• Under a new sun…
    • Ayling Dominguez

    documentation of plywood and chalk installation and community participation, 2021.

    Artist Statement

    Abolition is not about absence, but presence. Abolition is not a fixed point somewhere down the road that we will reach and drive past one day on our way to and eventual arrival at a supposed utopia; abolition is a constant process and living out of radical care for each other. Perhaps the reason abolition is so hard to grasp for so many people is because it is a universal one-size-fits-all matter. What it looks and sounds like changes from one community to the next. So, how do we go about inspiring abolitionist imagination far and wide? 

    In Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” project, she describes her walls propped up in communities and cities world-wide as, “a public ritual that invites us to restore perspective in distracting times and consider the things which connect us.” Imagine, then, a wall that boasts several lines of the open-ended prompt, “Under a new sun, there will be ____________.” This art piece is inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s quote, “There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.” Ms. Octavia E. Butler knew too well the wonders and imaginative, liberatory capacity of science-fiction. She urged us (those who know that our current reality and social structures are unjust, but who also still hope for better) to not retreat into the despair of lack of change in the present, but to push forward and (re)imagine what new worlds might look like and offer us and our communities who, all too often, do not get to imagine for lack of time and encouragement.


    Ayling Zulema Dominguez (she/they/ella/elle) is a first-generation Chicana-Dominicana from Bronx, New York, with roots in many places. As a poet and creative in an abolitionist mindset, her work has long been the stuff of forging community; of affirming belonging as the first step toward liberation; of imagining new, better, and more radically loving worlds. Knowing that a sense of belonging is counterfactual and ephemeral if we do not work to liberate others, her writing and creative work do not only celebrate joyful resistance, but also push her readers to actively oppose systems of oppression. She has been a Featured Performer, Speaker, and Radical Poetry Workshop Facilitator with organizations United We Dream, the Writers Guild Initiative, and Make the Road NY, as well as been awarded grants to attend Cave Canem workshops, and had the honor of being a 2020 DreamYard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium Fellow. Ayling currently teaches a poetry and visual arts workshop with students at the International Community High School in the Bronx. Select poems of hers have been published in Moko Magazine, La Galería Magazine, The Protest Review, The Mujerista, 433 Magazine, Latino Rebels, The Bronx Free Press, and Alegria Magazine’s Latinx Poetry Anthology. More at @rhymeswithmean.