The Anthropologists stands in unequivocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Over the past year, as we have been developing our new play No Man’s Land, we have been confronted again and again by police violence against black people. These events opened our eyes to the deeply troubling problem of the racism endemic to our society. This has shaken us to our core, both as individual citizens, and as artists deeply concerned with the stories which are put on stage. We have listened, we have read, we have discussed, we have been challenged and we have learned. We are humbled.
Since our inception in 2008, our work has been concerned with unearthing hidden stories: from the devastating history behind Columbus’s “discovery” of Hispaniola to the immigrant women-led Lower East Side food riots of 1917 to the humble factory worker roots of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. With each of our plays, we have sought to uncover voices silenced by history, voices omitted by the dominant narrative. However, it was not until our work on No Man’s Land that many of us (though not all) were exposed to another version of life in the United States: the terrifying reality that our country operates in vastly different ways for people of color, specifically Black Americans.
We stand in solidarity with the efforts to shine a light on the racism and systematic oppression that has been embedded into the DNA of our country and we are committed to being active allies toward achieving equality.
On a personal note as the founding Artistic Director: throughout this process, I belatedly and regretfully discovered just how entrenched into our society racism is. I have had to recognize and reconcile my own frame of reference and what it may have blinded me to. I have recognized just how much privilege I have benefited from as a white woman. Therefore, I have committed myself to actively investigating my own privilege and challenging the system which contains it. To that end, this weekend, I will be participating in the Understanding & Undoing Racism Community Organizing workshop with The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.
Sincerely, and on behalf of The Anthropologists,
Founding Artistic Director