#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 is a former #FutureFirst Fellow and Fundraising Associate created this image using Conte crayon and graphite on paper.
Happy Birthday Amerika
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, 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, a former #FutureFirst Fellow and intern produced this sculpted series on nuclear weapons using white clay and acrylic materials.
Radiation and the Body: What Lingers
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 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
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.