Power of Place Episode #48

Talking CHOP – Nikki Yeboah

Join us as we stroll through Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) circa 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our guest, documentary playwright Nikki Yeboah, guides us from the heart of the protest zone at 11th & Pine, the protest’s focal point and title of her current project.

Yeboah, an Assistant Professor of Playwriting in the School of Drama at the University of Washington, shares insights into her team's oral histories of over 30 protestors, delving into the pivotal event and its lasting impact on participants. She also raises questions about the swift disappearance of nearly all remnants of the occupation, including street art, soup kitchens, and vegetable gardens, upon the abrupt conclusion.

Nikki’s stories are underscored by the uplifting songs of hip-hop fusionists Marshall Law Band, courtesy of its leader, Marshall Hugh, who rallied his bandmates to perform throughout the occupation, raising the spirits of the protesters.

However short-lived the CHOP, its stories reveal the aspirations of diverse citizens drawn together by a particular place to envision a more equitable city.

"CHOP was utopic. No matter how people feel it ended, it began utopically; it was a desire to create a space in which everyone was welcome, regardless of your class, or sexuality or race.”

- Nikki Yeboah

  • Host: Edward Krigsman
  • Guest: Nikki Yeboah
  • Sound Engineering: Daniel Gunther
  • Photography: Travis Lawton
  • Administration: Mary Mansour
  • Series music: Theme by Tomo Nakayama as performed Grand Hallway; Additional music by Andrew Weathers.
  • Episode music: Marshall Law Band, Mirabai Kukathas