New forms of collaboration for transformational justice: performance, narrative, and animation 

In this session the panelists–a university teacher, a graduate, and a current student from the Cal State LA Communication Studies Prison BA Program–will share stories, experiences, and advice on the many ways we can create new forms of performance, from live and recorded theatrical pieces to journal publication and animation documentaries, to create a trauma-informed space of safety in helping to build resilience and resistance against the dehumanizing forms of isolation in current prisons. 

Kamran Afary, PhD, RDT, NT teaches Communication Studies at Cal State LA and in Lancaster Prison. He is co-editor of Communication Research on Expressive Arts and Narrative as Forms of Healing (2020) and co-author of Iranian Diaspora Identities: Stories and Songs (2020). He also offers occasional training workshops in Narradrama at the Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles. He can be reached atkafary@calstatela.edu

Lee Gibson, BA is a prison abolitionist working with Initiate Justice a California advocacy organization. With over 25-years of experience dealing with the carceral setting, Lee understands that the power of art, narratives, and self-expression are foundational to personal growth and systemic change. The Cal State Los Angeles Prison BA Journal and animation documentaries are another step in the direction to ending our society’s dependence on mass incarceration. For further consultation contact Lee at leegibson1013@gmail.com

Daniel Whitlow is a communication studies major at Cal State LA, currently working as a tutor at the Writing Center while finishing his bachelor’s degree. He is a writer and a musician who is dedicated to making amends and promoting healing narratives. He can be reached at dwhitlo@calstatela.edu

This event is part of our Fall Organizer in Residence programming. Read more about the organizers in residence and view all related programming here.