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Bio

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Brian Garcia is an interdisciplinary artist whose work lives at the intersections of mental health, race, gender and sexualities. He has worked and performed internationally at various institutions including, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (New York City), Links Hall (Chicago), Dixon Place (New York), Brouhaha International (Liverpool, UK), UDESC (Florianópolis, Brazil) & UNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). His recent artistic endeavors include researching and developing arts-based mental health practices in his hometown of Charlotte, NC.

In the vein of queer and feminist theorists, artists and activists before him, Brian aims to bridge the personal and the political through art-based practices.  As an facilitator, Brian has studied Theatre of the Oppressed techniques working in community with queer-youth, men in the prison-industrial complex and schools. Through poetry, visual art and drag, Brian hopes to center experiences with depression uplifting others along the way.

Philosophy

Trained as an interdisciplinary artist, my work centers around a philosophy of creating holistic spaces for the wellbeing of queer/gender variant communities of color. My approach is twofold - facilitating workshops and educational spaces in advocacy of disenfranchised and marginalized groups; and a portfolio of verse-based, theatrical work centering experiences with depression, race and sexuality. I am motivated to operate for the continued liberation of black and brown queer folks from racial, sexual and gendered discriminations. Despite centering personal experience artistically, my organizational aim is to connect the many voices mental illness affects bridging experience with gatekeepers, educators and the leaders of my community. It is this person-first approach that guides my involvement with organizations who place survivors at the heart of their programming.

My degree in performance and visual art has also been helpful in leveraging and documenting personal narratives of mental health as a way of creating non judgemental, therapeutic reflections around depression and suicide. This work is modeled after queer and feminist theories of affect, brown-queerness and depression proposed by members of Feel Tank Chicago, [in particular, José Esteban Muñoz]. The groundwork is perhaps best referenced and illustrated in Ann Cvetkovich's Depression: A Public Feeling. Under the scope of Lauren Berlant's perspectives of depression as a state of “impasse”, I create art to provide implications beyond a medical-based model of recovery and survival. By uplifting the personal, political, verse-based memoir, I hope to elevate and deploy its power to create compassionate spaces for dreaming of alternatives. An alternative beyond potential glimmers of hope, beyond "It Gets Better"; as it is my hope you, the reader, will find your own alternative.

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