The BLM Memorial Fence was outside the White House from 6/24/20 to 1/30/2021. It was an organic community project where individuals from D.C. ,and eventually around the country, left their messages, voices, photos and art as protest and memorial.
Eventually, by October, it was made evident that it could not be left alone because of attempted destruction and the elements.
Nadine Seiler, took it upon herself to be that person and was joined by karen and a small group of individuals. The people holding space with it, were at risk every day from "Christian" Trump Supporters, white supremacist militia groups, the city of D.C., rain and wind, and the threatening whimsy of the former president.
By January of 2021, she realized the fence would not be taken down for an indefinite period of time, and she could not bear to see it torn down, so she made the decision to painstakingly archive each piece, This project happened on1/30/21 with the help of archivists and a few fence angles.
WHAT ARE THE WARRIOR GODDESS & KAREN DOING NOW?
Greenwood Theatrical has brought The Warrior Goddess & Karen and pieces from the original Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence in D.C. to Greenwood from May 31st to Juneteenth for the Centennial of The Massacre on Black Wall Street.
The Fence will be erected on the 31st at Historic Vernon AME Church and be humaned 24/7 until Juneteenth. The purpose is to establish a safe space for the community in Greenwood to share their protest at any time during this installation.
WHERE ARE THE ARCHIVED FENCE PIECES FROM D.C. NOW?
Some of the pieces were acquired by Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
Some were acquired by The Library of Congress.
A small selection is dedicated to travel.
The rest are in storage waiting for businesses and institutions to claim them for display with preference given to those that are Black owned or Black run.
The fence pieces archived on 1/30/2021 are currently in the process of being digitally, high resolution scanned by the Enoch-Pratt free library.
They will be made available on "Digital Maryland".
We are also in talks with DCPL to acquire some pieces to go along with the oral history presentation about the life of the BLM Memorial Fence.
WHAT DOES THE FENCE MEAN?
It is a memorial to our fallen Black and Brown neighbors and family, who have yet to see justice in the United States.
It serves as a living demonstration of our American rights to freedom of speech and freedom of protest.
It represents our obligation as Americans and to hold the leaders of our country accountable when they do not live up to the ideals they claim to stand for.
The people who stand with this memorial do so not only to protect it and its art, creativity, and the memories and voices of the people. They also stand with it to let the world know we will not be intimidated into sacrificing our values for mere comfort or safety. That we still have hope and love for this country and we still believe in us.
WHAT ARE THE WARRIOR GODDESS & KAREN TRYING TO DO?
We believe everyone has a voice, and the time to use it is now. Your voice alone is enough to create change. Through integrating voices around the country, we can build the community we need to facilitate Black liberation and racial equity. A community where we all know we are not alone.
We would like to travel to places where this form of protest could be useful. The Warrior Goddess already has her sites set on Georgia, Florida, and Texas. Places where not only are people working against Black liberation but they are legislating voter suppression and other efforts to silence Black voices and the voices of allies.
This kind of work is a full time job, even when not humaning the fence 24/7 and white fragility and corrupt capitalism do not make it any easier.
Nadine made her activism money by designing and selling t-shirts and wares with her company Subversiveware.
Recently, the main service she was using (Tee-Public) terminated her account, saying she was continually using the intellectual property of others.
She was repeatedly flagged for this by a troll on all her products that referenced the police or police brutality. “Blue Lies Matter”, “Blue Murders Matter”, and “Blue Brutality Matters” were all flagged and she was told that legal deemed them unacceptable.
She made every attempt to contact legal to dispute but without any real recourse she was continually flagged and eventually removed altogether.
The other site, Vistaprint, has removed various products claiming “violation of terms”. Anything referencing “Amerikkka”, “Pussy Patriots” (from the pussy hats) and now this shirt are unallowed on the platform.
She is currently seeking a platform not besieged by white fragility, a way to produce herself that is financially feasible, or a partnership with a printing partner.
Which brings us to,
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Transportation is proving to be the current biggest impediment. A car rental to get to Tulsa from the Northeast cost them $1000 (not including gas right after the pipeline fiasco). We still do not know how we are getting back.
The storage unit for many of the pieces comes up for renewal soon.
Food and water for the community created in a space as well as supplies in the space (coats in the cold, umbrellas in the rain, sunblock and insect repellent in the heat, and any other necessities that are not around).
We need to integrate ourselves into the community in some time before each installation in order for this to work.
Art supplies and shelter (when not at the fence) can often be found on location from artists and community activists and organizers, but it is never guaranteed.
We require phones and internet and The Warrior Goddess would like a home to go back to when not on the road.
Eventually we would like to for a non profit so we can apply for grants but that requires help and help can cost money.
There are so many things we probably are not anticipating that can come up but this is the list for now.
This is why this will be an ongoing fundraiser.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Our fundamental principle of building community is that everyone use their gifts to make the greatest contribution and nobody feel pressure to contribute outside of their wheelhouse. In order for that to work, we have to tell you what we need.
If you are unable to make a financial contribution there are other opportunities to be a part of this community by sharing your creativity, intelligence, and resources:
- Sing, DJ, play music
- place your voice on the fence
-wave a flag that is waiting for you
- yell into a megaphone
-share your story
From A Distance:
- you know a place you would like us to come
- you have an idea you think would be good for us
- you know a businessy person or grant writer who would like to work with us
- you have friends in locations we are going that are artists, community organizers or allies
- you can share our project with friends
-you know a printing company that can help print t-shirts
- you know any organizations or people we can work with
Nadine at work.*
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