By Alyssa Shapiro
Ashley Lukashevky is a visual artist and illustrator whose work bolsters social movements for intersectional social and climate justice, immigrant justice, mental health, and the liberation of LGBTQIA+ people. She illustrated Ibram X Kendi's Antiracist Baby Picture Book. In her own words, “We need to be able to envision a world without them [harmful systems]. I’m trying to draw what that world looks like.”
Who are you and what do you stand for?
I’m a visual artist and lover of all Earth-beings, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, but based now in occupied Tongva land/Los Angeles. It’s my dream to speak and paint into existence the kind of world that I want to live in, a world that is possible beyond capitalism, carceral punishment, and all forms of systemic oppression and white cis-heteropatriarchy.
What are your pronouns?
Why do you feel it’s important to make your voice heard?
Our voices have the power to shape our realities. The voices, and therefore the bodies, of Queer people of color, specifically Black Trans and GNC people, have been silenced and criminalized for too long. We need to step up for ourselves, our communities, our collective liberation in order to protect one another.
What is your outlet?
My outlet for expressing myself is visual art and illustration. I draw better than I can speak. I’m thankful for that tool to give voice to myself.
Is there a moment in your memory when your perspective or idea of what Pride is changed or evolved? What happened then?
I think that this Pride, more than ever, there has been a shift from the white, capitalist idea of Pride and a recognition of the radical, anti-police, Black trans and GNC centered movement for Queer liberation.
If you could get the world to change its collective mind about one issue, or adopt one way of being, what would it be and why?
ABOLITION. As Ruth Wilson Gilmore says, abolition is not the absence of police, it is the presence of life-affirming institutions that create safety and well-being for all people in the community. Abolition is a framework in which we move past punishment, pain, and lack and into abundance and community care.
Learn more about YTTP's Pride collaborators here.
Photo courtesy of Jenevieve Ting