UnSilencing Anatomies: Art, culture, justice & medicine: story-telling as transformation

Kore Press kicks off city-wide event series


Art, Culture, Justice and Medicine


September 9, 2016 – TUCSON, AZ: Kore Press and the University of Arizona have joined forces to create a city-wide, 2-month long series of events exploring the impact of personal stories on public health and safety. “UnSilencing Anatomies” kick-off events run from October 1 -7 (details below), and will include a streetcar journey/performance, story-gathering, readings, a panel, and exhibits. This series offers opportunities to connect diverse communities with university and health care academics and professionals to promote critical thinking about the medical humanities and related questions of access/justice and racial/gender equity.


Kore Press, Tucson publisher of innovative women’s writings since 1993, is a leader in activism for a holistic community. UnSilencing Anatomies is a city-wide collaboration between Kore Press and her partners, including the University of Arizona, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, La Pilita and other cultural and justice centers. The series will focus on how the role of art and story-telling impact disparities in public health and safety, providing space for community conversation about the relationship of culture and medicine. Series collaborators will aim to provide individuals of diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to engage candidly with one another, and the project will explore such issues as cultural assumptions, and silences that impede health and health education.


The kickoff reception takes place on Saturday, October 1 and will feature Author Monica Ong, whose book, Silent Anatomies, inspired the project. (Details below).
Ongoing exhibits, story-gathering and “Street Car Journeys / Tucson Nerve Centers,” will continue throughout October and November, including a transformation of the streetcar into an interactive site for performance and reflective journeys. For more information about these and other scheduled events, please visit the Schedule of Events, here included, or on the website www.korepress.org.



Reception/Meet-N-Greet with Author Monica Ong, Saturday, Oct 1, 5:30-7pm

Sosa-Carrillo-Freemont House, 151 S Granada.  Welcome visiting author Monica Ong and hear about Kore Press’ Open Assembly of readings, talks, panel, story-telling and other creative opportunities, such as the “Digital Milagros” story-gathering project, happening in October and November. Event is co-sponsored by AZ Historical Society/Sosa-Carrillo House.

 Exhibit/Reception: Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, Monday, Oct 3, 5:30 pm.

University class visits, Monday, Oct 3, 2-4pm, Monica Ong to visit Honor’s College and College of Public Health (Health Disparities in Minority Populations) classes.

 Author Talk/Scholar’s Panel, Wednesday, Oct 5, 6pm, Drachman Hall, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona. Join authors, professors and scholars for a panel discussion and talks investigating the nuances surrounding “client-provider” relations.

Talk: “Poetry as a Partner in Public Health” : Monica Ong, author of Silent Anatomies, gives a multi-media reading and talk about how communities can turn to poetry to expand cultural competence in public health.

-Panel, with Ken McAllister, Monica Ong, Monica Casper, Deanna Lewis, Ron Grant, and TC Tolbert. In-depth examination of the power differentials, communication barriers, fears, and cultural assumptions that shape public health and public safety and potentially perpetuate silences, erasures and/or aggression and misunderstanding. 

link to the video of the Oct 5 panel at Drachman Hall, University of Arizona College of Pharmacy

 Reading and Story-Gathering: Monica Ong and Kore Press at Tucson Meet Yourself, Friday, Oct 7, 12:30 pm reading, 11am-1pm story gathering Tucson Meet Yourself. Author Monica Ong will read from her work at the “Kitchen Stadium,” and Kore Press will gather community stories about “taste memories” in the “Gastronomy Exhibit.”

Artist Talk & exhibit viewing, Monica Ong, Friday, Oct 7, 4 pm, UA Poetry Center

“Design Thinking & Poetry: New Literacies of the Body.” Monica Ong will give a multi-media mini reading and artist talk as a vehicle for creating dialogue among medical, humanities, and cultural communities on silences of the body.

Streetcar performance with Poets TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson, Friday, Oct 7, 5:30 pm, Bio 5 terminus, near UA Poetry Center.   Ride the street car with poets TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson who will perform and read creative works.

UnSilencing Anatomies group reading, Friday, Oct 7, 6pm, with Monica Ong, curated by TC Tolbert and Kristen Nelson. La Pilita Cultural Center (next to El Tiradito shrine) 420 S. Main Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701

Public Health Digital Stories screening, with Creative Narrations, Friday, Oct 21, 6-8pm, at the YWCA. A Q&A and curated screening of digital stories focused on public health issues made with Creative Narrations over the past 10 years by Tucson’s underserved communities. Drinks and refreshments served.

UnSilencing the Sexual Body, Tuesday, Nov 15, 6-8pm, at SAWS/EXO. 403 N 6th Ave. Join writer, sexologist, and Narrative Medicine professor Kati Standefer for a short reading and interactive conversation about sexual shame, its public health impacts, and the power of the stories we tell about our bodies.


 Exhibits: “Silent Anatomies,” pharmapoetic, text and image medical art objects by Monica Ong through October, at the UA Poetry Center. “Silent Anatomies: Remedies” (a collection of altered medicine bottles, re-designed to address cultural anxieties) October-November, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center. Co-sponsored by the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center

 GeoMap: an interactive, digital map of the project’s significant cultural, social justice, and minority health-related content and designated “Nerve Centers,” will be available to users throughout the project. The map will become one site of the online project archive.

Street Car Journey & Nerve Center Posters: The streetcar will be transformed into a vehicle for understanding, reflection, and social engagement in October and November. Selected stops along the streetcar route, and around town, designated as “Nerve Centers” (places of significant cultural, social justice, or minority health work) will host interactive posters with poetic and medical content from the book, Silent Anatomies, prompts for participant reflection, and an invitation to share unheard or forgotten stories about their bodies with “Digital Milgagros,” a repostitory for on the ground voices of public health, allowing expression for the pains and pleasures of the community through interactive experiences.

For more information, please contact Kore Press at (520) 327-2127 or visit www.korepress.org.

To set up interviews or other media-related inquiries, contact Annie Guthrie at annie@korepress.org

University of Arizona partners:

UA Health Science Library

UA College of Humanites

UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

UA College of Medicine, Medical Humanites

UA Honors College

In-kind labor and space support:

UA Libraries


College of Pharmacy

iSpace Lab

Institute LGBT Studies

UA Scholars/faculty/staff or alumni:

Deanna Lewis, Monica Casper, Adela Licona, Victor Braitberg, Ken McAllister, Jennifer Nichols, Debra Gregerman, TC Tolbert, Kristen Nelson, Kati Standefer, Annabelle Nunez, Amy Hickman, Ron Grant, Amy Rusk, Harmony Hazard, Jussara Esprit

Nerve Centers on campus:

UA College of Public Health, UA Poetry Center, UA Women’s Resource Center, The Dean’s Office at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, UA Africana Studies, UA Gender and Women’s Studies, Adalberto & Ana Guerrero Student Center, Common Ground Alliance, Institute for LGBT Studies, UA LGBTQ Resource Center,

Nerve Centers in the Community: Antigone Books, La Pilita Cultural Center, Sosa-Carrillo-Frémont House/AZ Historical Society, Mariposas Sin Fronteras, Dequenesh Mobile Health Clinic, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, BorderLinks, Barbea Williams Dance Theater, Pima County Public Library, Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center


Take the online tour of our 26 “Nerve Centers” around town (sites of social justice, minority health, or significant cultural work) or respond to a prompt with a story for Digital Milagros, our crowdsourced collection of community body stories, go to our online StoryMap here: http://arcg.is/2bDZIMS