Fresno State’s Laureate Lab hosts “Sudden Experiments”

Hermelinda Hernandez found her love of poetry at Fresno City College when she decided to enroll in a poetry class.

She chose it as just an elective course for her lesson, but Hernandez said her teacher encouraged her to keep writing and one of the first practices that intrigued her was the diary.

“I knew I wanted to do something with words. I just did not know if it was, you know, something creative in poetry or something creative in non-fiction. “I was not sure,” said Hernandez.

She first enrolled at Fresno City College as an English teacher, but when she transferred to Fresno State in 2019 and saw the option for a creative writing major, she changed her major the same day she learned it.

For the past year and a half, he has been working and writing at the Laureate Lab Visual Wordlist Studio in Fresno State, pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

On October 15, 2021, the lab announced a $ 5,000 grant from the California Humanities for his work, “Sudden Experiments: A Series of Public Student-led Art / Poetry Workshops,” which is a series of free creative art and poetry workshops conducted virtually.

One of his workshops, “String Stories”, was hosted by Hernandez. The Zoom event on February 27 encouraged participants to think critically and artistically express their feelings on issues related to colonization and the “depletion of natural resources in marginalized communities,” he said.

Hernandez said she was honored to be one of four people selected to host a workshop. The first was hosted by Tony Vand in December 2021, followed by Hernandez. Gaoyong Yang-Vang and Chevas Clements will host the next two events.

Hernandez and other members of the Laureate Lab, Antony Cody and Paul Sanchez, came together to organize her sudden experimental lab, thinking about what to do. In creating String Stories, Hernandez asked two questions that helped her understand what it was all about: “Who are you?” and where are you from?”

As a result, her workshop is inspired by her past and personal experiences. Hernandez immigrated from Oaxaca, Mexico, when she was 5 years old in 2000, and saw the need for poetry and artistic expression in marginalized communities. She said it helped her reinvent words, process facts in her life and create a “symbol of resistance” against the oppressive forces.

“We need this kind of treatment, and through these activities, I think we can also be more aware of our environment, more aware of who we are. “Not only who we are in the present, but who our ancestors were in the past and who we want to be and what we want to embody for future generations,” Hernandez said.

They are also of Zapotec descent, an indigenous people of Oaxaca. Cody shared his enthusiasm for Hernandez’s work and for seeing diversity within the poetry community.

“I’m excited because none of them are old, white cheeses [cisgender and heterosexual] “dudes of the past,” said Cody. “These are people of color. “These are writers and color artists who can see and see and ask difficult questions.”

“[Hernandez is] always someone who will always ask a question I have never thought of, and I think I learned so much from it that I hope people will learn from me. “

Cody also noted that Hernandez wanted to learn everything when she came to Laureate Lab and said she admired her hunger for learning and the different styles of poetry she uses.

In her workshop, Hernandez asked participants to use paper, string, scissors and markers to create a work of art that symbolizes the elements of fire, water, air and earth.

Participants in the “String Stories” virtual lab present their final product using resources either given to them by the Laureate Lab or resources at home. (Courtesy of Anthony Cody)

Participants were asked what these data meant to them, with whom they related more and with which less. Fresno State students at the event expressed their own meanings, some of which are related to fire as a symbol of passion and others seeing the earth as a metaphor for their stability.

Hernandez then showed two videos that also inspired the workshop, one was the installation of Yoko Ono “Cut Piece”, where members of the audience cut a piece of Ono’s clothes on stage and another for the poet’s work. Cecilia Vicuña “Precario”, which means fragile.

Vicuña used precarios, which were works of art made from various materials, to focus on the Earth’s resources. In the workshop, Hernandez combined both concepts by cutting strings like Ono to symbolize the elements that participants felt had been lost or taken away, and created their own precario with the other strings.

Questions were also asked throughout the process to get participants to think about why certain elements are important and why people need to protect them. Cody and Hernandez said they wanted to create a safe environment where people could express their feelings on difficult issues and also take a breath of life stress.

“It was a really difficult time for everyone. “Just because the Laureate Lab is a very interactive space, but it is also a very tiny space, so the pandemic has challenged us in a way that we can function,” Cody said. “What we have done is try to do these sudden experiments in a way that people can even understand and know what the Laureate Lab is doing.”

“One way I would like to encourage people to do poetry… If you’re very ashamed or whatever, just to be a kid again. “To be a child at heart and to take whatever material you can and draw around it and write down your feelings,” said Hernandez.

The students at the event said they were grateful and grateful for Hernandez’s workshop and at the end, they presented the artwork they created.
Yang-Vang will host the next “Sudden Experiment” on April 7 around 7 p.m. Information about the event that will be hosted by Clements’ will be announced later.

Fresno State’s Laureate Lab hosts “Sudden Experiments” Source link Fresno State’s Laureate Lab hosts “Sudden Experiments”

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