Imaginary Activism – Guillermo Gómez Peña

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 | 7:00 pm

Durham Studio Theater, UC Berkeley


Due to limited seating, you must RESERVE a (free) ticket to attend!


Imaginary Activism:

The role of the artist beyond the art world
A spoken word monologue by Guillermo Gómez Peña
Opening remarks by Prof. Laura E. Pérez, Department of Ethnic Studies

Friday, September 4, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Durham Studio Theater, UC Berkeley
Due to limited seating, you must RESERVE a (free) ticket to attend!
TICKET LINK (Tickets released on Wed, Sep 2nd, 6pm):
Facebook event:
This event is free of charge and open to the public.

In recent years, Gómez Peña has explored two distinct territories in his solo work: The ongoing rewriting and reenactment of some of his classic performances (he calls this his “living archive”), and writing and testing brand new material dealing with radical citizenship and what he terms “imaginary activism.” In both cases, the artist’s unique format for revealing to an audience the process of creating, languaging and performing material becomes the actual project. It is precisely in his new solo work where his literature, theory, pedagogy live art come together in a wonderfully strange mix. Not one solo performance is ever the same.

Gómez Peña has spent many years developing his unique solo style, “a combination of embodied poetry, performance activism and theatricalizations of postcolonial theory.” In his ten books, as in his live performances (with his troupe La Pocha Nostra), digital art, videos and photo performances, he pushes the boundaries still further, exploring what’s left for artists to do in a repressive global culture of censorship, paranoid nationalism and what he terms “the mainstream bizarre.” GómezPeña examines where this leaves the critical practice of artists who aim to make tactical, performative interventions into our notions of culture, race and sexuality. Most recently has also been exploring the poetic and activist use of new technologies and social media.

Presented by the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies in collaboration with the Center for Race and Gender and UC Berkeley’s Arts Research Center. Organized by Marco A. Flores and Stephanie Sherman.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the US in 1978. His performance work and 11 books have contributed to the debates on cultural gender diversity, border culture and US-Mexico relations. His artwork has been presented at over nine hundred venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. A MacArthur Fellow, Bessie and American Book Award winner, he is a regular contributor for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT). Gómez-Peña is a Senior Fellow in the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a Patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency and in 2012 he was named Samuel Hoi Fellow by USA Artists.

With co-sponsorships from: Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, Asian American Asian Diaspora Studies, Center for Latino Policy Research, Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures, English Department, Ethnic Studies 5th Account, Gender Women’s Studies Department, History of Art Department, Queer Transgender Advocacy Project (QTAP) at Graduate Assembly, Spanish Department, Teatro Project at UC Berkeley, Townsend Center for Humanities

Durham Studio Theater is located on the UC Berkeley campus to the rear of Dwinelle Hall and across from the Dwinelle Annex:

Given the overwhelming interest in Guillermo Gómez Peña’s September 4 lecture/performance (about 600 people) at UC Berkeley and the limited seating capacity of Durham Theater (140 seats), we have decided to have a pre-ticketing first come/first serve online system. This will help reduce the crowd for the ushers, and make it more convenient for the attendees.

Please make sure to put the release date and time into your calendars, and to log in as soon as they are released in order to get a seat. We are expecting tickets to sell out very quickly.
For fairness, only one reservation per person is allowed (with the exception of wheelchair seats).
Should you get a ticket and not show up by 6:50pm, your ticket will be released.
If you do not get a ticket, there will probably still be a few tickets available at the last minute. The wait list will begin at 6:00pm on the day of the show, by the entrance to the theater.

For further details please email
Photo credit: Photo by Piero Viti, 2014

Request Event Co-Sponsorship

CRG Forum Proposals

Interested in presenting as an individual or as part of a panel at CRG Forum Series?

Or have suggestions for future topics and presenters?