Center for Political Education

In the Dark Times, will there also be Singing?

Date and Time: Saturday June 3, 11:00am
Duration: Four hours
Location: Gallery 308

Ticket Information

General Admission: FREE


Event Information



We are living in dark times. The threat of continued and expanded war, xenophobic travel bans, walls, immigration enforcement and the rise of authoritarian power have left many communities living in fear.

In collaboration with the San Francisco International Arts Festival, The Center for Political Education will host a forum during which presenters will grapple with the politics of culture and creative expression in times of war, xenophobia, and inequality. The forum will cover three primary areas: The Struggle over Creative Space and Resources, Art and Culture against and over Borders, and Art and Culture for Strong Movements.

In each area, artists and culture workers actively engaged in political organizing in the Bay Area and internationally will offer insights and share practices to elevate the central role art and culture must play for efforts at social change to be successful.

If, as Bertolt Brecht noted, "In the dark times will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times,” what sort of songs will be written and sung by artists and their communities in our dark times? Join us to explore the possibilities.

11:00am-12:00 The Struggle Over Creative Space and Resources
Panelists: Fernando Martî, Nihar Bhatt, Charmaine Davis

12:30pm-1:30pm Arts and culture against and over Borders
Panelists: Eden Silva Jequinto, Dohee Lee, Wael Elbhassy, Ziad Abbas

2:00pm-3:00pm Building Movements
Panelists: Cat Brooks, Armael Malinis, Maisha Quint


Nihar Bhatt is a DJ in the west coast electronic music scene making music solo (also performing and recording as Nine) and with the Surface Tension Collective. Nihar is also co-owner of the music label Left Hand Path.

Cat Brooks is an actor and activist based in Oakland. Cat began acting at the age of 8 and has performed across the world. She is the co-founder of the Anti-Police Terror Project to address the violence of policing in communities of color. She is currently writing a one-woman show about the in-custody murder of Natasha McKenna.

Eden Silva Jequinto is the co-founder of Guerilla Youth Theater Project and has worked with Third World grassroots groups to support campaigns through guerilla theater, healing work and systemic analysis.

Dohee Lee was born on Jeju Island in South Korea, where she studied Korean dance, music, percussion and vocals at the master level. Since her arrival in the US she has been a vital contributor to both the traditional and contemporary arts landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Amael Malinis is an organizer and culture worker. He is a community organizer with the People's Association of Workers & Immigrants (PAWIS) East Bay and co-founded the Filipino youth organization Anakbayan East Bay. He was also the keyboard player for Mass Bass, a hip hop radical soul collective.

Fernando Martí s an architect, writer, and artist. Originally from Ecuador, he has been engaged in fights for affordable housing in the Mission since the mid-'90s. Fernando uses his artist practices and training as an architect and urbanist to community struggles and in support of organizations and movements and has conducted anti-displacement tours of the Mission neighborhood.

Maisha Quint  is a Bay Area born and raised poet and activist. She is the Program Coordinator at the Eastside Arts Alliance collective, taught with June Jordan's Poetry for the People, and organized with the Committee to Free the San Francisco 8.

Ziad Abbas  is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee camp in the West Bank. He is the co-founder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh where he served as Co-Director from 1994 to 2008. Ziad is also a journalist who has worked with Palestinian and international media and has participated in the production of several documentary films. He has a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Intercultural Relations from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. Ziad is the Program Manager for Cross-Cultural Programs at the Middle East Children’s Alliance in Berkeley.

Wael Elbhassy  is the founder and choreographer of Al Juthoor, a dance company whose mission is to present and preserve Palestinian dance, music, and culture and bring awareness to the Palestinian cause. Al Juthoor is among the few professional Palestinian folkloric dance companies in the United States.

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