niv Acosta is an award winning and internationally acclaimed multi-medium artist and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. his intersectional identities as transgender, queer, and black-dominican have continuously inspired his community based work. niv’s work and thought leadership has been featured in many publications including Performance Journal, VICE, Brooklyn Magazine, Apogee Journal, BOMB Magazine and more. His performance work has debuted in various programs nationally and abroad including Tate Modern (GB), Tanz Im August & Kunst-Werke Institut (DEU), The David Roberts Foundation (GB), The Kimmel Center (US), Human Resources (US), MOMA PS1 (US), Studio Museum (US), and New Museum (US), among many. niv has collaborated with artists TYGAPAW, Monstah Black, Ralph Lemon, Ishmael Houston-Jones, My Barbarian, Deborah Hay, A.K. Burns, Andrea Geyer, and Larissa Velez-Jackson. niv’s current project DISCOTROPIC centers a conversation, situated between the pragmatic and fantastical, exploring the intersections of science fiction, astro-physics, disco and the black american experience. DISCOTROPIC is episodic and has premiered earlier episodes as a part of New Museum’s Triennial ‘Surround Audience’ 2015, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art’s (MoCADA) Brooklyn Soul Festival ‘Black August’ 2015 as well as at Cooper Union. Parallel to his artistic practice through his racial justice work he has provided Racism trainings for Cultural Producers at KW Institute (Berlin), NYU, Vassar College and Movement Research to date.
andré carrington is Assistant Professor of African American literature at Drexel University. His first book, Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction (Minnesota, 2016) interrogates the cultural politics of race in the fantastic genres through studies of science fiction fanzines, comics, film and television, and other speculative fiction texts.
carrington’s writing has appeared in Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, Sounding Out!, Callaloo, African & Black Diaspora, Journal of the African Literature Association, Studio magazine for the Studio Museum in Harlem, and books including A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance, The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Blackness in Comics and Sequential Art, Race/Gender/Class/Media 3.0, and Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call.
In 2015, he co-organized the first Queers & Comics international conference through CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies in New York. He teaches courses in African American and Global Black Literature, Black Liberation Movements, LGBT Literature & Culture, Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction, and Literary Theory. He’s also a birder.
Reina Gossett is an activist, writer, and filmmaker. Along with Sasha Wortzel, Reina wrote, directed and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha! a short film about legendary trans activist Marsha P Johnson starring Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor.
As the 2014-2016 Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women (BCRW) Reina produced and directed No One Is Disposable, a series of cross media platform teaching tools used to spotlight the ways oppressed people are fighting back, surviving and building strong communities in the face of enormous violence. She is currently working on the short animated film The Personal Things about iconic black trans activist Miss Major.
A long time community organizer, Reina worked as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project from 2010 to 2014 to lift the voice and power of trans and gender non conforming people and helped lead the successful campaign to end healthcare discrimination against low income trans and gender non conforming New Yorkers. She also worked at Queers for Economic Justice where she directed the Welfare Organizing Projected and produced A Fabulous Attitude, documenting low-income LGBT New Yorkers surviving inequality and thriving despite enormous obstacles. Prior to her work at Queers for Economic Justice Reina worked with Critical Resistance organizing with low income LGBTGNC New Yorkers in a campaign that successfully stopped NYC’s Department of Corrections from building a $375 million new jail in the Bronx.
Reina is a 2007 Soros Justice Fellow, a 2009 Stonewall Community Foundation Honoree, and the recipient of the 2016 Ackerman Institute Community Award. Her work has been supported by the Open Society Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, and the Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund. She was a 2012-2013 fellow of filmmaker Ira Sach’s Queer/Art/Mentorship. Along with Eric Stanley and Johanna Burton, Reina is an editor of the forthcoming New Museum anthology on trans art and cultural production to be published by MIT Press in 2017.
E Jane (E_SCRAAATCH) is a Black woman, artist and sound designer currently based in Philadelphia, PA. Their work is a critical inquiry surrounding softness, safety, futurity, cyberspace and how subjugated bodies navigate media/the media. Their interdisciplinary practice incorporates digital images, video, performance, sound-based and installation works. They have shown work at The Kitchen, MoCADA and MoMA PS1 (as one half of sound duo SCRAAATCH), Various Small Fires (Los Angeles), Little Berlin (Philadelphia), Pelican Bomb (New Orleans), Visual Arts Center (Austin), Gstaad, Switzerland, Edel Assanti and IMT Gallery (London), Bar Babette (Berlin), and all over the internet. In 2015, E. wrote the NOPE manifesto which has recently been published by the brooklyn-based digital publishers, Codette. E. holds a degree in Art History with minors in English and Philosophy from Marymount Manhattan College in New York. They received their MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.