Monday, May 2, 2016

(REVISED) FIRE: A #VulnerabilityVigil, Sun, May 8, 1pm, Gov't & Yates, Victoria

Announcing...

A #VulnerabilityVigil responding to the FIRE in Fort McMurray
Sunday, May 8
1 pm
Corner of Government and Yates
Victoria, BC
All welcome.

I have revised the theme of this month's #VulnerabilityVigil in response to the fire and mass evacuation in Fort McMurray.

I will stand naked on the street with a sign that says: FIRE. 

(See http://www.humanbodyproject.org/p/vulnerability-vigils.html for more info about #VulnerabilityVigils)

Why would a shy, cranky, basically misanthropic, not to mention dumpy, mother of two be doing this work? On Mother's Day even? For more than 10 years?

The answer to me is so obvious: I feel such a strong sense of URGENCY!!!

My sense of urgency and vulnerability has been heightened because of the fire. I have to address the terrible awareness that this kind of disaster is probably part of the "new normal."

I feel solidarity with the people of Fort McMurray. If I had a son, he might be working there, like so many other sons, brothers and dads who need to make a living. 

I feel solidarity with the people of Fort Chipewyan and other First Nations people on the front lines whose lands and rivers have been badly harmed by the extraction of oil. 

It's obvious to me that both "groups" have been brutally hurt by consequences of a global oil economy. 

None of us has the ability to remove ourselves from this economy. 

You don't believe in it? Neither do I. But I'm asking you to understand that you're still part of it.

You do believe in it? Probably because it works for you? I'm asking you to understand the harm it does, not just to others who you'd prefer to forget, but all of us.

Do you use money? Do you have a paycheque? Do you work at a job? Where maybe what you're doing contributes to the marginalization of others? (If you don't, please let me know where this type of job exists.)

Do you shop at stores? Do you eat food that wasn't grown in your neighborhood? Do you have material goods that don't come from a faraway land? Do you have a pension? Do you invest? Do you go places in motor vehicles? Have you been on a plane lately? Et fucking cetera. 

We are all connected and complicit--and, at least currently, stuck with a broken system. To pretend the Fort Mac fire is a "natural disaster" or, conversely, "just desserts," helps no one. 

We are all in this together. The sooner we get that, the sooner we move forward.

The ethos of the Human Body Project and #VulnerabilityVigils has always been about how we are all in this together. I use my body and my own vulnerability to, on a small level, walk the talk. 

People are always welcome to join, dressed or not.

Thanks, Tasha

P.S. I still encourage everyone to see Rape is Real and Everywhere at a city near you: http://www.rapeisreal.com/shows

Here is the info for the show in Victoria:

Rape is Real and Everywhere 
Victoria Event Centre
May 17, 8pm
Tickets $15 plus service charges
Website: rapeisreal.com

RIR&E Victoria show tickets:


RIR&E Victoria Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1585960195027541/





The sign for this month's #VulnerabilityVigil will say RAPE. For a #VulnerabilityVigil I stand naked on the street (often with supporters, dressed or undressed) holding a sign with a word that draws attention to our mutual vulnerability as humans.

I use nakedness as a way to embody vulnerability.

As a mother of two daughters, I think about how rape is real and everywhere at least daily. I created the work of the Human Body Project and #VulnerabilityVigils because of my kids (see http://www.humanbodyproject.org/2012/10/to-my-beautiful-daughters-attempt-to.html). 

Our culture would like to be blind to rape in all its forms. The unfortunate truth that most sexual assault is committed by men in positions of trust parallels the way our institutions create and uphold the structures that threaten humanity's survival. 

Why do the perpetrators think it's ok? Because, on some level, they feel entitled. Way too often--as the news stories and statistics show, and as survivors know--they are.

#VulnerabilityVigils are part of an ongoing art/activism project and were created:
-To "be the change"
-To share / express / create space for vulnerability
-To stand in some solidarity with those who are most vulnerable
-To hold ourselves in some accountability for the atrocities our culture perpetrates and perpetuates


Other artists who are working to get conversations started about rape include Emma Cooper and Heather Jordan Ross, co-producers of the comedy show Rape is Real and Everywhere. It features seasoned stand-up comedians who are rape survivors. They use humour as a celebration of resiliency, an antidote to violation. This explosive show puts faces and stories to a taboo epidemic with nameless victims and is coming through Victoria on a national tour.






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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Earth Day Vulnerability Vigil at Tent City, April 23, 2016, 1pm, Quadra btwn Courtney&Burdett, Victoria

An Earth Day Vulnerability Vigil to draw attention to the connections between harms. Harming of the planet is caused by the same forces that create homelessness and poverty--locally and globally. 

For more info about Vulnerability Vigils visit http://www.humanbodyproject.org/p/vulnerability-vigils.html

All welcome. I commit to expressing vulnerability and all-in-the-same-boatness by showing up naked. Others can dress or undress as they choose.


Earth Day Vulnerability Vigil
Saturday, April 23, 2016
1 pm
Tent City
Quadra St, between Courtney and Burdett
Victoria, BC

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Human Body Project 10th Anniversary Vulnerability Vigil

10th Anniversary of the Human Body Project
"Retrospective" Vulnerability Vigil
All welcome.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
1:00 PM
Revised location: Dallas Rd. walkway between Cook and Cambridge
South end of Beacon Hill Park (near flagpole and Camas Circle, across from Dallas Rd.)
Victoria, BC
If you've ever wanted to take part in a public performance project or a flash mob or a Vulnerability Vigil, please consider coming out for this one!! (Dressed or undressed.)
___________________
I started the Human Body Project ten years ago, as a performance art event, in a very conservative place, Lethbridge, Alberta. An undercover officer came to the first performance because a concerned citizen had called. (The cop left saying, "That was very beautiful.") I had the idea two years earlier but it took me those two years to get the courage up to be naked.
People like to say nakedness isn't a big deal. Ha. You try it. On the street. In any case, it's a big deal to me. It's very challenging for me to show up naked.
I do so in the Human Body Project, which is an ongoing performance art/activism project, to provoke a serious consideration of individual and humanity's vulnerability. Nakedness is a metaphor for and embodiment of vulnerability. I use my naked body and naked self. I also use this blog/website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as other spaces to share.
When I started I was the mother of a 4-year-old whose birth changed my life more than anything before or since. Her presence in my life awakened me to the denying I'd been able to do before she was there. I had responsibilities, to her and to myself. I felt so much opening, love, and pain. I finally felt like an earthling.
I couldn't and still can't explain it all. Or that's not right. I have explained, in many different ways, in my writing and in performance. It's difficult, however, to explain succinctly and in a way that many people can access. I'm pushing against so many dominant narratives and vulnerabilities. People react very personally.
Still, after 10 years of viscerally and publicly coming up against our culture's ideas of vulnerability. And after becoming a woman with gynecological cancer, yes, I will connect misogyny, fear of femininity, and our culture's need to place ego above love to what I'm slogging through.
My mother self couldn't accept that the world was going to treat my daughter like it treated me and so, not logically or rationally, but with a sense of calling that has been a burden and a challenge, I embarked.
It has been too hard and I don't doubt that the toll it's taken on my body has been a reason I have cancer. Some of us process the shit of a damaging culture. I'm one of those people. It does not come with pay.
Now I'm 54. Because of chemo, I look 74. I have two daughters now. One is 9! My oldest is 14! I'm alive!
I use the word vulnerability as a key to entering this work. All of us have vulnerabilities, all of us are living at the most vulnerable time for humanity that has ever existed in history. This is directly related to how we treat women, children and feminine energy. To shift this WE as a culture have to shift. It has to be a visceral, non-verbal shift because we need to waylay the ego self, which is very attached to words.
It can only happen with experience. "Be the change" is a useful phrase, one that continues to simplify the reason I do this.
I must repeat this though: I don't pretend to be good at it.
On Saturday, March 26, 2016, at 1 pm, in Victoria, BC, which is where I expanded the Human Body Project work to include Vulnerability Vigils, I am holding the 10th Anniversary Vigil along the Dallas Rd. walkway between Cook and Cambridge.
Over the more than four years since I started holding vigils, I have stood naked on the street more than 50 times (behind a sign as a gesture of gentleness to those who are deeply affronted by nudity). In solidarity with those who are most vulnerable. To share and express vulnerability. As a creative antidote to the isolation and detachment of our society. Etc. I'm doing more than one thing!
For the 10th Anniversary Vulnerability Vigil I will place all of the signs I have used on the slope of the hill. Words like: VULNERABLE, PRIVILEGE, SYSTEMIC, HEAL, FIX, PARADIGM, MOTHER. Also the Extinction Symbol.
Keith Jenkins and I holding the Extinction Symbol, February 2015.
It would be thrilling if lots of people came (dressed or not) and joined me. As an art project, people holding the signs (there are more than 20) would be such a beautiful statement!

Links to the event on Facebook: