Unheard Voices

Unheard Voices

In response to a raging pandemic, in response to the generations of systemic oppression, racism, and murder of Black persons, in response to economic hardship and political division, in response to a government that has failed to lead, NON:op Open Opera Works is developing an initiative that enables lost, suppressed, and neglected voices to be heard. Unheard Voices consists of five participatory programs and will encompass all that we will do for the foreseeable future. Originating during the height of the protests of pandemic summer, and continuing over the next five or more years, we will welcome creative contributions from you—fellow musicians, writers, artists, performers, and all who choose to create—that we will present in various online formats and in-person manifestations.

Unheard Voices includes the following participatory programs.

Blood Lines: remembering the 1919 Chicago race riot, an online version of the 2019 Blood Lines installation at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, in which you read the names of those killed in the 1919 Chicago race riot.


SAY THEIR NAMES: remembering Black Americans killed by police, originating in the summer of 2020, and growing out of Blood Lines, SAY THEIR NAMES is an ongoing community-based research project which remembers Black Americans killed by police since 1919. SAY THEIR NAMES includes an interactive map that identifies and remembers the humanity of each Black person killed for being Black. Find out how you can participate in this important research.

L's GA : Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

L’sGA: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, an invitation to respond to Lincoln’s well-known text and to Sal Martirano’s 1967 anti-war classic, L’s GA. “What can the Gettysburg Address possibly mean to you? What masks do you wear? What drowns out your voice?”

The Gas Heart

The Gas Heart, a video version of Tristan Tzara’s 1921 classic Dada play—a revolt against the bankrupt culture and structures of post-war Europe, and today, against the hoax of our government’s Grifters and their enablers—that invites participants to contribute TikTok clips.

American Biography

American Biography, a shared digital archive dedicated to gathering diverse experiences with America. Submit words, sounds, still or moving images, in any combination.

Each of these programs will focus on different aspects and unheard voices of our American experience, and each will invite different types of participation from YOU! While we develop this ambitious set of projects, we expect to make mistakes, and we ask you to hold us accountable. Each program will be allowed to develop in its own time in its own way, based on your input and participation, and will be presented in various online formats via our NON:onLINE platform. Then, beginning in the fall of 2021—or when we are able to be with each other again—we will present each project in one or more live, in-person, performance-based manifestations that follows from your work.

Click on the links above to explore Unheard Voices programs and find out how to participate. Welcome.

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