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Gabrielle Civil: The Déjà Vu: Black Dreams & Black Time

March 16, 2023 @ EST 7:00 pm - 7:45 pm

Free – $20.00

Emerging from the intersection of pandemic and uprising, the déjà vu activates forms both new and ancestral, drawing movement, speech, and lyric essay into performance memoir. As Civil considers Haitian tourist paintings, dance rituals, race at the movies, black feminist legacies, and more, she reflects on her personal losses and desires, speculates on black time, and dreams into expansive black life. With intimacy, humor, and verve, the déjà vu blurs boundaries between memory, grief, and love; then, now, and the future.

“Civil describes herself as an ‘idiosyncratic writer’—a brilliant synthesis of the subtly self-conscious thinking-out-loud displayed throughout the text. Alongside Alexis Pauline Gumbs and other self-proclaimed Black feminists who have risen on the shoulders of bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and June Jordan, I count Civil as a trailblazer with my generation of writers committed to Black feminist consciousness, as a fluid, genre busting, ‘idiosyncratic’ archive, dedicated to uncontained, vulgar, and shimmering cycles of curiosity.” —Erica N. Cardwell, The Brooklyn Rail

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer, originally from Detroit, MI. Her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish (2017), Experiments in Joy (2019), ( ghost gestures ) (2021), the déjà vu (2022), and In & Out of Place (2022). Her writing has also appeared in Black in the Middle, Teaching Black, New Daughters of Africa, Kitchen Table Translation, and Experiments in Joy: a Workbook. A 2019 Rema Hort Mann Los Angeles Emerging Artist, she teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

Gabrielle Civil will be in conversation with Sejal Shah.

Sejal Shah is the author of the award-winning essay collection This Is One Way to Dance. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. She recently completed a story collection with images. She lives in Rochester, NY.


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Gabrielle Civil:

The Déjà Vu: Black Dreams & Black Time

Experiments in Joy

Swallow the Fish

(Ghost Gestures)

Sejal Shah:

This Is One Way to Dance

This virtual event is streamed via Zoom.

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March 16, 2023
7:00 pm - 7:45 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


Writers & Books
(585) 473-2590
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Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607 United States
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(585) 473-2590
If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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