REAL ART. REAL TENACITY. REAL METTLE. Real Stories Gallery Foundation (501c3).
IMAGINING OUR WORLD. WARNING: Some visitors may feel overwhelmed and disturbed by the stories in our online artists' sketchbook.Tweet
Sexualized Violence Directed at Boys; International Sex Trade in Boys; HIV/AIDS-defining Infections & Diseases.
i believe you: SHOW ME YOUR LIFE is an online ART initiative for kids at risk. Emerging artists & poets embedded in distinct localities are sharing their stories, empirical knowledge and skills. The program is peer-mentored by SMASH STREET; a safe house and intensive art program for kids at risk for homelessness, neglect, abuse, exploitation, gang violence, jail, detention, cyclical prostitution, addictions and HIV/AIDS-related infections & diseases.
There are 10,000 American children between the ages of 11 — 13 who are serving (for such crimes as shoplifting) between 25 to 30 year sentences who are imprisoned with adult offenders whose crimes include rape and murder. These are DOJ numbers, not mine. These are not juvenile facilities. These are adult prisons where 90% of the boys serving time have been raped by adult inmates. And Americans think the Chinese are harsh. There is no harsher country intent on retribution (shoplifting must be stopped) than the US. There are three times as many children incarcerated in America than the rest of the world combined. And we will have an AIDS-free generation if we all just work together.
Not until you do something about the juvenile justice system, America.
Your slogans are just another pig’s ass.
mops and dustpans
Look for the quarter trick. Much better than the image of a river to represent the word flow.
Crazy shoes, you don’t know them. Not as poets. Not as artists. Not as photographers. Not as filmmakers. Because you — oh, America — would only know them as surly, sarcastic, maybe mean, feral, dangerous; you better cross the street when passing their shadows in the night.
Knowing them is hard. But I do. Know them. And part of what I do has to be to humanize them. To you.
I do not want to humanize them. To you. Because they are already human.
As poets. As artists. As photographers. As filmmakers. As human beings of value. I do not really give a fuck where their work comes from. If they’re working on their many projects, they’re not rotting in some prison somewhere like Rot On Pelican Bay State Reformatory and Baseball Bats and why is it that all the prisons have hardened names as punishing as a steel-grey sky.
It’s such a waste to lock them away. For the crime of having been kicked out. By you. You. The You that is the Great American Family. You either conform to that fantasy, that myth, or you are pushed out, and pushed away, and sometimes pushed into a self-destructive madness where every applecart gets overturned and burned to the motherfucking ground. You do not know them. They’re criminals. Running away is a crime. Attempting to survive is a crime. Prostitution is a crime.
Is it better that they should lose themselves in the art they can make with technologies or should they just lose themselves on the street. They have survived the street. It isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn hard. But they have survived it, and they know, and I know, and you do not know, and will never know the extent to which that survival is an accomplishment. I would say you have to respect them for that, but you won’t. I know you.
You wanted outlaws. You got them. You would arrest them or pack them like sardines into all the places they might hide from your diseases and authority. An editor wrote to me today. She wants their names. Their parents names. Ages. Birthdates. Social Security numbers. Identity. Identity so they might be identified.
There was a bit of laughter tonight over that one.
Better yet, go identify a cow. I do not know if cows have names. Maybe just among themselves.
Just among themselves. Mops and dustpans. You have never seen so many crazy shoes.
crazy shoes: building a safe house: who has to know:â€¨â€¨
we’re not going back, the boys tell me/ going back to where, going back to what; we will kill ourselves before you can make us go back/ crazy shoes, who has to know where you live, how you live, who you live with, when you lived there, where you are living now, why you are living with whoever you are living with and where and why and when would include/ the garbage men/ the feds/ the police/ the state police/ ups/ fed ex/ usps/ every insurance company with a data base/ 288,645,900 credit bureaus/ big pharma/ the guy at the liquor store, amazon, and the people doing colonoscopies wherever they do colonoscopies/ if you build it, they will come/ unless somehow you can do it off the grid/ what is the grid/ nothing on the grid can be off the grid/ your bank, your phone, your water bill, your life is a colonoscopy of the lost among the lost which is exactly how they will be essentially blind to knowing you exist/
timbarrus: sometimes i am thinking they/ tie me, untie me/
sometimes i am thinking they would drive a saner man crazy/ or over jagged rocks and then push him out to sea/ i am always drifting/ never anywhere too long/ anywhere too long is dangerous/ you do not really know me/ since i am already quite mad/ according to the internet/ i can’t do anything about that/ how many whores have had another name/ mine were usually irish, or other ethnicities or genders, i just don’t care about it/ sometimes i think that the term: sex work is wrong for survival sex/ survival sex seems more like the street to me/ it’s stigma out on the street that will kill you/ with a knife, whatever/ hunger’s a bitch/ more likely, you get beat up a lot until you get too street wise and you do not get beat up at all/ that thirty mile stare/ it’s the stigma that will fuck you in the ass/ the kids i deal with are traumatized/ not by sex, by stigma/ sticking your bowels open with a sword/ we write poetry/ sometimes i just transcribe/ the we were once this and this and this in the past and look at all the blur over here/ that or every word is sacred/ in a world where nothing is scared/ especially the street/ they don’t think poetry is just “for faggots” anymore/ sometimes i am thinking they might survive/ sometimes, not/
Sometimes I Do by Max
I am not a faggot. I will not suck your cock. You will never fuck me because I am no fag. Faggots are faggots and they make me puke. I piss on fags. I shit in their mouths. I tie them up. I slap them around. I take their money. I call them hey fag and hey homo. So I am never the fag but the homos sneak into my bed at night. And I hold them. That does not make me a faggot. To be a fag you gotta like to get fucked. That is a homo. That is what homos want. I fistfuck fags. A faggot is someone who sucks my cock. I only don’t charge one homo. I like him. We drink beer together and get high. I’m high now. Fucking faggots. I am not a homo but sometimes I do.
I Ran Away Because by DeMarion
I ran away because the boys in my town tried to kill me.
I ran away because I hated school.
I ran away because my dad.
I ran away from bad things.
I ran away because I was already dead.
I ran away because I stole a car.
I ran away because I was in a prison.
I ran away because a court date.
I ran away because the cops.
I ran away because they will not let me graduate.
I ran away because I am stupid and can barely read.
I ran away because I wanted drugs.
I ran away because I do not care no more.
I ran away because I do not like his cum in my mouth.
I ran away because I need help.
I ran away so I can learn to read.
I ran away to help me learn to read.
I ran away because I hate adults.
I ran away because a job.
I ran away and I lived in a ditch.
I ran away and the cops are looking for me.
I ran away and I suck cock in cars.
I ran away and my arms got tracks.
I ran away and I have AIDS.
I ran away and I lived in a pipe.
I ran away and no one will hire me.
I ran away and a drug dealer.
I ran away and I will pay him back.
he got real mad by jimmy
I Never Told Him About the HIV by Ryan
of his car
he ripped me
made me bleed
took my money
and I never
about the hiv
i have it
and then when
i kept thinking
he beats me
and I hope
Ding Dong Ditch Him by Terry
All these tricks I had lived in the same neighborhood. So many were my friends dads you know. So we ding dong ditched them for a hole day until we got caught. Like who they gonna call? My parents? You ring the bell and then you run. They say those damn kids. But they know what they did and I want stuff like an iPad they will buy me. You need stuff in life. So you ding dong ditch them until they pay up.
Poetry. Trolling 4 Tricks by Joseph
U get into their cars
you never really know where the trick will take you
i took photographs with my iphone
i hid in my coat of their
license plates and by the time
i got into that car
that photograph will be
in a file at a safe place
the cops did not know
about no safe place because
they would want those files
so we were off a lot of grids
like having sex with tricks
who pay 2 fuck w/ you
and you have HIV but you
R not telling no trick who is
fucking your hole shit about
who you R or what U might have
bc that is the last thing
a trick 2 know where you live
one had a gun he showed me
after he came in me and he felt
all bad about fucking a boy
in the ass at the side of some
rest area off the highway I
am gonna B on 2 escape this
place where i lived and
i did get out of there like
cold turkey is something i
might do now if it is safe
and i will not get yanked into
no JV jack off
where they will really
rape you in foster care
or prison i been raped
lota times bc when you
say stop they already know
U are just a kid and so now
if you tell him you have
HIV that gun he has could
do anything and you want
them 2 cum and pull the
so 1 time this
trick takes me home and
fucks my hole in his son’s
bed bc the family was away
and i guess he could pretend
i was his son and he wanted
me to eat his shit but i charge
extra for that bc sometimes U
thro up on the trick and it stinks
and i hate it when U better
walk home bc U do not
want to B in no car with
mister family man who will
put his own gun in his own
mouth if his family finds out
and i will feel bad if he has
a son and i know this bc
when my own dad was fucking
me i used to think this will be
over in a minute but then some
tricks want 2 play they love
you and they might want to
put their tongues down your throat
and i think maybe HIV is in spit
and i am always thinking that
when they lube my hole with spit
and if R the son U do not
really want 2 know
he has HIV and U never really
know what a trick will do next
and you R so in a hurry 2 get
out of there that you forget to shit
out his cum and you think
the cum is coming out when
you run like i had to run
that whole night in the dark
and it was very cold so he did
not pay me and if i ever
see him again I am gonna
kick his ass and I will call
his wife he has HIV if i
feel like it it is like you
have this secret power over
this cocksucker you fucking hate
that is my poem by Joseph
Corner by Kyten
I am surrender
I am capitulation
I am satyr
I am resignation
I am on my knees
I am hated
I am desire
I am intimidation
I am a soup kitchen
I am a runaway
I am a father
I am contempt
I am derision
I am hunger
I am sleeping in a dumpster
I am HIV
I am they don’t have to know
I am shackles
I am secrets
I am whipped
I am cock
I am naked in a cage
I am merchandise
I am beaten up
I am robbed
I am dust
I am your husband’s little fuck
I am your husband
I am your son
I am your neighbor
I am out here to survive
World AIDS Day, December 1 2014, is a day we remember all the Show Me Your Life students and their friends and peers, who have died prematurely because their immune systems were comprised. When HIV kids do not have access to appropriate and consistent medications, nutrition and shelter, it is immensely difficult for them to successfully fight off infections and diseases. Even the flu can be life-threatening for a homeless HIV kid. Sexually exploited boys are more at risk for being infected with HIV and dying prematurely than any other group of youth in the USA.
When we started Show Me Your Life, no one was thinking fetish. No one was thinking transgendered anyone. Let alone a young boy. So, when one arrived at the Smash Street door, we were forced to reconfigure our view of what is real in the world. We have a lot to learn about how an identity is constructed. This would be one.
Henry is nine. He likes trains. He lives in motels. He does not have friends.
EXIT WOUNDS (a screenplay; work in progress)
Getting off the street is a process
HIV Clinic Settings as Places of Abuse. Nurses as Abusers
The context is almost irrelevant. What appears to be spontaneous is, in fact, stuff that can actually haunt them.
Stuff that can have ridicule or sarcasm thrown at it. Like weapons.
They’re enacting many of the dynamics that they share in their various relationships. Observation: it would be a mistake to think that the health care setting and HIV is separate from that, or that this part of their lives is immune from the ridicule of introspection. Sometimes they enact the blood draws. Sometimes they enact the clinic reception staff. Never in a good way. Usually, these people are portrayed as mean. But no one and nothing takes on an angrier tone than nurses.
Nurses are seen as abusers.
People who are —just doing our job — have been enacted out as evil. I have seen such people portrayed as the employees who turn on the gas in a imaginary concentration camp.
They read my stuff too avidly.
I fail with them at making the point that it’s indifference that is evil. They have so much surrounded such internal conflicts like surviving survival sex by an indifference that is encased in leaden shells. They commonly become someone else. In sex work, your work name is probably one you picked. Not your parents.
The younger boys who intently watch the older boys engage in this kind of making-fun-of play, can find themselves either joining in, and usually inappropriately, and missing nuance entirely, or they might give it one of their thousand mile stares, and then there is the strategy called leaving-the-room, but this is itself conflicted with a desire to be where the action is.
This playacting is usually seen as the silly play of boys.
I do not share that perspective. There is both experimentation and no lack of outrageousness in many things they do. I don’t know what role biological family plays in this; my guess is that biology as a “family value” is itself seen by the boys as irrelevant, and the idea of place becomes far more prevailing, places either allow them and their dramas to unfold, or they do not. The boys hold none of the romantic illusions females in my opinion seem to cling to when it comes to the idea of family where what is nurtured and projected are attributes of DNA; they have an acute understanding of social norms, and how they do not fit into any of them. They almost always see the value of a biological family as material worthy of enormous disparagement.
I think an awful lot of what becomes art originates in this seemingly spontaneous series of behavioral events. It doesn’t really matter if it becomes video, dance, theatre, performance art, comedy, tragedy that becomes comedic, or confrontation. It all begins here.
With boys, it’s not uncommon for endings and conclusions to be violent ones.
Few nurses make it out of there alive.
Symbolisms and facsimiles are usually overblown and enacted in your face.
passing for normal whatever normal is: normal for a little while: normal is the tickertape that runs all night at the bottom of the screen: and all-nighter means exactly that/
angus is a doper/
sometimes, they pass/ for appearing to be normal; whatever normal is/ for a little while/ appearances that simulate normal at times suffice/ time itself, like any other evolutionary thing, only makes for subterfuge at the quantum level, they know/ dazed and definitely digital, the disparate people they are in dialogue with remains one another/ the people who find it necessary to fight that development, that evolutionary kick toward being on their own, and no one means the street although the street can find them, and will find some of them because that seems to be about the way of it, at least down here kicking beer cans/ will be the moms/
mom won’t like it because she wants whatever the center is to hold/ mom can work her tits into nubs, it doesn’t win her points, it’s not a point system, it can happen to anyone, and is not an event of anyone’s single making, and the bottom can come caving in more quickly than mom can cope/ i do not know where dad is, usually at work; most of the dads elude me, i don’t get it, but i know this: dads as a subgroup of neanderthals seem to feel that if the dad guy likes sports, being a real dad, and a real dad guy/ it will save his sons/ when the bottom drops out, dad will usually scratch his head in bewilderment/ kicking a ball around didn’t save the day, and either did mom with her religion like a sword, a sword cutting the dicks off her children/ medea is nothing/
the day dad kicks the kid out into the righteous street, mom biting her knuckles from behind the man, has been the elephant in the room for a significant while, dad seething/ the gay thing is sometimes hard to swallow, dad sees his kid sucking cock/ and i am here to tell you that often dad has sucked a few of those himself, and then there was the night in the er when little johnny overdosed/ mom and dad embarrassed, what will people think, and just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, there was suspension from school, shoplifting, and a felony called selling drugs in a school zone/ and there was no — as johnny explains implausibly — yellow police tape put around the perimeter so the drug dealers could stand on their side of the great divide/ and as every school knows, every year every school gets its dose of this, and there are always kids who have hit the bricks because no one knows, really, what the fuck to do/ the fourth dimension of the ruined/
johnny now becomes well-trained in all the ways the world works/ it’s not about the squat he’s living in with a whole tribe of them/ it’s not about the drugs he takes so he doest think too much about his hole while some other man is fucking it; not about disease/
no one says the dreaded d word/
everyone has heard this ramble, it’s as old as the hills/
it’s not about the swag, the drugs, the leather, the black, the bracelets, the boots, you gotta have the right boots; it’s not about the music or the tats or the technology/ and if you believe that statement, you are a bigger fool that i am because it’s about all of these things and juggling them/ your kid is running his own sex business now it was hard getting into cars at first but johnny got over it by day two/ no one sees him much in the daylight; personally i call them dracula’s children because they only go out at night, hundreds of kids you never knew were there are there/
no human trafficker wants this kid because he’s much too tough/ traffickers and pimps take a dim view of knives and razor blades/ the kids almost never have guns unless they’ve gone over some edge and stolen one, they steal most everything if they can, stripping motel rooms bare, and causing such places to once again shun such kids/ and then comes the day when dad’s friend from work runs across little chatty cathy with his eyeliner, black again, chatting happily away to a tickertape that runs horizontally at the bottom of a computer screen/ he doesn’t need a pimp, he can sell himself, thank you/ then dracula’s little boy gets diagnosed/
nevertheless, the all-nighters, and the all-nighters, and the all-nighters just go on and on because that is what time does, it moves forward, and time does not really care if you are moving or not moving forward with it/ wtf, and they look and sound exactly like any of the normal kids, and then, they don’t/ you want to take him back you want to do it/ and if you do, you will now become major players in the land of pills/ in fact/
you already are/
desire inside the gliding skull
at the core of the thing we have the individual/ you; solo, the secret in the knots of blood/ small wonder, eyes with hallows where the wars go in/ culture wars to dress the dead, the body is a wretch/ it covers grief and sin/ only in an instant, one shadow that flows to the rhythm and servitude of the species/ a rootless dream, you, throbbing like the night around me/ gnashes its teeth/ you/ boy/ scarecrow/ with a bloody grin/ there are those who say the past of old men hacks and cuts away at time/ you/ old man/ your sunless bones risen from the earth in secret, the ripening of rivers listening and remembering the pain like dust upon our faces/ you/ touching toward the dark emptiness of self/ your ominous wings and fatal weeping i have your answer/ existence burning away your impotence/ body counts/ building tombs of avid pour/ those long nights of swimming through regret slash/ we lived them and the stake; drifting back, the wind died down/ as all our old lovers have/ you pull/ on/ into my rippled youth/ you boy/ pushing through an eternity of release and mutilation/
THE ART OF STREET ART. Fussing about good production values = silence. The artists & poets are using the internet street to communicate with each other and lead each other to safer places to sleep tonight.
OCT 2013, New York City, USA.Every night there are 3,800 unaccompanied homeless kids in NYC who need an emergency safe shelter bed. There are only 240 beds for these kids. This is a SHAMEFUL response in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. We feel compelled to ask: What has happened to our communities humanity. Why are there no safe houses that are, in truth, safe for the boys to run to and grow up in.
I had these sheets. A poem by Trig (15)
I had these sheets
I took many of the men who paid me to have sex with them to my clean new sheets
I was making love in snow
Only really I was fooling myself we were making love
Cos’ they did not love me.
It is hard to love me.
You have to be very strong. To do it
Even I cannot do it.
I will admit it, that I wished some of them might love me.
Might take me to his home, in his arms
But it is a joke. It could never happen.
They just wanted to come in me.
I just wanted to buy food.
When they left that little motel room I lived in,
I would try and not watch them go.
Cos’ I was always looking, at how his shit messed up my sheets.
Oh, before you know it. You will be on your knees.
My sheets in the backyard wind, were avenging angels
How do you just walk up to someone you cannot bear to be without and say I love you? Maybe Tim can do it but I cannot do it. We were homeless together. It has all been together. If we were broken up we would all fall apart. We went up north together. We all go to the same funerals. We act as one another’s medical advocate. You never go to the clinic just for you. You are going for another one of us too. We have stolen food from the same stores. We sold dick on the same streets. We got thrown into and raped in the same jails. We shit in front of one another in an attic toilet. When we go through withdrawal we puke in the same bucket (Kirk, SHOW ME YOUR LIFE).
I hate money but u gotta have it. If you r sucking cock in cars for money u r doing it 2 survive. No one sucks cock like 1 stranger after another in cars that take you 2 some risky places unless they r doing it for money 2 eat. If I did not suck cock 4 tricks then I would starve.
Professor Paul Webley(Director, School of Oriental & African Studies, SOAS): Stories and narratives help define who we are, and help us understand our world and what it means to be human. And the stories on the magnificent Real Stories Gallery will do all that - but will also have an impact on the world, and help reduce the spread of HIV.
Governments have many non-penal options to reduce harm to children who use drugs, including offering substance abuse treatment and social support. Governments should not impose criminal penalties on a child for drug use or personal possession, when the child has no place that is, in truth, safe to grow up in and access prescription pain-relief that alleviates his acute physical & psychological trauma. SAMHSA: Drop-in centers directly confront issues associated with continued homelessness among youth including lack of trust, service availability and accessibility. Funding for a drop-in center might be a significant barrier to those who seek to offer such a service, especially at a time when funding sources are dwindling. However, given the costs of continued homelessness to individuals and society, future studies might indicate that drop-in centers are cost effective, and funding should be pursued vigorously [homeless.samhsa.gov.]
Convention on the Rights of the Child optional protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. The USA is charged with securing the best interests of each child apprehended in US Territories; this includes providing each child with access to legal counsel and legal representation, medical care and trauma programs, safe harbor, etc. Misidentifying and deporting an HIV positive survivor (after he has been groomed for, procured for or been servicing the sex trade in boys in the USA), to a locality where he will not receive medical care or services that serve the child's best interests, permits carte blanche to adults who play a role in the sale and sexual exploitation of kids.
How do we imagine, visualize, experience change
To my mind, it is a complete waste of energy ranting and raving at law enforcement to do something to end the abuse and exploitation of kids, when everyone turns away from facilitating for the creation of safe shelter for survivors. There is a dire lack of safe places for survivors to grow up in away from violence & toxic stress. There are not enough good well-trained foster care families to provide a supportive home for a boy with a history of breathtaking abuse, neglect, survival sex work, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS-defining infections and diseases. There are not even enough kid-friendly emergency shelters for homeless boys. Adults are conflicted. The laws are conflicted, too. To criminalize an abused and exploited boy, to penalize him by forcing him into juvenile detention & correctional facilities, does not serve a kid’s best interests and is not the solution. To deny a homeless, neglected, sexually abused and sexually exploited boy a safe place to run to and grow up in, simply because there is not enough funding, results in a status quo of neglect and violence. To turn away from what kids are being forced to endure in the public streets that connect our lives and in which our homes are embedded, is a story, a piece of contemporary portraiture, one that will also be questioned by some future generation when they turn to ask: what were they thinking, what were they doing, how could they allow that to happen. The usual response in such moments is for adults to begin with... "Well, it was different then. People had different challenges and fears and desires. We can only really understand when we look at the context in which people lived their lives, what they believed was important and the value they placed on human life. It was different then."
“Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens
Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of church-wardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder...
'What are you crying for?' inquired the gentleman in the white waistcoat. And to be sure it was very extraordinary. What COULD the boy be crying for?
Melvin Burgess (Author: Works include Junk, Doing, Nicholas Dane)
Yes, they were angry, but they were also determined that they would move on and that they wouldn't let the people who had abused them win. Listening to them was an illustration in just how powerful the human spirit can be... The stories they told me were so much more horrific than anything you could make up and what struck me was just how resilient they were…
Courage is contagious. When courageous young men take a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
Our ART is just ART. It's what was and what is being done to the artists that is SHOCKING.
Culturally, we are discouraged from expressing anger. All forms of sexual violation involve a wrestling of power from the survivor; even the power to express anger a survivor may experience towards his offender and towards adult-led and controlled communities’ that have been educated to respond inappropriately to sexualized violence directed at young males. Sexual assault disempowers, humiliates and degrades, is experienced as threatening and results in a continuum of devastating and long term consequences for survivors.
all the while time tells me in its stranger rooms and secrets that the ones who played it safe if indifferent will die, too/ and i do take a lot of strength from that, knowing that the safe ones, the careful ones, the readers of books of perfect lives will yield their moments and their towers to the exile of attics where the dust from a thousand dawns will keep the shoe boxes filled with the collected likeness of us in polaroids walking as we do through sunsets of goodbyes strewn with bodies, boots, and deep within the hollow of our voices, we’ve all been swept away like accidents, and the death of the good people, the nice people, the people with decks and deck chairs, and even the ones who made the rules as wiser men, will die/ rupturing embolisms in their brains even as they piss themselves empty in their daybeds, and i will laugh all tangled up in pity remembering how their voices had always cautioned and cautioned and cautioned and cautioned careful, now/ the oven could be hot, and we might burn the sounds caught lodged inside our throats, and i want to be there to see it/ it’s why i am alive/ to see the whole thing they so carefully protected all these years come flying apart, and blackened by that lightning, the dim shattering will arrive on the strong wind like the boatman whose scornful demons whisper righteousness in the sobbing of the strong; and just once i want to see them on their knees and weeping that it isn’t fair they could succumb to this/ and that moment when it arrives will have made all the times i simply left in silence well-worth the analogy for i am far away from home, but i am not as far away from home as them/
If people who bemoan sex-trafficking really want to impact the issue, they need to start facilitating safe houses and peer-mentored programs to be built. And do it TODAY. They are the only thing that works. Survivors are knowledgeable and intelligent; an under-recognized and under-employed task force. They care profoundly about raising the quality of life for all the kids still left behind in circumstances that would make the strongest of 'typical' adults weep and beg for mercy, and feel deeply enraged and devastated if his/her own son ever had to experience such horror and be confronted on a daily basis with the profound stress of anticipating what will happen to him.
Why are we so impatient to secure stable safe shelter for the kids whose lives have been smashed by sexual violence directed at boys: The boys we love who have no safe place to grow up in are being poisoned and dying prematurely. Lifetime prescriptions of DNA chain-terminating and other anti-HIV drugs, and chemically distinct drugs (such as cocaine, heroin, nitrite inhalants, and amphetamines) employed for drug-mediated sexual contacts & to alleviate chronic trauma/pain, cause AIDS-defining illness (weight loss, immunodeficiency, lymphoma, muscle atrophy, dementia, cancers, self-harming behaviours, depression, suicide ideation). **HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) is a retrovirus that can weaken a person's immune system so he/she is unable to fight off infections. ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS) is used to describe the period when the immune system of a person with HIV is so severely compromised that he/she begins to develop acutely serious and life-threatening illness.
Vores Sommerferie, Our Summer Vacation: Artemus FlashMash: Arendt, and Finnur
the truth is that we do not matter and there you have it
(WORLD AIDS DAY: Dec 1, 2013)
hiv is still a nightmare/ it did not go away/ it doesn’t matter what anyone says on social networking/ they are irresponsible to suggest everyone can receive treatment/ what happens to the undocumented, unaccompanied minor boy who has been doing sex work on santamonicablvd in lalaland/ he got hiv in the states, not mexico/ but he is returned to mexico/ where the government insists anyone with hiv can be and is being treated with antiretrovirals, and i am here to tell you it simply isn’t true/ it’s not reality/ it’s as disingenuous as the aids orgs who all mouth the slogan that an aids free generation can come true if we will all just work together and you believe (try, bitch) in fairies/ motherfucker, it’s been over thirty years/ personally, i do not believe anyone is seriously reaching for a cure; they’re not trying, but making it look like you are trying is good for business/ you get grants from the NIH/ this is where the money is/ what makes you think they will give up the golden calf who ate the golden cow/ there’s no money in a cure, and there is a lot of money in a disease/ there’s nothing in it for them/ they do not belong to the class of us lower-on-the-wrungs fish ladder we all flop around in/ the river is pushing from the other way/ it doesn’t matter what we want to believe, the truth is that we do not matter and there you have it/ the war on aids perpetuates the war on class/ who do you think the on again off again tap of antiretrovirals has the most dramatic effect on/ us, think about it, us/ you cannot articulate any argument to the contrary or you will be silenced, and your unhappy face mask will be confiscated, and all the happy fairies will shit in your mouth/
EXIT WOUNDS. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY (a screen play; work in progress)
"it was about busting raps and standing for something" : The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will threaten intellectual & creative commons, individual rights & free expression... and make it even more difficult for marginalized kids living in poverty to reach into the massive cultural library of imagery and mash it up to tell their stories, explore who they are, share their ideas... It will also threaten any attempt to negotiate successfully for reduced costs surrounding the medical care for the most vulnerable kids in our communities who will need to take for the rest of their lives HIV/AIDS drugs, as a direct result of what was done to them and what they were forced to do to survive.
Dear Rep. Michael McCaul [R-TX10], Chairman of House Homeland Security and Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R-VA6], Chairman of House Judiciary,
Please urge your colleagues to URGENTLY pass HR.2235 which was submitted to your committees in 2011. The kids will greatly benefit from being offered appropriate and consistent blankets, nutrition, medicines, trauma therapies, protection and legal representation, that serve their best interests whilst detained in the USA.
Thank you for using your influence to raise the quality of life for kids, whose lives have been changed forever by what adults in the USA have done to them and what they have been forced to do to survive ie take non-prescription drugs to alleviate their physical & psychological pain and trauma.
Please could you also ensure the rights afforded to kids by HR.2235 are also extended to all the kids, who are survivors of human trafficking / sex trafficking, including: “children who have been adjudicated delinquents or convicted of adult offenses or are pending delinquency or criminal proceedings, and those inmates exhibiting violent behavior while in detention as is consistent with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.).” These children need to be placed in environments that serve their best interests ie not housed with adults, have access to blankets, medical care, legal representation, etc.
Rachel Chapple, PhD (Founder, Real Stories Gallery Foundation 501c3)
UNPLUG: cyberbullying and cyberblackmailing.
It’s important to listen to a kid before you reject what they are saying out of hand. If I am pushing street kids to get off the street, I have to do a whole lot more listening than I do preaching or finger waving. They know exactly how dangerous the street can be. They know it better than anyone. They know what it means to be victimized. When did we stop listening. I think I know. Usually, we never really started.
'Stories of liberation were always uplifting, but the challenges faced by slaves after they are free can be almost as difficult as the slavery itself. Many face the same conditions of poverty, bias, and lack of opportunity that consigned them to slavery in the first place. That, plus the physical and psychological damages they have endured, creates immense challenges to a functional life' (Siddharth Kara, Author of Sex Trafficking).
People Wonder by Damyon
People wonder why I hate my life
I hate my life because I am now
always forced to be around doctors
I hate them and I hate what they do
2 me and i hate nurses most of all
because they humiliate me and I
hate them and I do not want none
of them touching me again
La vidaesdifícilparacualquierniño con VIH. Show Me Your Life.
BAG & CAMERA. SHOW ME YOUR LIFE: Many thanks to Nikon & Domke.
Homelessness & HIV/AIDS: the ART of bearing witness. Rachel Chapple, PhD (Founder, Real Stories Gallery Foundation 501c3).
Besides every person's common sense screaming "it must be so," every scrap of evidence and research shows that when a neglected and sexually exploited boy has a safe place to grow up in, his best interests are served. When money is tight and cultural perceptions solicit a visceral and hostile response, survivors, who choose to live away from violence and neglect, are exploring how best to look after themselves and their friends.
Until the day arrives when our communities begin to build places that are, in truth, safe for the boys to grow up in, I ask that our extremely-curious visitors respect each of the artists and poets' privacy, and for our compassionate and ingenious visitors to speak with their friends and raise greater awareness of the wrongdoing taking place on our watch.
Thank you for bearing witness to the survivors' stories, and for believing that kids truly do benefit from having a safe place to live.
'The banality of the banality of evil ' by Banksy. Oil on oil on canvas, 2013
A thrift store painting vandalised then re-donated to the thrift store [Housing Works @ 23rd St)
Thank YOU Banksy for creating 'The banality of the banality of evil' and donating your work to Housing Works. Thank you for having a conversation about Homelessness & HIV/AIDS. Sequestration hurts the kids hard. Lack of empathy and protest hurts the kids hard. Silent witness, hurts the kids hard. All the PR slogans - "AIDS-Free Generation" "We're winning the war on AIDS" "Things Get Better," are NOT a reality for the kids we fiercely love. If everyone in NYC bought one holiday gift from a Housing Works store we could double your WOW thoughtful present.
SMASH STREET is a residential art program that serves as a 24/7 safe house protection for male adolescents with HIV/AIDS, who are also at risk for psychological, neurological, and developmental disabilities due to sexual abuse, gang violence, addiction, human trafficking, and cyclical prostitution. The boys are reached and educated through painting, music, photography, video, film, dance, poetry, mentoring, and intensive counseling.
Sleep Middle of the Crazy Road by Kyle
Sometimes I do not live at home. Sometimes I am in hoospitles. My life is that I am crazy. Ha!Ha!Ha! I take crazy pills. Tim helped me put this together so do not believe him about it is all by a kid. It is by a kid but he will help you. It is like I am afraid to be a crazy kid but there are voices in my head. When we are making the stupid vid then I do not hear no voices. We do not no Y. The voices just go away. I do not got no freends. No kids will play with me. Sometimes a voice will be singing in my head is my life. I want to sleep in the midal of the street b cuz a car will run over me so the voices go back to hell.
after @banksyny Better Out Than In oct 22
BANKSY: No turn unstoned. A 1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks. You're advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 10, 1948)
Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
The vast potential and benefits of the Internet are rooted in its unique characteristics, such as its speed, worldwide reach and relative anonymity. Forms of online surveillance often take place for political, rather than security reasons in an arbitrary and covert manner, UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue argues, calling on governments to decriminalize defamation, do away with real-name registration systems--including the parameters in Facebook's terms and conditions that allows governments to collect users' names and passwords--and restrict rights only in the face of an imminent threat. Broad surveillance powers or the erosion of privacy online endanger anonymity's ability to protect dissenters and journalists and those using pseudonyms when they speak out. The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States' international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet(UN 2011 Report).
OCT 18, 2013: Hello Friends, some of our artists and poets voices have been shutdown this morning - The Morphine Hour and Le-Too. I am so sorry this has happened. RSG will continue to post your art and poetry... I know many of you lost much of your art and poetry, and ART VIDEOS, when Facebook shut you down. You stood up and made some more, because The Arts are a useful heuristic tool when harnessed to explore who you are and who you would like to be...
Jack Kerouac: "Old Angel Midnight is only the beginning of a lifelong work in multilingual sound, representing the haddalada-babra of babbling world tongues coming in thru my window at midnight no matter where I live or what I'm doing, in Mexico, Morocco, New York, India or Pakistan, in Spanish, French, Aztec, Gaelic, Keltic, Kurd or Dravidian, the sounds of people yakking and of myself yakking among, ending finally in great intuitions of the sounds of tongues throughout the entire universe in all directions in and out forever. And it is the only book I've ever written in which I allow myself the right to say anything I want, absolutely and positively anything, since that's what you hear coming in that window... God in his Infinity wouldn’t have had a world otherwise–Amen."
"Friday afternoon in the universe, in all directions in & out you got your men women dogs children horses pones tics perts parts pans pools palls pails parturiences and petty Thieveries that turn into heavenly Buddha— I know boy what's I talkin about cause I made the world & when I made it I no lie & had Old Angel Midnight for my name and concocted up a world so nothing you had forever thereafter make believe it's real— but that's alright because now everything'll be alright & we'll soothe the forever boys & girls & before we're thru we'll find a name for this Goddam Golden Eternity & tell a story too— and but d y aver read a story as vast as this that begins Friday Afternoon with workinmen on scaffolds painting white paint & ants merlying in lil black dens & microbes warring in yr kidney & mesarooliesmicrobing in the innards of mercery & microbe microbes dreaming of the ultimate microbehood which then ultimates outward to the endless vast empty atom which is this imaginary universe, ending nowhere & ne'er e'en born as Bankei well poled when he ferried his mother over the rocks to Tat You Tee and people visit his hut to enquire "What other planet features this?" & he answers "What other planet?" tho the sounds of the entire world are now swimming thru this window from Mrs McCartiola'stwandow & Ole Poke's home dronk again & acourse you hear the cats wailing in the wailbarwildbarwartfence moonlight midnight Angel Dolophine immensity Visions of the Tathagata's Seat of Purity & Womb so that here is all this infinite immaterial meadowlike golden ash swimswarming in our enlighten brains & the silence Shhshefallying in our endless ear & still we refuse naked & blank to hear What the Who? the Who? Too What You?"
April 2013: Government surveillance of electronic communications "should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society," Frank La Rue, U.N. special rapporteur for freedom of expression, warned in his report. The U.K. Guardian and The Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency, or NSA, has been conducting surveillance of emails, file transfers, audio and video chats, photographs, and search histories, among other things, of customers of nine U.S. digital firms. Under the program, known as PRISM, the agency has collected data from customers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, PalTalk, Skype, YouTube, and Apple, according to a secret document obtained by the news organizations. U.S. officials have since acknowledged the existence of the program, while asserting its legality. The Guardian reported today that British intelligence officials have a similar data surveillance program, set up by the NSA with the same digital companies. U.S. officials have portrayed the surveillance program as a necessary step to combat terrorism, and say that it is authorized under legislation that was renewed by Congress in December.
TRISTAN'S MOONis our dedicated safe house art installation that explores through video art, photographic collages, poetry and storytelling the physical, psychological and social experiences endured by sexually abused boys (survival sex work, sex trafficking and living with the devastating consequences of being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus). The exhibition will open in December 2013. Contact: email@example.com
ADULTS ARE CONFLICTED
Kids watch very closely what adults say and what adults do.
We give homeless kids cameras so they can make ART. The marks they make is a sort of contemporary portraiture, a reflection of the time in which we live, an historical document created with contemporary tools & voices, a sort of record of the public & private spaces being inhabited and experienced by emerging artists and poets. The ARTs have been used throughout our cultural histories as a means for us to introduce ourselves to each other, to explore who we are and who we would like to be. The marks created by the SHOW ME YOUR LIFE mentors and students are a contemporary record that says "we exist" and will survive as an historical record that says "we existed," when some distant generation turns to ask: what were they doing, what were they thinking, how could they allow that to happen.
SMASH STREET BOYS (SHOW ME YOUR LIFE, USA)
DeMarion is attempting to tell his story with music and images. He does not know how to write. By the age of nine, DeMarion was running drugs for a Los Angeles-based gang. By the age of ten, he was stopped, beaten up, and robbed of the drugs he was carrying by a competing gang. DeMarion’s mother, an addict-prostitute, was twenty-one. Her response to the news that DeMarion had been beaten up was to beat him up. DeMarion’s first suicide attempt was at age eleven. By age twelve, he was diagnosed with HIV. By age twelve, his mother was dead. The gang that had beaten him up three years earlier was now his new family. A juvenile court slated DeMarion for foster care. But there was no foster care. Los Angeles had run out of it. And even when it had foster care families, none of them wanted DeMarion.
DANCING DEATH IN TUNNELS (SHOW ME YOUR LIFE, NYC)
RED PAPAL PUMPS (after #banksyny 10/12/13) SHOW ME YOUR LIFE, NEW YORK
i call the tricks tricks because they are full of them/ all of them designed to put the trick back in charge/ for them sex is inherently about power as much as it is about feeding an insatiable appetite for young boys/ power/ humiliation/ money/ i could list in detail the names of all the tuscan hawks/ but for what purpose/ the unwritten record of us a rosetta stone/
KIDS WHO KNOW THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS, how to advocate for themselves, who to turn to for protection, how to articulate what they need, DO NOT MAKE GOOD TARGETS FOR ABUSE, EXPLOITATION, TRAFFICKERS or PIMPS. Armed with their empirical knowledge, creativity and intelligence, kids become terrific peer-mentors and guides within, and across, social and cultural landscapes in which their peers are embedded, and enduring chronic social & cultural neglect, every day, and every night.
Harsh laws against Human Trafficking are mostly completely ignored. The laws are already there. They are simply not enforced. Sometimes because law enforcement is bribed not to enforce trafficking laws, and sometimes because law enforcement has given up in terms of any real impact it might have on that particular marketplace. They will opt to contain it to an island, a territory, a red light distract, a brothel, or a ghetto. This never works.
SURVIVOR-LED SAFE HOUSES & PEER-MENTORED PROGRAMS: Survivors are not frozen into inaction by disbelief or overwhelmed by the debilitating vicarious trauma experienced by many professionals across disciplines charged with providing social services, legal counsel and healthcare that serves a child's best interests. Survivors are experienced and intelligent caregivers, well versed in the diverse ways trauma is manifest for survivors and strategies that permit survivors to better cope with rigorous medical regimes (they will have to take for the rest of their lives). We have much to learn from the compassion and wisdom exhibited by survivors, who have emerged from the horror with a focused desire to alleviate the suffering of all their peers still left behind and offer meaningful palliative care to their peers unable to survive AIDS-related infections and diseases.
WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE.
Real Stories Gallery Foundation is an educational and advocacy initiative that facilitates work created by artists & poets to be seen and shared online. The images and ideas add to the body of empirical knowledge surrounding the devastating consequences & trauma associated with HIV/AIDS-related infections and diseases.
Real Stories Gallery Foundation is a registered 501c3 charity in the USA. EIN: 80-0575894. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.
The world is changed by individuals. You are one of them.