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Paper Is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures

November 17, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Paper Is People: Decolonizing Global Paper Cultures, co-curated by Tia Blassingame and Stephanie Sauer, offers a new definition of paper­ within a global and decolonial framework. Featuring works by local, national, and international artists, this exhibition explores the vital role substrates play in human communities and how meaning is made from what we might call paper and papermaking.

Viewed together, the works on display seek to open a conversation around what paper is across cultures today: a vessel for collective memory, a body, a site of meaning, a living ancestor, and a form of cultural survival and resistance. To appreciate global paper cultures in a decolonial context, it is important to consider definitions of paper that move beyond those created and sanctioned by imperial powers. In the Indigenous and oral cultures represented here, baskets, tapestries, and other handmade substrates act as vessels and embodiments of culture and memory. Some even hold status as animate members of their community. Among peoples subjugated under slavery and denied access to literacy and the requisite tools for creating paper and books, maintaining and building upon their threatened cultural knowledge required creativity like those exhibited in African American quilts. Paper Is People presents each cultural substrate as a new definition within contextualized multimedia displays that invite thoughtful participation and engagement of the senses.

Exhibiting artists: Alisa Banks(link is external) :: Hannah Chalew(link is external) :: Page Pūko‘a Chang(link is external) :: Julio Laja Chichicaxtle(link is external) :: Kelly Church(link is external) :: Hong Hong (link is external):: Chenta Laury(link is external) :: Aimee Lee(link is external) :: Radha Pandey(link is external) :: Veronica Pham(link is external) :: Trina Michelle Robinson(link is external) :: Steph Rue(link is external) :: Seringô Collective(link is external) :: rhiannon skye tafoya


November 17, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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San Francisco Center for the Book
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San Francisco Center for the Book
375 Rhode Island Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
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