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The Anastasio Project

Friday, September 11, 2015
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Event Type:
Cat Brooks
Location Details:
Eastside Arts Alliance. 2277 International Boulevard. Oakland, CA 94606

widely acclaimed multidisciplinary arts project brings to life
local stories of state violence

(OAKLAND, CA) – Across the country, the #blacklivesmatter movement has forced to the surface a conversation that has been happening under the mainstream radar in communities of color for centuries. Today, America can no longer ignore the epidemic of state violence that she is enacting on Black, Brown and poor communities by her various law enforcement agencies.

For two weekends - September 11-13 & 18-20 - in partnership with Eastside Arts Alliance, José Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama of NAKA Dance Company surface these conversations once more by returning to the stage their acclaimed production of the The Anastasio Project; a multidisciplinary performance investigating race relations, state brutality and border violence.

Combining interactive video, original music, a large-format mural, spoken word and dance, The Anastasio Project draws on personal experiences of violence endured by people of color living in Oakland to create a profound and moving community event.

Prior to the performance, audience members are encouraged to explore the art galleries where pieces by various local artists will kick start conversations on the impacts of state violence in communities of color. For the complete list of artists, visit

The Anastasio Project was inspired by the tragic story of Hernandez-Rojas, a Mexican national who was beaten to death by a dozen customs and border patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2010.

“When we saw the cell phone footage of the beating of Hernandez-Rojas, we were devastated as we watched the Border Patrol inflict so much pain on another human being,” said Kajiyama in an interview with The Triangle Lab. “People were screaming at the Border Patrol to stop; Anastasio was asking for clemency; but nothing stopped the officers, and they continued to beat him.”

These are the kinds of stories flooding the daily airwaves and social media platforms of America and why the return of The Anastasio Project is so timely and critical. “The youth that we’ve worked with at Eastside Arts Alliance are not afraid to tell the truth and have themselves become the vehicles for social change,” said Navarrete. “We are concerned about their future, and the legacy that we leave for them. Most people from East Oakland are people of color, and youth are likely targets for racial profiling and police brutality. We want to learn from them; we want to share their perspectives.”

The Anastasio Project asks how we can avoid repeating the tragedies of Hernandez-Rojas, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Natasha McKenna, Tamir Rice and thousands like them in cities across the country.

Three of the performances will include pre-show conversations with community activists and organizers including Bertha Gutierrez & Families of San Diego (9/12), Cat Brooks of the Anti Police-Terror Project (9/13) and Mujeres Unidas y Activas with Matt Gonzalez from the SF Public Defenders Office (9/19). These dialogues will explore the complexities of state sponsored terror: ICE, the police, FBI, the military and their supporters. All conversations begin at 4:00 pm and will be followed by a light reception prior to the performance.

Development of The Anastasio Project is supported by: The MAP Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; William & Flora Hewlett Foundation; City of Oakland Cultural Funding; The Kenneth Rainin Foundation; The East Bay Community Foundation's East Bay Fund for Artists; The Open Circle Foundation; the Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists Grant; EastSide Arts Alliance; Theatre Bay Area’s CA$H Grant; the Zellerbach Family Foundation; the Akonadi Foundation; the Della Davidson Prize; the California Arts Council Creating Places of Vitality Grant, California Shakespeare Theater’s Triangle Lab, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, and many generous individual donors.

NAKA Dance Theater and Eastside Arts Alliance present the return of The Anastasio Project
WHEN: September 11 - 13 and 18-20, @ 8:00 pm
WHERE: Eastside Arts Alliance 2277 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94606
TICKETS: To purchase tickets online visit For more information visit or


Added to the calendar on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 12:44PM
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