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Taina Asili to Host Social Justice Artist Residency 4/12-4/14

April 3, 2023 • Erin Reitz • No Comments

From April 12th through April 14th the UNC Chapel Hill Campus Y will be hosting New York-based Puerto Rican singer, filmmaker and activist Taína Asili for an in person artist residency. This residency was made possible with support from Arts Everywhere!

Taína Asili carries on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her music combines powerful vocals carrying themes of social justice with an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae, and rock. For over 20 years she has brought the music of love and resistance to venues across the globe – From the Women’s March on Washington to Carnegie Hall to the main stage of San Francisco Pride. After the 2016 election, a bigger audience has caught up to the artist Huffington Post named one of “12 Freedom Fighting Bands to Get you Through the Trump Years.” Her protest songs “No Es Mi Presidente” and “Freedom,” inspired by social movements against white supremacy, mass incarceration, and police violence, have been lauded by the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard. The music videos and documentaries Asili has produced and directed have also been selected and awarded and numerous prominent film festivals throughout the nation.

All presentations will be in person and are free and open to all. See descriptions below. Please contact for accommodation requests that support your engagement.

The Gender Justice Series | 4/12 • 5-7 PM

Campus Y Anne Queen Longe

Taína Asili is a queer artist with a long history of feminist activism which began during her early years in punk rock. She was later inspired by radical feminist professors as she worked towards a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Binghamton University. In recent years she has supported gender justice organizations and initiatives with music, from The Women’s March on Washington, to NYC Pride Rally and Human Rights Conference. In 2019 she wrote One Billion Rising’s anthem “We Are Rising,” which has been used for artist uprising around the world.  This screening will look at five of Taína Asili’s videos addressing issues around gender justice, including several from the Resiliencia music video documentary series: We Are RisingBeauty ManifestedBeyond The StarsWho I Am, and La Verdad.

The Climate Justice Series | 4/13 • 3-5 PM

Campus Y Anne Queen Lounge

Taína Asili started her climate justice activism as a high school student. Today continues to eat a plant-based diet, grow food, write songs and use every opportunity she can to contribute towards a more healthy Earth. She has performed to support organizations and initiatives, from UPROSE in Brooklyn, NY to The California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA). She has released several songs from her albums on climate, including “And We Walk,” a music video which premiered in YES! Magazine in 2014. In 2019 she wrote the theme song for Climate Curious, a web series by The Solutions Project. During her ’21-22 residency with The Social Justice Portal Project she released the music video “Nature,” a climate justice musical manifesto. Taína Asili is also Board Chair of Soul Fire Farm, a food justice farm in her community that works to uproot injustice and seed sovereignty in the food system. This screening will look at three of Taína Asili’s videos addressing issues of climate justice: Plant the SeedAnd We Walk, and Nature. 

Abolition and Freedom | 4/13 • 3-5 PM

Campus Y 2nd Floor Classrooms

Taína Asili has been working on abolitionist activism to end mass incarceration and state violence for over 20 years. In 2010 she was one of the co-founders of The New York State Prisoner Justice Network, and later worked with Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration in Albany, NY. This screening will look at two of Taína Asili’s songs and videos addressing these issues: Abolition and Freedom.

Reception and Performance with Taína Asili | 4/13 7-8:30 PM

Gerrard Hall

Taína Asili combines powerful vocals and an energetic multi-genre fusion – confidently weaving between salsa, rock, reggae, cumbia, reggaeton, and hip hop – with multilingual songs that beat with the heart of social change. Her performances vary to accommodate a variety of venues and settings, from being accompanied by her incredibly talented 6-9 piece band – which may include live guitar, bass, drums, congas, horns and backing vocalists – to solo performances accompanied by dynamic backing tracks. No matter the constellation, Taína always exudes strength of Spirit, inspiring audiences to dance to the rhythm of rebellion!

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