Drea dNur (Drea d'Nur), Andie Jairam, Julio Montalvo Valentin, Edreys Wajed
moderated by Karima Amin
“Look. Without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as people of color, nothing about fanboy and fangirl culture makes sense. What I mean by that is, if it wasn't for race, X-Men doesn't make sense; if it wasn't for the history of breeding human beings through chattel slavery, Dune doesn't make sense; if it wasn't for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn't make sense; if it wasn't for the extermination of so many indigenous nations, most of what we call "first contact" stories don't make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understand that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We're the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible. We are… in the Green Lantern Corps? We are the Oath. We are all of those things. Erased, and yet without us? We're essential.”
— Junot Díaz
Just Buffalo is teaming up with El Museo for "Whose Stories? A Conversation with Artists of Color", bringing together artists of color working in different disciplines to reflect on their personal experiences making a life in the arts. In anticipation of Junot Díaz’s appearance at BABEL on Friday, April 20, this event finds inspiration in Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA), an organization that Díaz co-founded. This community conversation will focus on the histories of storytelling as well as the importance of creating, maintaining, and preserving stories of and by people of color.