I have spent this week of art and decolonization hanging out with my mom. My mother was diagnosed with alzheimer’s six years ago and now at age 67 it seems to be progressing exponentially. Covid has kept us at a distance over the last year, but I did the test and the quarantining in order for us to be together. I haven’t spent a week with her in years and especially with her in this new state I found it very important for me to slow down and not be so “productive” oriented. We did lots of important stuff like going for walks and cuddling on the couch. It was hard to stop at first and it had me thinking about decolonizing “productivity “.
What does it mean to decolonize goals? In our capitalist goal oriented culture- we learn to distrust stillness. All we need to do is stop- let go of our agendas and settle into our bodies and hearts. Embody what is there- it is from this place of space and stillness that true expression emerges.
I desire mastery- and behind that- satisfaction and excitement for life. I desire to express my true nature and be in service to the world. I desire to give my unique talents freely and be financially free. I constantly remind myself that it is in the quiet where my best ideas come from, this is why meditation is so valuable to me.
More than ever it is important to eradicate doubt and shame from my psychological operating system. These are powerful times and I am becoming aware of my privilege in every thought I think and every word I speak.
This is not a time to feel shameful and “guilty” for the actions of my colonizing ancestors. It is a time to be responsible and in that to de-centre whiteness and learn the truth about history. We need to be wise enough to know the difference between when it is important to speak up or when to hold space for someone else to speak up.
What does it mean to de-centre whiteness?
In our North American culture, “white” has been set as the “standard” or the societal norm. This is white supremacy- where white is superior and everything else is held up to it. Canadian history has been told and taught from the “white” colonizer’s perspective. De-centring whiteness is about shifting the narrative to include other perspectives.
As I learn to speak up, I am experiencing having “hard conversations” around what is considered “white fragility”. This is when emotions such as anger, fear, guilt arise and some white folks respond defensively or in becoming argumentative. I believe this comes up from an unconscious (or not) fear that they will lose their dominance within the racial hierarchy.
This week I have been doing a deep dive into the Wet’suwet’en Territories of northern British Columbia. Their fight for sovereignty and title of their ancestral land has been going on long before the proposed pipelines. There is a lot of information and I’m still working through organizing it in a way that is clear and concise. Stay tuned- and if you haven’t yet, check out the free INDIGENOUS CANADA course offered by the University of Alberta.
After a week with my mom, I have arrived at my brother’s house. Yesterday I clowned around with my niece Stella. She is so fun, smart and funny and I’m so excited to support her creativity. If only I had had an Auntie like me! But in actuality, I know that by sharing with her I am also giving this gift my child self.
It got me thinking about a key action to changing our present capitalist paradigm is in working/playing with our kids. Not just about top down education, but in listening and learning from them.
I miss performing in schools. I really think I found a calling in that. Side by side with THE CURE FOR FEAR- I am also working on a solo covid conscious class room performance called OOPSIE. It’s almost time to pull that one into the workshop.
Stella and I had a blast playing together and I’d like to introduce to you- Little Lo.
Thank you for reading “THE BONES”- a process report of art and decolonization.
I am currently researching “THE CURE FOR FEAR” – a physical theatrical/ digital arts exploration around the disconnection that occurs from trauma. In a world where the power holders would have us privatize and distrust our feelings in silence and obedience, how does one begin and continue on a journey of decolonization and reconnection? What transformation happens within the psyche as a person emerges from despondency and disembodiment?
I believe in the power of laughter, so, how can one find lightness in the heaviest of topics? How can the subject matter be delivered in a way that surprises the experiencer with their own discoveries?
Always open to feedback if it is constructive and kind. No haters please. firstname.lastname@example.org