Sunday, September 29, 2019

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy birthday to me!! I'm 58 today and super-lucky to be alive.

Please consider, say, symbolically buying me a latte every month and I will eventually send you a garment like one of these hand-upcycled shirts below. You can symbolically buy me a monthly latte or even a symbolic monthly beer by becoming my Patreon supporter.

Global Climate Strike update: I didn't make it to one single event to do any Vulnerability Vigils because I've been feeling crappy. But I wrote a poem and I made a little video for it. (The link is to Facebook because YouTube suspended my account, which I will address some other time).

Chip Chip Chip
#kripalu #globalclimatestrike

Cripple U in the late 90s. Post-guru, pre-Lululemon.

Sitting with Victoria on the bottom bunk in one of the shared rooms. Those hospital blankets.

Kind, intuitive Victoria. She used to try to survive her commute by doing Type A alternate nostril breaths. 

“What are you feeling?”

“There’s an 85,000-mile-thick wall. I’m trying to move it.” My scrawny arm pressing the cinder blocks. Body knew but I didn’t. 

Serious mind fuck.

Years later. Mother. Performance artist. Cancer survivor. Thin edge of the wedge. Mover of culture. Oh, is that all?

These marches are part of moving the culture. Good. I wish I could feel celebratory. But it’s still chip chip fucking chip over here.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Global Climate Strike Vulnerability Vigils Sept 17-27

This work has always been my own doing-what-I-can-do response to the unrespondable... like how does one person logically and self-preservationally make any difference to systemic-cultural mass brutality and destruction? I still don't know. Hence, an artistic-spiritual response. (See further below for a story about responsibility and the inability to respond.)

It's been pretty lonely but the climate has changed. Haha, sad pun. Ya, because of climate change the urgency to create real change is sweeping the globe.

There's a Global Climate Strike September 20-27.

As part of those and other mass extinction-related events, I've decided I'm going to do my very best to show up in my Extinction Symbol outfit at the following actions below. I'll bring extra Extinction Symbols.

Climate Crisis Media Action - Demanding Better Journalism
Tuesday, Sep 17 · 1420 Broad St, Victoria, BC
12-2 pm
Facebook Media Action event

Student Strike And Die-in
Friday, Sep 20 · British Columbia Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
Facebook Student Strike and Die-in event

And maybe I'll stay for part of the
Global Climate Strike - Intersection Occupation Party
Friday, Sep 20 · Starts @ Victoria Info Centre - Party at Government and Belleville
Facebook Intersection Party event

Strike 4 Forests and Climate!
Tuesday, Sep 24 · Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, 525 Superior Street, Victoria, BC
Facebook Strike 4 Forests event

Global Climate Strike: March and Street Party

Friday, Sep 27 · Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
12 noon
Facebook Climate Strike March event

So, now a story about responsibility. Waaaay back in 2006 when I was writing the artist statement I wrote "we need to take responsibility for our actions." But, as I was telling my Victoria Fringe audience recently, I only really connected respond and responsibility. I mean we can't really respond to atrocity. You only have to go downtown and see the humans who don't get to participate in "beautiful indoor spaces," "healthy lifestyles," or "fulfilling careers" because they're too busy trying to survive severe trauma. They're just the tip of the iceberg of people I can't help.

Last week, my youngest daughter, her best friend (both 12) and I were driving, turned a corner and had to slow down because there was a woman beating up the pavement with her backpack. She had tears and snot running down her face and she was screaming something. I rolled down the window and asked her if she was ok (obviously she wasn't but that's our stupid language, too).

She kept repeating her agonized statement: "They took my kids. They took my fucking kids. They won't let me see my kids."

You know what I did? I said: "I'm so sorry." Then I rolled up my window and drove away.

It might be best for those kids that they're not with her right now. But at the same time that woman needed help and she is probably not going to get it. I couldn't give it to her. I had to feed those kids in my van, walk my dogs, deal with my own shit. I couldn't even listen to her for a while because I wasn't prepared or able to take the time.

I tried to talk to the girls and explain what happens when a parent can't look after their kids. How they end up in foster care or group homes. How it might be very hard for them. How heartbreaking it can be for the parent even if they're doing drugs or not looking after the kids properly or whatever is going on.

I told them how sad I was that I couldn't help her and how sad that we don't have good help for people and families like that.

They were shocked by the rawness of her emotion but so kind about it. One of them said: "I hope she gets the help she needs." The other quietly wondered if she would ever be able to see her kids.

It was such a strong moment of being UNABLE TO RESPOND, except that at least the girls and I engaged our emotions. 

If we are here to love and look after each other, as I believe humans were created, then it was a moment where I could not take responsibility and support this devastated human. Because there is pretty much nothing in my culture or state that would support me supporting her. And I am not a fucking village!

I think through the millennia of dehumanizing brutalizing INSANE violations and oppressions so that one king/lord/alpha-dick or another could consolidate power, it has been a VERY USEFUL survival tactic to not respond. Hence the current century of consequences due to lack of any king/lord/alpha-dick or anyone else taking responsibility.

Also, YouTube suspended my channel. FFS.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

ATROCITIES 'R' US at #YYJfringe 2019

Press Release
Winner of the 2018 Montreal Fringe Creativity Award (and Re-nominated in 2019)
Performance Artist Tasha Diamant returns to #YYJfringe

Fringe Venue Site C
Heart & Hands Health Collective
851 Cormorant St.
18+ Nudity
Aug 22  Thu  8:15-9:30 pm
Aug 23  Fri  8:15-9:30 pm
Aug 24  Sat  8:15-9:30 pm
Aug 29  Thu  8:15-9:30 pm
Aug 30  Fri  8:15-9:30 pm
Aug 31  Sat  8:15-9:30 pm
ATROCITIES 'R' US at the Victoria Fringe
ATROCITIES 'R' US Facebook event

Tasha Diamant has been exploring radical vulnerability as a form of art and activism since starting the critically acclaimed Human Body Project in small-town
Alberta more than 13 years ago. Unscripted, without a conventional narrative, honest and naked, Diamant shows up as vulnerably as possible to mirror humanity's state at this terrifying moment in history.

Raw, yes, but she can also be pretty funny. Comedian Maria Bamford has joked: "Weakness is the brand." Riffing, Diamant says: "Pain is the brand." 
Diamant self-deprecatingly shares challenging truths about herself, such as struggling with severe emotional pain; surviving Stage 4 ovarian cancer; spectacularly failing to thrive in the cult of academia; mothering in isolation; etc.

The baring of body and self is also about reflecting the culture. Her work falls in the Shamanism and Elderhood Department, if Westernized, globalized consumer-people had
such a thing. Diamant is white, educated, and privileged. She has often spoken about her work as a way to use her privilege and pain to interrogate and criticize her culture.

And as a way to model vulnerability and show solidarity with those who are most vulnerable. In fact, Diamant takes her art to the streets. For years, often alone,
she has held regular "Vulnerability Vigils," standing naked in public, in some cases holding the Extinction Symbol. (Vulnerability Vigil on August 18, 2019)

By exposing herself and leaving herself open to judgment, audience members' issues—through their projections—may also become disclosed. Diamant is
subverting audience expectations of who is responsible for what and, yes, it's uncomfortable. But necessary.

In performance and in public, Diamant hopes to offer a form of cultural healing for a civilization that renders older women invisible, has no shamanic tradition, and
is destroying the world. For Diamant, who began naked performance art/activism in 2006, the need for a cure has gone far beyond urgency.

Tasha Diamant, 57, lives in Victoria, BC, and is married with two daughters, 17 and 12. Work she has been paid for: waitress, journalist, visual artist, yoga teacher, university
instructor. She has participated in several community and prison theatre projects. This is her 10th anniversary as a fringe performer. Diamant is a privileged, cis, straight woman of European descent who is not actually much of an extrovert.

"In a space with no limits, we nonetheless carry limits in ourselves, play roles and seek confirmation. Our winner is a show that isn't comfortable in its contradictions and cares so deeply it just can't give a fuck! Fierce nonchalance and the full power of extreme vulnerability: it challenges everything we believe about theatre and undermines all hierarchies. It is the ultimate feminist act and the ultimate act of fringe."
— Geoff Agombar, Montreal Fringe juror

"You are a role model."
— audience member

"When confronted with work to which I've had a visceral reaction I need to go deep within to confront the part of me that’s mirrored. Although there are many solemn moments, the performance is surprisingly life-affirming, with moments of laughter... Profoundly moving and relevant."
— Janis La CouvĂ©e

"The definition of sincerity."
— audience member

"You connect all the dots."
— audience member