Plato wanted no poets in his republic, because writers, like artists and Arc Benders, are by definition question-askers, disturbers of peace, and truth-tellers.

And it’s true.

This is the domain of Arc-Bending Artists- To ask questions, truth-tell, internet-yell and disrupt space of oppressive systems through art, writing, dance occupation, embodied action, self-care, and radical dialogue.

James Baldwin, one of the foremost Arc Benders of our time, spoke truth to power consistently over his lifetime and body of work. He asserted that:

“the doctrine of (patriarchal) white supremacy which has the power to intimidate any possible witness to the dispossessed”

Needs to be disrupted, questioned and brought to an end, contending that writers (and I would add Arc Benders) are uniquely situated to do just that.

People like Shamell Bell, mother, artist, activist and arts + culture liason to the Black Lives Matter movement, uses street dance activism to fuel and nourish communities and movements to affirm Black Life.

If you are reading this, you are likely an Arc Bender, who, like James Baldwin or Shamell Bell, speaks truth to power in life affirming ways.

You not only have the vision.

You are doing the work, disrupting space- sonically, viscerally, conceptually, and creating change.

You are leading culture-making in your communities.

You use righteous anger + love

You engage self-care.

You raise critically conscious children + communities.

You contribute your gifts.

In these current times, when the patriarchal white supremacist governance of the US continues to sanction racist, sexist, classicist policies that that result in school-to-prison pipelines, housing discrimination, mass incarceration of brown and black bodies, and other violent inequities…

the world needs you, the artists + Arc Benders, who see a new way forward and lead. Click To Tweet

The vision is not an abstract.

The need is not philosophical.

It is one of visceral and material importance.


It is especially critical to the bodies and mental well-beings of people of color, immigrants, women, especially hijab wearing sisters, and LGBTQ people.

Raising critical consciousness and building an analysis is foundational to equity + justice.

No one is free until we are all free, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asserted.

So, Arc Benders, let’s get to work.

Start by asking yourself the following two questions posed by the brilliant Shamell Bell in her talk at ASU this week. (Note: I am paraphrasing.):

  • What talent or resource can I use to support the movement/vision for change?
  • How can I contribute my talents to this vision/movement today?

And then develop your vision and talents to create INFRASTRUCTURES OF SHINE to support you and get your work into the world in a bigger way.

The world needs your life-affirming work to bear witness, nourish + create change. Click To Tweet

Onward, Arc Benders!

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