This Is Not A Gun

Saturday, December 16, 10am-1pm
Hosted by Cara Levine, Shamell Bell & Anasa A Pickens
25 participants maximum
Suggested donation $5-10

A sandwich is not a gun.
A hairbrush is not a gun.
A wallet is not a gun.

These items come from a list of 23 objects that have been mistaken for guns by police officers in civilian shootings since 2001*. The workshop encourages participants to give presence to these objects, calling attention to their not-gun-ness by sculpting their shape in clay. This Is Not A Gun endeavors to carve out time and space to site these issues within our own bodies and stories, without presuming a total understanding of this historically dense and complicated crisis. This gathering upholds a non-judgemental space for sharing amongst anyone who participates. The space is held by local artists, activists and mindfulness collaborators.

Please join us in an effort to honor and unpack what is before us through a collaborative art-making workshop and dialogue.

The workshop will consist of 2 hours of concerted making time and a concluding hour with facilitated radical dialogue.

All materials are provided. Drop-ins are welcome, though we encourage you to stay a while.


*Harpers Magazine Dec 2016

Cara Levine is an artist exploring the intersections of physical, metaphysical, and traumatic through an expanded sculpture and socially engaged practice. Since January, she has been working on This Is Not A Gun. In it she carves objects mistaken as guns by police and hosts workshops on gun violence and race.  @thisisnotagun #thisisnotagun

Shamell Bell is a mother, community organizer, and choreographer. An original member of the #blacklivesmatter movement, beginning as a core organizer with Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Los Angeles (J4TMLA)/Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to what she now describes as an Arts & Culture liaison between several organizations such as the BLM network and Blackout For Human Rights among others. Her work on “street dance activism” situates dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a scholar, dancer, and choreographer. Shamell’s street dance experience includes featured roles in music videos, award shows, and tours in addition to David LaChapelle’s acclaimed documentary “Rize”.