000 of its Mexicano workers back to Mexico— at company expense!(Meier & Rivers, p. 142).  Today we see a rekindling of this atmosphere and national contradictions are once more sharpening up.  Out in society migrants are being deported and facing “show me your papers” laws, while chicanos in prison are facing “the new greaser laws,” where our culture is once again criminalized.

We live with our barrios and hoods being policed like interment kamps.  I read an article where an ex NYPD officer who became a whistleblower described even his experience being stopped and frisked as a child living in the Bronx.  He said, “it happens often enough that the mere sight of an NYPD car pulling up to the curb triggered an almost Pavlovian response! Before the officers had even exited their vehicle, Serrano and his friends would have their hands on the wall” (Gonnerman, 2013).

Some people may not grasp what this whistleblower explained, but I think anyone who grew up in the barrio or ghetto understands this very well.  Our youth are not just developing this Pavlovian response, but psychologically this is imprinting in our youth that they are colonized and living under a brutal occupation.  Let’s be honest here—we have all come to know what occurs when even youth do not obey the pig.  It results in death, as we seen with Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, Trayvon, etc, etc.

We know that white supremacy is a prime factor to us living under a settler state, however we need to also see that this is only a manifestation of living in capitalist Amerikkka. In Eugene Puryear’s new book “Shackled and Chained” he gets at this very clearly when he writes,

“white supremacy and racism are not floating in the air as independent and anonymous forces with the power to restructure society.  They operate in tandem with, and ultimately are subservient to, the evolving capitalist economic structure” (Puryear, 2013, p.46).

This is an important thing to understand, because simply focusing on racism is not going to completely eradicate oppression.  For this we need to rip oppression out by its capitalist roots.  It is from this poisonous tree where all forms of oppression spring forth. Settlerism is not a spontaneous phenomenon, so we need to get to the heart of the matter.  Prisoners too must see past our immediate conditions in order to being to gain real traction in these dungeons.

For the past 12 days I have had no light in my cell, so not only am I kept in a windowless torture chamber, but now I am in the dark unable to read, or draw.  It is not enough for the settler state to have me in solitary confinement without touching another human being or being able to see outside of a brick tomb, but now I am also kept in the dark without a light.   This is a concrete example of the repression we face for speaking up against injustice, for filing lawsuits against human rights abuses, and participating in hunger strikes.  For this we are retaliated on in this most cruel way.

I have started the appeal process and I will increase my means of resistance as time passes.  These methods of psychological warfare and cruelty will never hamper my determination to continue in struggle.  I know that my actions are always in the right, and no forms of abuse will ever change this.  The Peruvian revolutionary Jose Carlos Mariategui said something that captured the essence of why prisoners are developing under such cruel conditions when he wrote,

“I am no impartial and objective critic.  My judgments are nourished from my ideals, my sentiments, my passions.  I have a strong and declared aim: to contribute to the creation of a Peruvian socialism” (Mariategui, 1928, p. 6).

Prisoners too are nourished from our ideals and fueled by the brutal conditions of the oppressor’s criminal injustice system.  In these dungeons our resistance is forged.


                        Free Aztlán!

Jose H. Villarreal


1)    Matt S. Meier & Feliciano Rivers, “The Chicanos: A History of Mexican Americans” pg 142.

2)    Jennifer Gonnerman, New York Magazine, May 27th, 2013 “officer Serrano’s Hidden Camera.”

3)    Eugene Puryear, “Shacked and Chained: mass incarceration in capitalist America” pg 46, PSL Publications, 2013

4)    Joe Carlos Mariategui, 7 ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana (Lima, 1928), pg. 6.


To read Jose Villarreal's recent poem "The Settler Is The Same Under Any Moon", click here:


The Settler Is The Same Under Any Moon

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Phillip Standing Bear
Original Body

Editors Note: Jose is one of several power-FUL PNN Plantation prison correspondents who was involved in the Hunger Strike to end all solitary confinement and the in-human treatment of all of our incarcerated brothers and sisters.


27 years imprisoned for one’s thoughts,

ideas so threatening to injustice that repression rises.

Captured like a shu prisoner and confined to Robben Island,

One’s crime but defying apartheid settlers and denying their prizes.


Was he a living example of the most acute contradictions?

A man of peace and struggle in the face of intolerance.

The settler is the same under any moon,

Liberating one’s nations is the motivator for endurance.


Long live Azania the people scream,

Ebony faces holding rifles and fistfuls of okra.

You brought the world to the apartheid front,

People in struggle like a beautiful revolutionary opera.


You missed the children’s laughter the most,

As shu prisoners we grasp all that makes us human.

Times have changed these chambers of repression,

We see no seabirds today but we’ll still ride with you man!


You liked to see apartheid demolished in your nation,

Determination and support forged smiles on faces everywhere.

Resistance continues from bantus to cholos we rise,

Your efforts live on and we struggle because we dare.


By Jose H. Villarreal

December 2013


Claire Cunningham Dances To Her Own Song

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

(Photo by Sven Hagolani)

Krip-Hop Nation (KHN) I’m so excited to interview you, Claire, and have been following your work for years. I’m just going to come out in say it you are the only woman on crutches that do what you do.

Clair Cunningham: Cheers Leroy! That’s incredibly flattering.

KHN: Now you started as a classical singer tell us how did that turn into dancing and do you still sing?

Clair Cunningham: I always wanted to be a singer – from a very young age, and trained my voice from the age of 14 then went on to study music at University with the intention of becoming a classical singer. Like any business its really who you know more that what you know, and after I graduated I couldn’t work out how to actually WORK as a classical singer, I had the singing skills but not the freelancing artist skills at that time. I also had a thought at the back of my mind after leaving Uni that I wanted to encourage other disabled people to consider the arts as a career. Really as a career and not as ‘therapy’ or only a leisure activity – as was often the association with disabled people and arts…. although I had had very little experience of other disabled people. I very much grew up thinking myself as not disabled and not wanting to associate with disabled people. Very much a victim of the media brainwashing/ablest perspective…. Anyway, I found an organization in Glasgow, at that time called Sounds of Progress (now renamed Limelight), where I had moved back to after uni and they specialized in training disabled people as musicians and created professional music theatre productions with the individuals good enough to work at professional level and to platform those people to audiences. I was hired by them initially as a singer, and then joined as an admin assistant in the office. I was there for 6 and a half years, working part-time in the administration – learning all the basics of arts administration and project management and also becoming aware – through being invited to disability equality panels – about the situation and rights of disabled people and artists, and beginning to define my own views about this. With Sounds of Progress I still worked occasionally as a singer and through their theatre productions I gained a real grounding in basic stagecraft – which has been vital to me in subsequent years.

KHN: You know about my work tell in your from your point of view why still today there are a lack of women with disabilities dancing especially breakdancing?

Clair Cunningham: I keep thinking there must be other women out there doing what I’m doing but to be honest I’m still not encountering them. I find it interesting that I hear or see more men dancing on crutches – and mostly coming from the breakdance/hop hop culture. There is a young woman up and coming from Brazil – Mickaella Dantes who is a very beautiful dancer using crutches, I’m not certain if she is making work yet but I’m sure it won’t be long….I think I need to watch my back!

KHN: Please explain in your own words what do you call your style of dancing?

Clair Cunningham: I don’t call it anything specific. I haven’t named it in the sense that Bill (Shannon) named his Shannon Technique, as I haven’t defined it and honed it to the degree that Bill has. I would simply say I have developed a vocabulary of movement that is specific to my own physicality and to my understanding and knowledge of using crutches. Sometimes as a joke I do call it Cunningham technique- alluding to the existing and famous (Merce) Cunningham technique. I sometimes have a mischievous desire to run classes labeled as Cunningham technique – to which people would come expecting to do Merce Cunningham vocabulary, but actually give them all crutches – would be a bit unfair but quite funny perhaps to see the confusion on their faces!

KHN: We all know that you are from the UK however you travel does other dancers excites you and if so who and why?

Clair Cunningham: I was very pleased to meet and work with 2 dancers from Brazil that I met through making the work for Candoco. Edu O (Edu Oliviera) who is very well known within Brazil, from Salvador, as a very experienced disabled artist who has very much carved his own career and path. Also Mickaella Dantas – a young woman who dances using crutches. She is currently working in Portugal but I was really excited by her energy and drive and her knowledge of working with her crutches that is very specific to her. I was also fascinated for years by Lisa Buffano – I had really hoped one day to meet her and to, perhaps if she had been interested, to work with her. Her interest in working outward from her prosthetics and marrying that to her artistic vision was something I felt I related to, as was the spatial relationship of the fact that when she worked on the extended prosthetics and explored the more ‘spiderlike’ quality it offered I felt quite a strong link to the way I work on the crutches. It is a huge and incredibly sad loss to the arts in general and to disability arts that Lisa is no longer with us.

Obviously Bill (Shannon) will always be an important person to me for the fascination he provoked in me early on and the ideas he opened up to me regarding the possibility of working with the crutches – he could see possibilities of working with them that no other artist could and so really pushed me, which was vital. He also taught me to fall – which was a valuable lesson – in dance and life in general!

I have to mentioned that in terms of dance – the person that made me want to dance as a kid was Michael Jackson! It wasn’t seeing ballet or contemporary dance – not that I saw much of it, but it didn’t inspire me – whereas I locked myself in the living room for an entire day when Thriller came out trying to learn the dance. Likewise Fame (the TV series) had a similar effect. Somehow it didn’t matter that I physically couldn’t do these dances – my body could not recreate the movements by Jackson or the Fame cast – but there was something about the infectiousness of the dance, the love of dancing that I think transmitted and that was more unifying to me….
Lisa LeCavelier….
Annie Hanauer…

KHN: Being a person with a disability and a dancer how do you deal with ageing with a disability in your art?

Hmmm…well that I guess is something about which I tend to bury my head in the sand a lot and ignore….I have to acknowledge that I have a condition (Osteoporosis) that is a deteriorating condition. In my body will deteriorate and become more fragile. However I tend to ignore that at present and work with the body I have. I would like to think that my attitude towards working to the full capacity of the body that I have will be a philosophy that I can continue to embody as I get older and not grow frustrated and bitter if and when my body can no longer do what it once did. I mean, this is a natural state, but it is very sad when dancers think that because their body no longer does what it once did, then it is no longer valid, it no longer fits the aesthetic. This is the main problem. The aesthetic needs to move and evolve to acknowledge that dance needs to be about all bodies and not simply young seemingly ‘perfect’ bodies. From a practical perspective it I suspect that I may move more into teaching, lecturing, advocacy work, actually I would like to and hope to do that more, as I get older and my body perhaps –regardless of disability – becomes less strong and my energy/stamina perhaps becomes less. Which is also I think just a natural desire to want to slow down a bit as we get older…

KHN: Have you done shows that your disability i.e. your crutches are not the main focus?

Clair Cunningham: I’d like to think that they are never the MAIN focus! Hopefully I am a little more interesting….! But they have definitely been predominant in shaping the work, ideas and the choreography. For me they are the tools through which I engage artistically with the world quite often. Not exclusively, but they sometimes give me a different slant of looking at something (e.g. build a mobile out of crutches, turn them into a puppet) or adapting something (e.g. adapt ballet repertory onto 4 crutches). I am gradually moving further away from being so engrossed in them but they will also be a necessary element as I literally need them in my life. I’m not going to apologize for them and for the role within my work that they have – they are my tools, my specialism. It would be like saying – hmm Anthony Gormley, when he going to stop doing stuff around the human figure. He works from a similar basis in many projects but the context makes the (seemingly) same image profoundly different each time. I think the piece I am working on right now is one in which they are taking a lesser role though they are still paramount to crafting what the vocabulary is, and my status/reality as a disabled person is also integral to the work and therefore so are they. I will probably at some point look at working, in some way without them – I can walk a bit without them, and I am constantly – like Bill Shannon – dealing with people thinking I don’t need them. Its so fascinating how angry people (by this I mostly mean non-disabled people) get, that they feel they are being fooled, but they don’t get as angry about non-disabled actors pretending to be disabled….! Anyway, I will probably look at working in some way in a piece without them, purely because its becoming a question artistically and physically – who am I and how do I move without them? What is this grey area?

KHN: What do you think when you hear other artists that are women, disabled, of color, queer who say “that I want to be an artist first?"

Clair Cunningham: I think that’s fine. Each to their own I say. I understand totally wanting to be an artist first and foremost – I think the drive that it requires is something you have to keep believing in. Also, being an artist is a choice, the other states –color, sexuality and disability – these are not choices. It IS a choice if and to what degree you embrace it as part of your identity, but choosing to be an artist is a hard thing and you need an enormous amount of passion for it. I think its right that it should be the biggest thing. It is a choice and our choices should be the things that really define us. I think we each have to choose to what degree we embrace the other aspects of our identity – and to what degree we deal with when others are choosing it for us, and we shouldn’t guilt trip people who don’t want to put that aspect first. That also must be a choice and we should respect it in each other. I also think that we need not define ourselves in only one way, and in that one way in every context. Context is vital. It depends what the context is and how you want to be viewed. I can on some occasions introduce myself as an artist. Or a performing artist. Or a theatre maker. Or a dancer. Or a singer. Or a choreographer. Or a woman. Or a disabled artist. Or a self-identifying disabled artist. Or a white middle class small single straight Scottish person. Or any combination of the above. Or none. There are many hats we can wear in different places and we can choose what to wear and not always have it dictated to us.

KHN: Back to breakdancing. Do you still do it and I know you know of Bill Shannon, Crutch Master but who else have you seen that breakdance or just dance on crutches?

Clair Cunningham: I’m sorry to disappoint Leroy but I’ve never breakdanced! I wouldn’t know the first thing about it. Bill certainly taught me elements of Shannon technique but he didn’t teach me breakdancing. He taught me moves that were useful to translate from his crutches (shoulder crutches) to mine – there are many that aren’t. Other break-dancers I’ve seen are Dergin Tokmak of Germany, and then a few others on YouTube. But it’s not a scene I know or am into so I’m clueless. I’m really working more in the ‘contemporary dance’ –for want of a better term – scene than anywhere else.

KHN: Mixability dancing has been popping up lately. What do you think of this and whom do you like?

Clair Cunningham: Do you mean integrated or inclusive dance in general? Or is ‘mixability’ a specific thing? Maybe this is a US/UK different terminology thing?
In terms of dance that combines disabled and non-disabled performers, I have liked work that Candoco have been doing in recent years with choreographers that really are more aware of the different physicality’s in the company and work with it. For many years the inclusive companies I saw – in any country – were still very much couched in a non-disabled contemporary dance aesthetic. So they were coming from a place where the non-disabled body was still the model, and the movement and dance techniques the disabled dancers were doing or learning was still informed by this aesthetic/ideal. This really really bothers me. I think work that brings different performers and different bodies together is always more interesting to me than work that is full of only one ‘type’ of body. I find work in which all the bodies is very similar increasingly boring.

KHN: What are the good and not so good in your field of dance lately?

Clair Cunningham: Personally I think the work by the independent artists in the UK is the strongest work at the moment, rather than by companies. I am enjoying seeing the flourish of these individual voices coming through – voices informed by lived experience of disability. There is a growing understanding – gradual – in the UK arts sector, massively helped by things such as the Unlimited Commissions (which were the largest disability arts grants every awarded in the world as part of the Olympic Cultural programming) of the richness if the arts from this sector now, rather than it being construed as something additional, irrelevant except to other disabled people. Of course its not everywhere but it has grown dramatically. I don’t want to go into the bad. I am a very cynical person and I shouldn’t ever put the bad stuff down in print!

KHN: Tell us the difference now of being a choreographer compares of “only” a dancer

Clair Cunningham: That’s one I have wrestled with a lot in recent years. I have been labeled a choreographer many times in the last few years and it never really sat very comfortably with me. I felt like a fraud. Again, it can be dependent of context – in some environments it feels ok and appropriate, and in others not so much. I think this has a lot to do with my baggage and stereotypical ideas of what a choreographer should be and do, that I feel I don’t have the skills for, however I am starting to embrace that in some respects now I do have these skills – or they are growing. It’s also about defining what my practice is, and that is growing and changing as I push myself more and learn more. The most important thing to me is to be always trying to learn more. There is a desire in me at the moment to relinquish some of the responsibility and pressure of the choreographer role. I have been making work now for the last 5 years, and rarely performed in work made by another. This is largely due to the fact that as I started to develop my own ideas –firstly I was eager to get on and make them so didn’t have time to work for others, secondly that I became too difficult to work with others as I found I struggled to suppress my own thoughts/ideas, and thirdly that inevitable thing for artists – we don’t say no. I was/have been offered support to make new work and so I jump at the offers. Fourth – and probably the most important – is that I am very very choosy about who I work with. Which I don’t consider a bad thing, but I really would only work with people I really want to work with and that really interest me. I won’t work with just anyone, or anyone that I think I wont gets on with.

However, I would really like to do some work in which I TRY to be only a performer. I think I need this in order to be pushed further as a performer. It is very hard to truly push yourself when you are inside your own work, to always see how and where it could go. I think I would like this a bit soon. Partly to give me a break from having to think about making – it’s a lot of responsibility and I would like to maybe let that go for a while and let someone else throw some ideas at me.

KHN: Now that the Olympics and Paralympics are over what have you seen the good and bad of these two international sporting events affects on the country, arts and the disability community?

Clair Cunningham: see answer earlier on about the Unlimited commissions. Not sure I can add more right now. Sorry.

KHN: What is coming up for you and will you be in the states soon?

Clair Cunningham: I am making a new short solo piece called ‘Give me a reason to live’, inspired by the work of the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch, which also has for me taken on influences of shifts in society – recurrent shifts – as to when disabled people are particularly framed as being a negative ‘drain’ on society. So allusions to the Nazi Aktion T4 euthanasia program, and also the current shift by the UK’s current government to paint disabled people as ‘scroungers’, ‘undeserving poor’….and this shift particularly seeming to happen more vividly in times of austerity. So the work looks particularly at the concept of empathy, and trying to provoke it, and understand how we create empathy – as opposed to sympathy or apathy. It will premier in March 2014 in Den Bosch, the hometown of Hieronymus Bosch in Holland. I am also making a full evening work, also a solo which will combine movement, text and song, and is called ‘Guide Gods’. This work aims to look at the various perspectives of the major faiths towards disability – something I felt I had not really encountered much information or work on. It is obviously a rather immense topic to take on, but we will see. I am going to base the work on interviews with disabled and non-disabled people who follow a faith, or indeed those who may have been alienated from faith, like myself, due to experiences that feel quite related to being disabled. This piece is supported by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and will premier in Glasgow in June 2014….so for someone who does no sport I am doing quite well out of it! Sadly no plans to be in the states in the near future – which is a real shame…

KHN: What is your advice for young women who walk with crutches and wants to dance/sing…. Like you?

Clair Cunningham: Go find people that interest and inspire you and try to work with them and learn from them. Go study things in structured courses too if that works for you, but seek out people that fascinate you or make work that you admire. Try it. Whatever it is your curious about, even though its frightening, just give it a shot. My single biggest fear in life is regret. I am truly terrified of looking back when I’m older and wondering ‘what if…’ I’d done something. Sometimes I find it useful to go somewhere that people maybe don’t know me if I am trying something new, I can leave some of my baggage, the chips on my shoulders, the doubts and paranoia’s about failure at home – as no one knows me here that I cant do the thing I am here to learn (of course that’s why everyone is there to learn it!) so I can reinvent myself each time. I think that’s quite healthy.

KHN: Any last words and how can people follow your work?

Clair Cunningham: thanks for being interested Leroy. Maybe I will interview you for my faith project…??!
Following my work – I have a website:
I am very very bad at keeping it updated! But I will try!


Recidivism Re-mix from the Inside Plantation : Prison Correspondent WeSearches Recidivism

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Phillip Standing Bear
Original Body

Factors which reinforce recidivism currently outweigh factors which address rehabilitation of criminal offenders. This is evidenced by our over-full jails and prisons, and has one beneficiary- Law Enforcement [corrections and the industries thriving by growth fueled by ineffective management of public funds, appropriated for “Rehabilitation" are inclusive to this designation].

One of the largest Assets that the so-called ‘Correctional’ industry has is Recidivism fueled by addiction to illegal narcotics. The “drug War” that has been fought by policemen, even though it is clearly [addiction which is a disease] the realm of expertise of trained Medical Professionals. [All drug crimes are legally defined “Health Safety Code violations]. Using policemen as a means to fight addiction is a misapplication of resources at best, and the “most destructive force at play in the Drug War” [when viewed in the context of policy choices].

Media plays a huge role in shaping public consciousness by controlling the dialogue of our society to espouse the ideas that are popular to, or serve the agenda of, media proprietors. Sensationalizing Heinous Crimes to vilify ALL of those whom are labeled “Criminal” sells papers, and builds prisons, but at the Expense not only of the liberty of our fellow citizens, but Billions of tax dollars as well. Be happy if you do not count yourself among the ‘sick’. [Addicted, by the fact of Genetic predisposition or Socially Conditioned to “Drug Culture”], or otherwise Socially outcast.

There is no Logic in supporting the idea that “throwing good money after Bad” will Somehow yield other results that the Continued growth of the prison corrections industry, at the expense of the persons liberty of the “few” [At a time-mark my words…]. Except for those whose interests are aligned against the interests of the public.

Interestingly enough, your “public servants” are not in any sense of the word “serving” the interests of the taxpayers (who pay them).

They Depend upon their own inefficient “service” to justify the “need” for growth in their industries (which is an increased burden on taxpayers).

The Recidivists trend is supported by more than addiction but has a self supporting factor Built into the Drug-culture which was birthed by the inception of our current (failed) policy regarding drug use in America. There is a better and more efficient means to deal with this and other social issues than to burden Law Enforcement [and taxpayers]. Without increase in narcotic trade- legalization of all drugs to be Dispensed only by Doctors. Take the power of unlimited expansion Away from Law Enforcement. And let Doctors heal the sick.


A Crime to BE Sick

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Phillip Standing Bear
Original Body










A Crime to BE Sick

by Michael Glynn


Do the math of this shit people

There’s a plague on the streets

They say it’s a crime to be sick

If your disease is addiction

The addicted are afflicted if they suffer and fail to effectively battle that from which they ail

They are found guilty and locked up in prison or jail.

I’m sick I’m sick I’m sick

No medicine for me

Just lock me in a f***ing cell

Hell, throw away the key

It’s not free It’s not just me

It’s not your problem, yet, but just wait and see

You’re going to find a tipping point, from which, you will never recover, just pray you got a plan

For that, you’ll probably need another

Another Prison, Another Jail

Another junkie in a cell

Another man, Another woman

Sick of all the lies you tell

I’m not the problem, the problem is not I

The solution to the problem, isn’t anything you’ve tried

More pigs More guns, More laws to Break

How’s that been working out?

Less money for education and healthcare

More drugs than ever now!

Make another Law. I break another law.

I’m sick, sick, sick

You make me a criminal, but I’m only afflicted

Addicted and I’m now a soldier in this war

And as you lose this fight remember who picked it!

You b****es with badges and holier than thou mindsets

Just remember when you’re under the gun you aimed at the Sick, sick, sick motherf***ers

The medicine you sell for this disease is going to be what kills you


From the New Deal to the New Steal- The Food Stamp (Cuts) to Prison Pipeline

09/24/2021 - 08:44 by Anonymous (not verified)
Original Author
Original Body

From the New Deal to the New Steal-The Food Stamp (Cuts) to Prison Pipeline

A welfareQUEEN deconstructs the proposed billion dollar food stamp cuts

By tiny, daughter of Dee, mama of Tiburcio


Corporate welfare already stole our taxes on the real

From Politricksters to lying lawyers,

social workers to akademik researchers-

EVERYONE is eating

from this poor peoples meal



On this, the anniversary month of the War on Poverty – can we finally start to speak truth about the increasingly violent war ON us poor youth, adults and elders in Amerikkka.


To be clear, as much as people lavish praise on the original War on Poverty, it was rooted in wite-supremacist, scarcity model, US liberal values, and even at that was considered “revolutionary” in the hater Wite-Nation launched by settler colonizers on this stolen indigenous land. And who then made their filthy dollaz by stealing and killing all of our fierce, beautiful, brilliant indigenous Turtle Islanders and Afrikan peoples to do their free labor. 


*Welfare QUEEN’s Herstorical WeSearch

Originally the New Deal was created to provide limited support to white widows of war veterans, anyone outside of that narrow, racist, sexist, classist stereotype was considered abberant, crazy, or incorrigible.


These positions of “outsider” fit nicely into the agendas of the original purveyors of the poverty industry, the settlement house social workers who on one hand “helped us” poor folks with their charity kkkrums and on the other set up laws to criminalize us like the Ugly Laws* of the 19th & 20th century, enabling them to create more and more industry on the backs of us poor folks which we live with today called benignly a Non-profit organization. 


So the next big revolutionary (neo-liberal, racist, classist) move was by a neo-liberal senator in the 1960’s Daniel Moynihan who came into the projects in Harlem and with one swoop of his politrickster pen assessed the powerful single-mother headed households led by strong African women and their kin as crazy, broken and pathological. This is what African Descendent Scholars refer to as a **trans-substantive error.


Once again the kkkrums fix was locked in, tightening the grip of criminalization, racist and classist punitive measures around the already stressed necks of poor peoples in Amerikkka.


Beginning with jail time or ankle bracelets for poor mamas and daddys who might not claim as little as $5.00 on one of your thousands of proof of income forms required for the tiny welfare krum subsidies (which is NOT free money, you have to do ***new slavery work for every cent to highly criminalized underground economic strategies.


Fast foreward to the many lies of the evil-doer himself Ronald Regan who called us poor mamaz “Welfare Queens” and claimed we were all making out on our $341.00 dollar (welfare) crums and collecting checks and buying cadillacs.


Followed up by the fakkke War on drugs which like the the War on Poverty was filled with lies and resulted in the increased criminalization of poor folks using or selling drugs or medicine, and more and more poor mamaz and suns and daughters ending up in prison making money for the private prison corporations.


And then on to George Bush who said all us poor folks would be “fixed” if we just got married, while stealing literally billions of dollars and setting up corporate welfare and military industrial complex payouts for his corporate genocidal friends.


And now in the 21st century we have the second billion dollar cut being proposed to our last krum aka Food stamps that so many of us poor, disabled and low-wage working families, elders and folks actually rely on just to eat will in fact bring us full circle back to bread lines, feudalistic poverty.


The first cut which was approved in 2013 has already meant $34.00 less from this mamaz EBT card (food stamp). Now this might not sound like alot to most people but if you are poor, that means several gallons less milk, lettuce, tomatoes, bread or the choice of GMO-infused poison food just to make the tiny food stamp kkrums go further


And then more and more of us will need to do small underground strategies (read: crime) to survive resulting in more of us ending up in their corporate prisons.


But, again, notwithstanding the endless lies that the propaganda machine called Amerikkka will tell you, this horrendous situation is already written. We are worth more dead or in prison. Our schools are stripped of anything that would inspire, teach or help our children dream or think, our teachers with conscious suffer under these endless corporate agendas and the US imperial snakkkes continue to rape, pillage and destroy every last piece of Mama Earth in search of more natural resources to steal and more land to control.


As budget genocide continues to shrink our already shrinking access to food, shelter, healthcare and education, with the privatization and pimping of our housing, schooling and resources and now a proposed 8.7 billion dollar cut to Food Stamps which is estimated to impact over 850,000 people yes, it is important for us to fight for theses krums, to plead for mercy to billionaire politricksters like Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein so they will dane to throw down for us in front of openly hater GOP billionaires but it also equally important for us to envision the decolonization of our communities, our food and our lives from these lying settler-colonizer lies.


For those of us poor folks who aren’t too broken down by this endless war on our poor bodies of color to still think and act with revolution, we need to start naming the herstory of these acts of budget genocide, these school to prison pipelines, this destruction but more importantly, we need to take back our own strength, our own spirits as indigenous peoples in diaspora, our own streets to grow food, our children’s minds and our hope. And perhaps most important of all to remember to not let success be defined by the ones who oppress us.