all the rights: NAFTA Edition, digital spoken word a/v recording, first performed at EULA League @ BCL Session #1, October 24, 2020
we/you, digital spoken word audio recording, first performed at EULA League Meeting #1, January 6, 2018
EULA League is:
- A Conceptual art working group focused on the æsthetics and performance of language to consider and act on texts that shape or describe life in South Florida and in the United States;
- Designed to support community members as they develop and deploy their own projects to facilitate community engagement;
- Open to virtually or physically hosted participants of all ages and interested observers.1
Most people who go through the American school system are familiar with some version of the adage ignorantia legis neminem excusat, ‘Ignorance of the law excuses no one’. The tacit belief is that some awareness of and adherence to the principles at work in the American social contract ought to be enough for most folks living in the United States to expect life, liberty, and their unencumbered pursuit of happiness. Work hard: earn honest pay for honest work. Take care of yourself: early to bed, early to rise to be healthy and wise. Straightforward, upright industriousness can lead to anyone’s version of the American Dream.
However, for marginalized groups – and increasingly those in the mainstream –, the social contract seems rigged. From the right to vote to segregation to redlining, from unequal pay to the ever-increasing wealth gap to disparate health outcomes, many people who work hard and take care of themselves within the boundaries of the social contract find themselves excluded from the Dream.
I am not surprised.
Most people who go through the American school system are also familiar with some version of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s assertion that ‘The real safeguard of democracy… is education.’2 As a public high school teacher, I see how time and money determine the quality of education available to young people; we spend a lot less money and time on ideas like the social contract and thus leave most graduates unprepared to deal with the complexities and consequences of the legal contracts we encounter on a daily basis. Further, I suspect that we’re all meant to feel like we’re powerless to engage the entities that manipulate those contracts…
EULA League considers language in terms of content, intent, form & format, and impact. Through performances, readings, and discussions to generate understanding of literary and civic texts as end-user license agreements – and by embarking on self-directed community engagement projects in light of those understandings –, EULA League confronts feelings of civic powerlessness with the hope of subverting them.
Upcoming EULA League Meetings (Working Definitions for those who wish to participate)
EULA League @ Broward County Library Session 3: Project for Civic Engagement, December 5, 2020
- EULAs: Participant-acquired city’s budgets3
- Literary Selection: Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus and The Master’s Tools, Audre Lorde
- Invited Expert: Ft. Lauderdale Community Organizer TBA
- Culminating Task: Present civic engagement project plan.
Past EULA League Meetings
EULA League @ Broward County Library Session 2: Local Government, November 14, 2020
- EULAs: Florida’s Fiscal Year 2020 -2021 Budget
- Literary Selection: Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison and The Medium is the Massage, Marshal McLuhan and Quentin Fiore
- Invited Expert: Ben Sorensen, Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner of District 4
- Task for Session 3: Acquire your city’s budget
EULA League @ Broward County Library Session 1: Foundations, October 24, 2020
- EULAs: US Bill of Rights and UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Literary Selections: Kitchenette Building, Gwendolyn Brooks and Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Invited Expert: Dr. Charles Zelden, Nova Southeastern University Professor in the Department of History and Political Science
- Task for Session 2: Attend, perhaps participate in your city council meeting OR write a local government official
EULA League v1, January 7, 14, and 21, 2018:
our/your, digital spoken word audio recording, first performed at EULA League Meeting #2, January 14, 2018
NOT INTENDED, digital spoken word audio recording, first performed at EULA League Meeting #3, January 21, 2018
- The World on the Turtle’s Back/Genesis 1-4
- The Full Constitution of the United States of America
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Participants and observers can attend without participation in previous or commitment to subsequent meetings. ↩︎
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Message for American Education Week, September 27, 1938 ↩︎
- Follow along as I work through Boca Raton’s FY 2019-2020 budget as the formal FY 2020-2021 budget has yet to be released. ↩︎