Monday, January 19, 2015

3rd Anniversary #VulnerabilityVigils in Victoria and Vancouver Saturday, Jan 24, 1-2 pm

Vulnerability Vigils started on January 1, 2012. 

Performance artist/activist Tasha Diamant stands naked in public at least once a month for an hour. Diamant describes her work in many ways but for simplicity's sake her key purpose is to share and create space for vulnerability. (In a gesture of gentleness to those affronted by public nudity, Diamant and her supporters hold a sign with the extinction symbol on it.)

Tasha Diamant will hold a #VulnerabilityVigil at the
Corner of Yates and Government
Saturday, January 24
1-2 PM (or as long as weather allows)

Emma Cooper will hold a #VulnerabilityVigil at the
Vancouver Art Gallery
Robson Street side 
Saturday, Jan. 24
1-2 PM (or as long as weather allows)

Anyone anywhere can also hold a #VulnerabilityVigil. 

More information on #VulnerabilityVigils.

Here's a great video with Erykah Badu, which totally aligns with some of the values of #VulnerabilityVigils (thanks to Emma Cooper for sharing it):

Here's the music video Badu is talking about:

Transcultural Communication/Rescue Work in the Americandreamocene Epoch

I walked along a short forest path into my work today sobbing (I am a contract instructor at Royal Roads University). I arrived where the buildings are and stopped. 

My life and work in the Human Body Project parallel each other. I am not comfortable explaining to anyone why I am sobbing. I am not comfortable explaining why I need to do this work. In the same way that I am sick of research, I am exhausted by explaining "why" this work is necessary or "why" I feel raw.

We live in the Anthropocene Epoch, which I often think of as the Americandreamocene Epoch.

I didn't know from anthropocene or transcultural/indigeneity when I started this project almost 9 years ago. All I knew was pain and urgency in my being and body. In my opinion, the reason the Americandreamocene Epoch continues is because we, the humans continuing to create it, live in our heads because it is too painful to feel what is in our emotional bodies. This neverending justification cycle of "why?" (a head question) is about avoiding vulnerability, which equals feeling, which equals pain.

But here goes again with another explanation. When I say that I have come to think of this work as a form of transcultural communication, I am validated by my own personal understanding of how vulnerability and indigeneity relate, which in different ways I have written and spoken about.

Also, the last indigenous tribes on earth are extremely vulnerable. At the same time, the whole human tribe, while continuing on the destructive course of the industrial-domination-masculine energy paradigm is extremely vulnerable. This is not a coincidence. 

We can talk about windmills and recycling, for sure, but I believe the only way we're going to move forward is if our brains change from ego-based, self-protected beings to cooperative, compassionate beings. I am a fully indoctrinated ego-based, self-protected being so the pain I face letting go of that enculturation is visceral and extremely challenging. It is also the essence of my work.

I am also validated by the crossover between my work and the work of a UN-based organization which has invited me to go on an intervention excursion to help preserve an indigenous tribe in Panama that has had little contact with modern civilization. This note below is about that group trying to develop Culturally Sustainable Tourism in that area and other culturally sensitive areas:
Indigenous cultures are endangered worldwide. It is their contact with modern civilization which is triggering the processes threatening their survival. With every traditional group that vanishes, valuable knowledge is being lost. The few indigenous cultures left on this globe are far to precious to be exposed to disintegration.
If you want to maintain your decision to visit an indigenous culture, we would like to ask you not to import some of the elements of the dominant civilization which might cause irreversible damage. Primarily, the design of the body is concerned. Please make sure you only cover those parts of the body which are traditionally covered, i.e., restrict yourself to covering your loin. Women are urgently asked not to cover their breast during the visit as the import of the breast taboo is a crucial factor in the destabilization of indigenous cultures. Please refrain from wearing a watch, and if you need glasses, please try to replace them by contact lenses. With regard to gifts, it would be very helpful if you avoid everything that could lead to dependencies. You are kindly asked to integrate yourself as much as you can in order not to be an "alien object." Even if you find that external influences have already reached your host culture, please do not use this as an excuse, but rather take the chance for "rescue work" by practically showing your respect for indigenous traditions.
So, one way you could think about the Human Body Project and #VulnerabilityVigils is a form of rescue work showing practical respect for indigenous traditions. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2nd Coinciding #VulnerabilityVigil (yay!)

I'm really pleased because, for the second time, some Vancouverites will hold a coinciding #VulnerabilityVigil with me!

On Monday, Dec. 1, 12:30-1:30, I'll be at the corner of Government and Belleville in Victoria.
And, at the same time, Emma Cooper and others will be back at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson St. side.

Last month's #VulnerabilityVigil in Vancouver.

Here's what Emma Cooper had to say about it on Facebook:
Hey Vancouverites! Monday Dec. 1st at 12:30-1:30 myself and some other quality humans will be participating in a ‪#‎VulnerabilityVigil‬ at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson Street side). We will stand naked behind signs or clothed for an hour to explore our own personal vulnerability and to do a small action to acknowledge the different challenges we are facing as a society and our need to become more self-aware and vulnerable to effectively address them. This is in solidarity with Tasha Diamant's vigil that will happen at the same time in Victoria. Tasha has been doing this performance art for about 9 years and doing monthly vigils for the past couple of years.
More info:
FB event: (see the comments for info for the vancouver vigil or holla at me)
I do this because I like the conversations that we had at our last vigil with the folks who passed by on the street. I like that everyone can have a slightly different reason for coming out and doing this and that no one involved in this pretends to have all of the answers. To me this is about personal accountability, about one on one conversations and about putting yourself out there to remind yourself and others that all is not well, but we can still connect and talk. Please join in if you would like, or stop and say hello on the day. If you have any questions please get at me in a private message.
Vancouver Vulnerability Vigil
Hey Vancouver folks who would like to participate and be a little chilly for an hour...
We will meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Robson Street Side, same place as last time. We will go at the same time as the Victoria Vigil, 12:30 - 1:30. 
I will bring signs to stand behind in an effort to be gentle with our nudity. I look forward to spending an hour of quality time having good conversations with strangers and sitting with our own vulnerability!
If you have any questions, hit me up on facebook.
Let's grab a tea afterwards too if you would like.