Art for Liberation: How to Use Written and Visual Storytelling as Solidarity Work

Art for Liberation: How to Use Written and Visual Storytelling as Solidarity Work

Session Type(s): Training

Starts: Friday, Aug. 19 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Aug. 19 5:30 PM (Eastern)

Room: 325

Audre Lorde says, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” So often, in organizing and nonprofit work, storytelling is used for annual reports, fundraising campaigns, or to show a face behind some data. Unfortunately, these efforts can make those we seek to highlight feel tokenized and seem voyeuristic in intent. So how do we, in a society driven by capitalism, use storytelling to humanize others and create solidarity in our movements? If our goal is equity, and art/storytelling is the tool, what are other parts of the formula that we often miss?

In this training we’ll:
• address how power and hierarchical systems are at play in most storytelling projects,
• unearth how we can understand our own biases and position in the American caste system within organizing and social justice work,
• discuss how stories can be used to uplift and liberate communities,
• reflect on examples of historical and contemporary storytelling in movements, and
• radically reimagine what our society can look like with storytelling at its core.


Fariha Tayyab

Fariha Tayyab

Fariha Tayyab is a multidisciplinary artist working at the intersection of art, journalism, and community building. Her storytelling revolves around identity, belonging, and social justice focusing on untold stories utilizing her creative writing and photojournalism. Fariha’s creative work has appeared in the Eater, Columbus Alive, Brown Girl Magazine, the Columbus anthology, Matter News, and numerous literary journals. She has led public and accessible art projects; the most recent include a QuaranZINE with OPAWL, a mural with Zora’s House, and abortion stories with Faith Choice Ohio. Fariha has held a variety of workshops on art as a form of social change with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, YWCA, Making Midwest fest, Girl Scouts National Convention, Thurber house, and others. She is a highly recommended teaching artist with the Ohio Arts Council, from whom she has received grant funding. Her projects and development have also been awarded grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Women’s Fund, Soze foundation, and others.

Outside of her work in storytelling with public art projects as well as reporting, poetry, and photography, Fariha facilitates trainings with the city, local school districts, institutions, and nonprofits around the topics of leadership, violence, trauma and equity.

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