Transition 121 Event: Readings from "Childhood"
Join Transition magazine at the Harvard Book Store for the launch of issue 121 “Childhood.” Guest editor Amy Fish will be joined by Chris King, Grace Aneiza Ali, Niousha Roshani, Aaron Brown, and local youth writers for readings from the issue and beyond.
In issue 121, authors consider symbolic and ideological deployments of black childhood and explore children’s lived experiences—from nineteenth century Yorubaland, to 1920s France, to present day Colombia, South Africa, and the United States. Others reflect on personal coming-of-age experiences, while youth poets examine black childhood from the brink of adulthood. In addition, the issue features the photo-based work of several Guyanese artists exploring the theme of “homeland” curated by Grace Aneiza Ali, and a sequel to Chris King’s 1998 article (Transition 77) about the Nigerian democracy movement. King reveals details of his and Wole Soyinka’s involvement in a plot to kill Sani Abacha.
Amy Fish is a PhD Candidate in American Studies at Harvard University and a Student Associate Editor of Transition. She is writing a dissertation on the role of literary collaborations between children and adults in anti-racist movements in the 1960s-1970s United States. Before beginning her graduate studies in American literature, performance and childhood, she taught at Year Up Boston.
Grace Aneiza Ali is an independent curator, faculty in the Department of Art and Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and Editorial Director of OF NOTE, an award-winning online magazine on art and activism. Her essays on photography have been published in Nueva Luz Journal, and Small Axe Journal, among others. In 2014, she received an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship. Highlights of her curatorial work include Guest Curator for the 2014 Addis Ababa Foto Fest; Guest Curator of the Fall 2013 Nueva Luz Photographic Journal; and Host of the ‘Visually Speaking’ photojournalism series at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center. Ali is a World Economic Forum ‘Global Shaper’ and Fulbright Scholar. She holds an MA in Africana Studies from New York University and a BA in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Aaron Brown grew up in Chad and now lives in Kansas, where he is an Assistant Professor of Writing & Editing and chair of the English department at Sterling College. His poetry and prose have been published in World Literature Today, Tupelo Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Portland Review, and Warscapes, among others. He is the author of the poetry chapbook Winnower (Wipf & Stock, 2013) and the novella Bound (Wipf & Stock, 2012). A Pushcart Prize nominee, Brown holds an MFA from the University of Maryland.
Chris King is a journalist, writer, producer, musician, and movie-maker based in St. Louis, MO. In Transition 77, while the events were unfolding in the late 1990s, he wrote about his work and adventures in the Nigerian democracy movement against the dictator General Sani Abacha. Nearly twenty years later, in Transition 121 (with the permission of Wole Soyinka, who was central to the action), he is able to complete that story by narrating a covert action that has never been discussed publicly before. Follow him on Twitter @chriskingstl and look for his band Eleanor Roosevelt wherever music is streamed or downloaded.
Niousha Roshani is an anthropologist, and child and youth protection and development consultant specializing in conflict-affected regions. She is completing her PhD in Anthropology at the University College London (UCL) and holds a Master’s degree in International Development from Cornell University. As a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, she worked with civil society organizations in Colombia and Brazil highlighting the positive approach of Afro-descendant youth in their communities in the face of exclusion and racism. She is currently consulting with Google implementing digital initiatives with young leaders of African descent in Latin America. She is also the Executive Director of the Nukanti Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and empowering youth to address the social impacts of long-standing conflict, poverty, and human rights violations.
Youth writers from the Boston area will also participate in the evening’s presentation.
Rebecca Jean-Louis is a Haitian-American high school student. She currently is a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin and has lived in Cambridge her entire life.
Olivia Fenty is a senior at CRLS. She has been living between Boston, and Cambridge for most of her life. Writing is huge part of her life, because it is the way that she expresses herself. She’s a very quiet person, so her writing is her voice.