One-Day Symposium | Tactical Laughter: Humor + Activism



Thursday, April 21, 2016
See full symposium schedule and videos of each event below

We gathered for a two-day humor extravaganza on April 20th and 21st, 2016. Featuring the YesMen and other distinguished artists, activists, and scholars, these events at Hemi reflected on the political uses of laughter through a film screening, an exhibition, and a symposium on humor and activism.

RSVP on Facebook

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. 20 Cooper Square is a wheelchair accessible venue.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

10am-6pm | One-day symposium | Tactical Laughter: Humor + Activism
How can laughter interrupt the codes of power? When is laughing in the face of human suffering ethical or politically productive? How is humor amplified and transformed across media? How have social movements—from queer activism to climate justice to immigrant rights to black liberation—deployed satire and parody to advance political change? In what ways does humor push the limits of what’s sayable, what’s thinkable and what’s possible?

Confirmed participants include: Alexandra Vazquez, Andrew Boyd, Avram Finkelstein, Carmelita Tropicana, Cristel Jusino Díaz, Danielle Roper, Deniz Gokturk, Diana Taylor, Elizabeth Axtman, Jennifer Miller, Lady Quesa'Dilla, Mark Read, Marcial Godoy-Anativia, Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, Negin Farsad, Pamela Sneed, Ricardo Gamboa, Sebastián Calderón-Bentín, Stephen Duncombe, Terry Marshall, and the Yes Men.


10:00-10:10am | Introduction
MC Lady Quesa'Dilla

10:15-10:30am | Opening Remarks
Diana Taylor

10:30-11:10am | Dialogue
Exposing Imposters
Deniz Göktürk
Interlocutor: Diana Taylor

11:20-12:00pm | Dialogue
Satire is Dead. Long Live Satire!
Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Boyd
Moderator: Marlène Ramírez-Cancio

12:00pm-1:00pm | Lunch

1:00-1:10pm | Flashpoint
Trolls, Tomatoes and Tough Guys
Mark Read of The Illuminator

1:15-1:55pm | Dialogue
Welcome Home, Ladies! Queer Worldmaking
Carmelita Tropicana and Jennifer Miller
Interlocutor: Alexandra Vazquez

2:00-2:10pm | Flashpoint
If A Laugh Happens in Opacity and No One Is There to Hear It…
Ricardo Gamboa 

2:15-2:55pm | Dialogue
Identity Corrections
Negin Farsad and The Yes Men
Interlocutor: Sebastián Calderón-Bentín

3:00-3:40pm | Dialogue
Disobedience, Laughter and Black Liberation
Elizabeth Axtman and Danielle Roper
Interlocutor: Marcial Godoy-Anativia

3:45-3:55pm | Break

4:00-4:10pm | Flashpoint
What does it feel like to be a problem?
Terry Marshall of Intelligent Mischief

4:15-4:55pm | Dialogue
Humor and the AIDS Epidemic
Avram Finkelstein and Pamela Sneed
Interlocutor: Cristel M. Jusino Díaz

5:00pm – 6:00pm | Long Table
Tactical Laughter: Humor + Activism