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Past Events
How We Started

Year Five 2004-05

One of the biggest change that took place for our organization in Fall 2004 was a new move from DiverseWorks to Project Row Houses, which donated a shotgun house to our organization so we could continue presenting visual art shows, host writing workshops and become part of a different community. As such, we started the year with a housewarming celebration on September 9, 2004 at VBB’s new home, 2519 Holman.

The official season kickoff was VBB’s annual season opener, Words for Peace 3¡Incite Change! which featured Mango Tribe, a Chicago-based group Asian American women’s group that performed volcanic spoken word, video, music and dance. The rest of the season as packed with film, cultural narrative conversations, and performances all centered around issues connected to oil, health, global peace and the urgent need to incite change so that all citizens—in the US and around the world—can have a voice.

WORDS FOR PEACE 3¡Incite Change!

September 25, 7:00 pm
General admission $8

WORDS FOR PEACE 3 ¡Incite Change!, Voices Breaking Boundaries’ 2004-05 season opener,  features Mango Tribe, a Chicago-based Asian/ Pacific Islander American women’s group. The lineup of performers includes Rubén Martinez, Sue Sun, Lee High School students, Project Row Houses Youth Drummers with Abubakr and images by Kayte Young and David Graeve. The show will address local, national and global change, immigration and reproductive rights and of course, global peace. There will be talks by local activists, refreshments, drinks and much more. This event is part of the Voting Machine, a collaboration between eight local arts organizations. For more information visit www.votingmachine.org. Cosponsored by Breakthough and DiverseWorks. Curated by Shannon Garth-Rhodes, Sehba Sarwar, Oskar Sonnen and Michael Woodson.

Cultural Narrative Art Series: Sonia Shah

Wednesday, October 6, 2004, 8pm
General admission $5

Sonia Shah, author of The Story ofCrude: The Story of Oil, is an author and independent journalist. In this narrative, she weaves together a story of natural and social history, petropolitics and petro-nomics, technology and geology, making connections between would-be oil barons from the American backyard to the corners of the earth-from Labrador's forbidding Hibernia development, to Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and the Nigerian River Delta-to the depths of the North Sea and the Caspian. Shah’s first visit to Houston, the oil center of the US, is of particular significance this fall, given the upcoming national elections. A book signing following reading. Curated by Michael Woodson.

Matir Moina / The Clay Bird 

Dir, Tareque Masud, France/Bangladesh. 2002. 98 minutes. Color.
Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4, 2004, 7:00 PM
General admission: $6.00
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Voices Breaking Boundaries teams up with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Border Crossings radio show to present The Clay Bird. Set against the backdrop of the turbulent period in the late 1960s leading up to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan, The Clay Bird tells the story of a family torn apart by religion and war. Anu, a shy young boy from rural East Pakistan (Bangladesh, as it is now known) is sent away by his father Kazi, an orthodox Muslim, to a Madrasah – or Islamic – school. Far from his family and the warmth of his region’s Hindu festivities, Anu struggles to adapt to the school’s harsh monastic life.

CLOSING SHOW: Donna Perkins

Saturday. January 22, 2005
Closing party 5:00 – 7:00 pm
General admission: Free
Voices Breaking Boundaries’ Shotgun House

This closing celebrates the work of VBB Co-Founder Donna Perkins at VBB’s shotgun house on the Project Row Houses campus. Working from a model, and drawing at a very fast pace, Perkins covers paper with lines derived from the figure. Her abstract images rarely depict figures but her work leaves a nuance of human form. Creating work with charcoal, graphite, various acrylic mediums and gesso, Perkins says: “I am concerned with gesture, with surface, with obscuring and revealing prior images. It’s as if the painting is a snapshot of energy, my energy, the evidence of a moment in time.” Also a poet and playwright, Perkins is currently enrolled in the University of Houston’s New Playwrights Workshop taught by Pulitzer playwright winner Lanford Wilson. Her play Bed will be produced in April 2005.

HIGH VOLTAGE: Five Years of Fire

Thursday, February 3, 2005, 8pm
General admission $6 (50% goes to tsunami aid through Via Campasina)

In 2000, VBB held its first reading at a local bookstore. Since then, VBB has expanded to a grassroots nonprofit with an office space on the Project Row Houses’ campus, it hosts regular multidisciplinary shows and it offers arts workshops for adults and teenagers. High Voltage is a celebration of the fiery women who have shaped VBB over the years and it is also the launch and signing of Co-Founder Sehba Sarwar’s new novel Black Wings. High Voltage features readings by Co-Founders Marcela Descalzi and Donna Perkins, Shannon Garth-Rhodes, and music by Michelle Chen, with Nusrat Malik as the emcee.

View Photos:
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Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

78 minutes, 16mm, Color, 2004; Directed by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller
February 18-20, 2005, 7:30pm
Admission: $5
Edorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin, Houston, TX 77004

This exciting Houston premiere of Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train documents the life and times of the historian, activist and author of the best selling classic A People’s History of the United States. Featuring rare archival materials, interviews with Howard Zinn as well as colleagues and friends including Noam Chomsky, Marian Wright Edelman, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden and Alice Walker, You Can't Be Neutral captures Zinn’s participation in the Civil Rights movement and the essence of this activist and thinker who has been a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years. As Noam Chomsky said of him, “it is no exaggeration to say he has changed the consciousness of a generation.” Friday’s screening includes a panel discussion with local Civil Rights activists. Cosponsored by Project Row Houses and Houston Indymedia. Curated by Fletcher Mackey and Michael Woodson.


Thursday, March 24, 2005, 8:00 pm
General admission $5

As part of its Cultural Narrative Series, Voices Breaking Boundaries will present Maniza Naqvi, a US-based Pakistani novelist who will read from her third novel, Stay With Me (www.samabooks.com), a moving story about the trauma of torture. The novel promises to agitate the reader into empathizing with the victim who moves in and out of consciousness. A haunting addition to contemporary fiction, this compelling work explores memory, reconstructed and recalled, as a burden of choices. Opening the evening will be Kokoy Severino along with other Kayumanggi musicians who will entertain the audience with Pinoy Rock. In addition, teen student Marvin Caravantes will perform poetry and there will be a signing following the reading.

CULTURAL NARRATIVE: Tariq Ali & Laura Flanders

Tuesday, April 19, 2005, 7:30 pm
General admission $5
Rice University, Grand Hall in Ley Student Center

The 2005 recipient of the Lannan award, Tariq Ali was born in Lahore (1943) in what was then British-controlled India. He was educated in Pakistan and then at oxford. His opposition to the military dictatorship in Pakistan during the 1960s led to permanent exile in Britain. Ali is a longstanding editor of New Left Review and has written more than a dozen books on history and politics. His new book is The Clash of Fundamentalism: Crusades Jihad and Modernity. Laura Flanders is the author of BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species, an investigation into the women in George W. Bush’s cabinet. On the radio, Flanders can be heard on The Laura Flanders Show (Air America Radio) and Your Call (KALW 91.7 FM). Flanders writers for Tampaine.com, the Nation, Ms Magazine and Znet.

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LA VOZ FEMENINA 4: Alicia Gaspar de Alba

Along with poets and writers from Project Row Houses
Thursday, May 6, 2005 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
General Admission: $5
Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

VBB’s annual team-up with Arte Público Press features a reading by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, author of her new mystery novel, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders, about a lesbian who returns to her native El Paso to adopt the baby of a young Mexican woman but instead gets caught up in the conspiracy surrounding the killing and mutilation of young women along the Texas/Mexico border. Gaspar de Alba has researched the real, ongoing crimes and the conspiracy to cover them up since 1998 and in 2003 organized a conference about the murders. She is also the author of various works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. An Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies and English at the University of California-Los Angeles, Gaspar de Alba is a native of the El Paso/Juárez border. Also performing at La Voz Femenina will be young poets and writers from Project Row Houses. Cosponsored by Arte Público Press and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Curated by Sehba Sarwar, Oskar Sonnen and Marina Tristán.

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¡ncite summer!

VBB’s summer fundraiser and silent auction hosted by Fernando Brave and Sissy Farenthold   
Thursday, June 23, 2005: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
1206 Nance Street, Houston, TX 77002
General Admission $25 (gets you drinks, light meal, and fantastic company

VBB’s first art auction reception features works by Amita Bhatt, Fernando Brave, Paul Hester, Terrell James, Rick Lowe, Fletcher Mackey, Robert Pruitt, Beth Secor, Wendy Watriss, Troy Woods and work by up and coming teen artists. Meal catered by Michael McGuire and Ruthie Langston.

Retelling Histories: Local Teens Speak Out

Wednesday June 29, 2004, 7:00 pm
General Admission Free
DiverseWorks Artspace, 1117 East Freeway, Houston, TX 77002
A partnership with Project Row Houses and Youth Advocates

Local teenagers present break-dancing, spoken word, visual art and much more as the end product of a month-long residency at Lee High School. Students were trained in all disciplines.

Violence against women in South Asia: The ground reality in Pakistan

Saturday, July 2, 2005, 1:00 p.m.
General Admission Free
George R. Brown Convention Center, Rm 306 A-F, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, TX 77002
A partnership with Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Women (ANAA) & Asia Society Texas

Violence against women of Pakistan has been escalating in the past two decades; Honor killing, Jirga (tribal council) crimes, gang rapes, acid throwing are a few examples. This event features a teleconference with gang-rape victim Mukhtaran Mai along with other notable speakers.

Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience: A Voices Breaking Boundaries Cultural Narrative Documentary

Wednesday July 6, 2004, 7:00 pm
General Admission $5 (no one will be turned away)
DiverseWorks Artspace, 1117 East Freeway, Houston, TX 77002

The screening of a documentary that follows the life of activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer.


Copyright ©2011 Voices Breaking Boundaries
Designed by Shaila Abdullah

VBB is a multidisciplinary arts organization. Our mission is to
cross borders, sustain dialogue and incite social justice through art.