Resurrecting Jatayu

June 3, 4-6pm

@ Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Pride Month Programming

Sign up for tickets here.


A Speculative Cinema Episode, produced in collaboration with Jessica Stokes.
An exalted character in the Ramayana epic tradition, the vulture Jatayu is known for his courage and loyalty. When Ravana abducts Sita and whisks her away in his flying chariot, it is the fearless Jatayu who tries to stop him. An aerial battle ensues, but Ravana eventually prevails, chopping off Jatayu’s wing, disabling him from fight and flight, and eventually life itself. In this episode of the speculative cinema project, Forest Tales, Jatayu is resurrected with a prosthetic wing, only to face the extinction of his kind in the present. 

Vultures face a dire crisis in India right now, with three species becoming functionally extinct thanks to the use of a bovine painkiller called diclofenac. Our reanimated protagonist sets off in search of Sita and a solution to save his vulture-kin, only to realize that his prosthetic wing – colonized and traumatized by its military memories – has other plans for him. Can we help Jatayu and his wing imagine an alter-future? Join us for a session of performance, poetry, gaming, and collaborative storytelling, so we can wonder together about the queer utopias that are latent in our impaired landscapes and disabled ecologies.

Jessica Stokes is a disabled poet/performer/educator/scholar pursuing her PhD at Michigan State University. They analyze contemporary poetry to crip methods for writing and reading. Jessica writes about disability poetics in Jacket2‘s “Discordance” Series. They are co-founder of the HIVES Research Workshop. Their work has appeared in Wordgathering, The Mayo Review, and the book We Are Not Your Metaphor: A Disability Poetry Anthology. Jessica has a purple wheelchair and too much red hair.

HIVES is an ongoing scholarly, artistic, and communal organization dedicated to developing an understanding of the ways in which matter and beings function in interdependent networks.


Feb 12, 2021 @ HIVES, Michigan State University / 11-1pm PST / 2-4pm EST / Register HERE.

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