Sunday, February 1, 2015

Valentine's #VulnerabilityVigils Victoria+Vancouver 2-3pm

For Valentine's Day you could take part in a long-running stand for humanity.

Please consider joining Tasha Diamant in Victoria or Emma Cooper in Vancouver. Everyone is welcome, as dressed as you choose. You can even hold your own #VulnerabilityVigil wherever you are.

#VulnerabilityVigils are part of an ongoing performance art and activism project. Among other culture-busting, creator Tasha Diamant's work is about sharing and expressing vulnerability.

At least once a month for an hour, Diamant stands naked on the street to be as vulnerable as possible.  Diamant is a 53-year-old, otherwise rather reclusive woman who uses nakedness as a statement and symbol. "You can draw parallels between the vulnerable body and vulnerable humanity and the vulnerable planet," says Diamant.

Another chilly vigil.
Because she understands that nakedness can be confrontational in our culture, as a gesture of gentleness, she and her supporters hold a sign in front of their bodies. The sign has the Extinction Symbol on it. "From a triage point of view," says Diamant, "The thing we need to know is that we are now creating a mass extinction on the planet. Like, shouldn't we do everything we can to drop everything else? But I happen to think that the violence, misogyny and poverty we're 'used to' have long indicated how messed up we are."

"Our brains need to change." Diamant believes that the only way forward is to kickstart evolution by dealing viscerally with our mutual vulnerability. Hence the vigils and her ongoing project, the Human Body Project.

Valentine's #VulnerabilityVigils 

Tasha Diamant will hold her 43rd #Vulnerability Vigil at 
Corner of Yates and Government (same place as last month)
Saturday, February 14
2-3 pm

Emma Cooper will hold a #VulnerabilityVigil at
Vancouver Art Gallery
Robson St side (same place as last month)
Saturday, February 14
2-3 pm

All are welcome to join, as dressed as you choose.

Anyone, anywhere can hold a #VulnerabilityVigil.

Special thanks to Emma Cooper who, with various supporters, started doing coinciding #VulnerabilityVigils in Vancouver in November.

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.