Unity Photo by Eric Hernandez

SOLD OUT-Troubled Waters: The Ocean as Contested Space in Surf Culture

Artboard 1

Friday, February 17, 2023,
6pm - 7:30pm

MAH Garden Room
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Free with Museum Admission

This event is sold out. A standby line will be available beginning 30 minutes before the program start time, in case any seats open.

Troubled Waters: The Ocean as Contested Space in Surf Culture is a presentation, Q & A and community discussion about diversity and racism in surfing. Join surfers and activists Esabella Bonner (Black Surf Club Santa Cruz), Kayiita Johnson (Black Surfers), surfer, historian and anthropologist Paul Richardson, and artist/activist David “Dáithí’ Crellin, creator of Decolonize The Surf, as they explore the history of representation in surfing and lead a conversation with the audience on what we all can do to make contemporary surf culture more inclusive and welcoming to all.

This event is in conjunction with Porter College, and the Department of Performance, Play and Design at University of California Santa Cruz.

Participant Bios

  • Esabella Bonner is the founder of Black Surf Santa Cruz (BSSC), a nonprofit created after the murder of George Floyd, as an inclusive way to support the liberation and health of Black community members and other historically excluded People of Color (POC). BSSC’s mission is to promote physical, spiritual, emotional, and communal wellness for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members, and other historically excluded groups within the sport of surfing, helping them to find joy and connection to the ocean.
  • Kayiita Johnson is the founder of the Black.Surfers community, whose mission is to attain equitable access to surfing for Black people through policy and community. He is also the founder of PM While Black, a site making product management more accessible to the Black community, and is a senior product manager at a self-driving car company, Cruise. He's been surfing for just over 8 years, and has a soft spot in his heart for Pleasure Point first peak.
  • Paul Richardson has been part of the surfing community for more than 40 years. He holds a BA in anthropology and has spent several years researching African Americans presence and impact throughout the surfing community. Paul is currently enrolled at San Francisco State University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, his research focusing on Black operas and their historical relevance and contemporary value in and outside of Black communities. He and his wife live in Aptos and have a daughter attending UC Santa Cruz.
  • David "Dáithí" Crellin is an artist and educator whose work engages issues of social justice, gender, race, forgotten histories, and constructs of power. He has created works for live performance, music, film, gallery installations, and immersive theatre for over 25 years. In addition to his work as an artist, he teaches master classes in original works for live performance, cabaret & circus. David holds a master’s degree in Theatre, and an MFA in Digital Arts New Media, both from UCSC. He is the creator of Decolonize The Surf
Top image, Unity, Photo Credit: Eric Hernandez

Esabella Bonner

Image: Neil Roche, Lost Coast Media

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