Open Call for Day of Readings on Peace
Due January 3, 2017 at 5pm

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

To accompany the current exhibition Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art, and in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Queens Museum will host an afternoon of diverse readings on the theme of peace on January 15, 2017. We invite the general public to submit readings to a crowdsourced bibliography on the subject of peace. On January 15, we invite the public to sign up to read from their own or other’s submissions which will be organized in the following categories:

  • Different Cultural Definitions of Peace
  • Religious and Spiritual Teachings on Peace
  • On Interpersonal Peacemaking
  • Diplomacy, Statecraft, and International Conflict Resolution

Submission guidelines:

  • What kind: Already published texts in a variety of styles from poetry to editorials to excerpts from longer essays or books. We also invite submissions of original unpublished writings of your own.
  • Length: Please limit submissions to what can be read in no longer than 5 minutes (approximately up to 750 words or 1.5 pages of single spaced type).
  • How many: To submit up to three potential readings to the public bibliography, please fill out the form below.
  • Deadline: January 3, 2017 at 5pm

We will contact you on January 6th, 2017 to inform you if your submitted readings have been accepted, and if you have chosen to read your selection, when to arrive to take your place at the Peace Table.
The selected readings will also be printed and made available to the public during the final month of the exhibition.

Background:

The readings will take place around the Peace Table, Ukeles’  blue glass circular table that seems to float in the central atrium of the Queens Museum. Originally commissioned in 1997 by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for her installation called Unburning Freedom Hall, the Peace Table was used for a series of “peace talks” by various peacemakers in an effort to undo the civic trauma of the 1992 Los Angeles riots sparked by the acquittal of LAPD officers videotaped beating Rodney King. A quarter century later, the Black Lives Matter Movement has ignited a nationwide call to action against the widespread violence still committed against black bodies in this country. Since the election of Donald Trump, NYC has seen hate crimes against immigrants, People of Color religious minorities and LGBTQ populations increase by 30% according to NYC Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill. In this fraught political moment, we choose to consciously create a place for collective reflection and learning from diverse perspectives. We invoke the voice of those who have struggled and continue to struggle for peace in its most robust sense: not just the cessation of violence but the presence of justice.

Submissions are now closed.

Image: Artists In/Of the City