#FutureFirst fellows have been busy focusing on various projects to raise awareness of the threats of nuclear weapons and galvanize activists to take action. Here are the projects they have been working on.


Fourth of July Poems

Haajrah Gilani and Molly Hurley

Haajrah Gilani and Molly Hurley, who are both former #FutureFirst Fellows worked together to make these 4th of July themed poems. The poems are written by Haajrah with an accompanying painting created by Molly.

Unofficial Fourth of July

There was patriotism in the air tonight.

It was the kind that reached beyond sparklers and cherry pies  

There was a determination in a faraway land tonight, 

To paint the seas red, to turn their faces white, to eliminate the blue skies 

 

Finally, there was peace in the world tonight

While the people of the enemy nation cowered amongst the char and the rubble,

As they wept and scoured the scorched earth for their loved ones, 

As havoc crept and devoured the land of Uncle Sam’s adversaries  

 

Don’t whimper and wail for those that had it coming.

Didn’t you hear? This is precisely what they deserved,

For the acts of one, this is the price millions must pay

At long last, our true-blooded ‘Merican justice was served 

 

Make no mistake: this has been burdensome for everyone involved. 

I felt my eyes strain and my mind tire from the television’s constant updates on the missiles 

But it’s all finished now. Tonight democracy has won,

With our spirit undiminished somehow. Tomorrow, their state of cruelty will know freedom at last.

 

Every day is July fourth

I write to you from the land of Bud Light and broken peace treaties 

From the land that will market the macabre 

And welcome you with a collection of casualties 

Blood soaked land, stolen land. 

 

I write to you from the city that sent a bomb to its own residents in place of an eviction notice

Just because the civilians understood their rights as human beings

Their rights to exist and to exist in peace. Yet, Philadelphia decided to reclaim the land that was never theirs 

Blood soaked city, stolen city 

 

And I think of the Fourth of July,

There is no other date that can emulate the beautiful American hypocrisy,

To celebrate freedom when it’s only accessible for a few

The land of the free, the land where you must pay to be free 

 

We have rights that extend beyond a document written over 200 years ago

Our existence is proof enough that we are entitled to more than paying to take up space,

Afraid to leave the house, afraid to stay inside- this isn’t any way of life

Yet, I know we’ll make it

To July fifth 


Sacrifice of Issac

Molly Hurley

Molly Hurley is a former #FutureFirst Fellow and Fundraising Associate created this image using Conte crayon and graphite on paper.

The work is a twist on Andrea Del Sarto’s renaissance painting of the sacrifice of Isaac. In the Bible, Abraham is told by an angel from God that he must sacrifice his eldest son, Isaac, as a show of his faith to God. Completely distraught, Abraham ultimately decides his faith and love for God is greater than for his son, so he begins to take a knife to Isaac. At the last minute, the angel reappears and stops Abraham, saying that the sacrifice was just a test of Abraham’s loyalty and that he does not actually need to kill his son. 
In my retelling of this story, I drew the figures of Abraham, Isaac, and the angel in graphite then replaced Del Sarto’s background with iconography pulled from real World War II US propaganda posters. Instead of a Christian God from the Old Testament, Abraham sacrifices his son to the cause of US supremacy and war. While death and war real and physical for Abraham of the Bible and Abraham of my drawing, God and US supremacy are intangible and debatable.

 


Happy Birthday Amerika

Jackie Waight

Jackie Waight, a former #FutureFirst Fellow created this image for the 4th of July.

This piece reflects the bipartisan-run society of the US in which both parties are two sides of the same coin in serving white supremacy. The police force is just one aspect where the government attempts to covertly, or openly, turn humans against each other as agents of white supremacy. There is no real celebration of freedom on the 4th of July when all of us who live in America are not free.

 

 


Atomic Holiday En Vogue

Mwandeyi Kamwendo

Mwandeyi Kamwendo, a former #FutureFirst Fellow, she created this collage, and it was used for the first edition of Beyond the Bomb’s zine Silo: Rebel with a Cause.

I have spent the past few months in Beyond the Bomb’s #FutureFirst Fellowship program, during which we examined the role of nuclear weapons in current systems of inequality. Generally, it is only a matter of time before the things I learn in other areas of my life slip into my artistic practice. “Atomic Holiday (En Vogue)” was no exception. The idea of nuclear war has long terrified me. More recently, I have begun to consider how deeply entwined that possible future is with consumerism, class, and our human ability to look blindly upon what should be a clear and present danger. Starting with the April 2020 issue of Vogue magazine, which had been my companion since the early days of lockdown, I cut and carved out images of opulence and beauty before drowning them in a blue wash. The only woman who survived the cataclysm floats over the figures of a lost world in her paper boat, seemingly unbothered by the mushroom cloud on the horizon. Is she there by choice, a tourist at the end of history? And does she recognize the fragility of her little boat and of her own paper skin?


Consequences of Preventable Destruction

Hannah Martin

Hannah Martin, a former #FutureFirst Fellow and intern produced this sculpted series on nuclear weapons using white clay and acrylic materials.

Consequences of Preventable Destruction


Radiation and the Body: What Lingers

Rachel Traczyk

Rachel Traczyk, who is a former #FutureFirst Fellow and Field Organizer drew these images highlighting the intersectionality of the human body, the environment, and nuclear weapons.


Nuclear Weapons and Colonialism

Hawine Eticha

Hawine Eticha produced this short video on the history of France’s nuclear program — focusing specifically on nuclear testing in Algeria and the links between nuclear weapons and colonialism.


Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Molly Hurley

To commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the first time nuclear weapons were used in war, Molly Hurley, who is a former #FutureFirst Fellow and Fellowship Associate, painted these for use in graphics and other content for the virtual #StillHere event commemorating the anniversaries.