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Defiant Writing: Banu Cennetoğlu and Treasure Shields Redmond

What is the power of writing to carry a voice, or many voices, particularly defiant ones? In this final episode, we return to the impetus for this series, the exhibition Stories of Resistance, as an invitation to consider the medium of words and storytelling. Artist Banu Cennetoğlu and poet Treasure Shields Redmond discuss their work attending to the writings of American Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and Kurdish freedom fighter Gurbetelli Ersöz, respectively. They acknowledge the responsibility of caring for the words of activists, especially those who gave their lives to struggle for what’s right.

Banu Cennetoğlu is a cross-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates methods of collecting and archiving and enquires into the politics of the production, classification, and distribution of knowledge. Her work Gurbet’s Diary (27.07.1995–08.10.1997) inscribed words from Gurbetelli Ersöz’s diary—which Ersöz kept while she was a Kurdish freedom fighter before she was killed—onto 145 press-ready lithographic limestone slabs. Cennetoğlu lives and works in Istanbul, where she founded BAS, an artist-run space dedicated to artists’ books and printed matter.

Dr. Treasure Shields Redmond is a St. Louis metro-based poet, performer, and educator. She has been featured at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and published poetry in such notable anthologies as Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Breaking Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cane Canem’s First Decade, and in journals that include Obsidian and The African American Review. A Cave Canem fellow, Treasure has received an MFA from the University of Memphis, and a PhD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Radio Resistance assembles the voices of intersecting local and global agents of change. Artists featured in the exhibition are paired with figures from the past, present, and future of St. Louis, coming together to transmit messages of dissent. A selection from their discussion can be found on St. Louis on the Air, the noontime talk program hosted by Sarah Fenske on St. Louis Public Radio, with the full episode also available in a listening station at CAM, and on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Radio Resistance is co-produced by Michelle Dezember, Director of Learning and Engagement, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, and Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator. Sound design and editing by Sean Pierce.

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