Edible Hut: Mira Burack
“Commitment to a love ethic transforms our lives by offering us a different set of values to live by. In large and small ways, we make choices based on a belief that honesty, openness, and personal integrity need to be expressed in public and private decisions.”
– bell hooks, all about love NEW VISIONS
During this time, I am learning to listen through my pores. I hope my movements in the world, in art and life, can be deliberate, empathetic, heart-filled, embodied, and fearless. When I don’t know what to do, I lie down – each part of my body is on equal ground, there is no hierarchy, everything is horizontal, and I feel held by the earth.
Edible Hut: Kate Daughdrill
During these challenging times, we are being given an opportunity to go within in order to transform without. We are being given the time and the necessity to uproot what is unconscious in us—to look squarely at the pain and harm caused by our unconscious patterns (mental, emotional, structural).
As I bring awareness and loving presence to these parts of myself (through meditation, learning from others, writing, praying), they begin to naturally realign with more life-giving, mutually free, peaceful ways of being.
Something bigger is at work in these times—in both the dark and light. It’s our job to sit and feel…as love sculpts us into a more conscious version of ourselves. From that place, we naturally take skillful, convicted, loving action.
We are changing. The world is changing.
I am grateful to live in Detroit – during this current moment. A place and a people that has endured so much already, but also a place that persists despite it all. I am humbled by the strength, generosity, rage, creativity, patience, love, and pride that I witness here on a daily basis.
This is the time that America makes a choice. 2020 is the year we decide who we want to be. We are in a metamorphosis, but what are we transforming into? From turmoil, grief, death, despair, isolation we can choose joy, community, life, kindness, justice or we can choose inaction. Inaction will continue to drive us on the path set for this nation hundreds of years ago- but as people continue to rise up in community, to dream of new worlds that nurture all of us we have a glimpse of a future foundation built on justice, joy, and equity. That is the horizon I stare down everyday- knowing that if I take my eyes off of it for one moment- it may slip from view.
White art institutions will never truly commit to the work, the necessary dialogue, if the individuals that make up these institutions and systems are not assessing and grappling with their own white identity. That is what is missing. Until white individuals move beyond addressing the murder of George Floyd and instead move to identify officer Derek Chauvin within themselves, their work will not bend toward anti-racism.
S. Paola López Ramírez
I wonder about celebrating life within this madness. Creating safe spaces for joy and healing for Black bodies, for Brown bodies, for Trans bodies, for Indigenous bodies, for poor bodies, for immigrant bodies, for social leaders, for the memory of our ancestors and for our non-human kin.
I wonder about our capacity to recognize Earth’s gifts and ki* teachings. Our Mother is suffering and dying, yet ki continues to give willingly, unabatedly, and without a concern for worthiness. Ki feeds us all, gives us all clean air to breathe and water to drink. Could we (the colonizer and colonized) become better listeners? Could we learn to observe deeply? Could we learn from plants, animals, mountains and water? Could we begin to re-member? Could we relearn to see ourselves in our Mother’s reflection? Could we begin to unmask the illusion of separation
*Robin Wall Kimmerer offers ki/kin as pronouns to address the natural world as a subject (rather than an object). I accept her offer and use them as a way to recognize the beingness in all living things.
This summer, prison abolition suddenly became a household phrase, and consequently became politicized in ways that intentionally and unintentionally misrepresented its meaning. As I explained in my SFAI140 talk, we can only achieve abolition through abundance; we can only dismantle through investment, we can only defund police if we refund our communities. Despite that misunderstanding, our current moment brings me such hope. More people than ever are engaged in reimagining a world where all of us are safe and free, where there is possibility rather than prison.
There are fragments of feelings still in half thought: A falling down, a breaking, a reckoning, a mourning. The oozing head of the pimple of colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and the dominating and extractive relationship to the land, creatures and ourselves suddenly bursting violently to the surface. Now that it’s here, it’s impossible to imagine it not coming. But is this the moment? Or just the moment that ushers in the moments yet unimaginable?
The present pandemic and its concomitant recession have laid bare the inequalities and structural racism that have long shaped our communities. Our nation’s history has been intricately linked with white supremacy from its inception The current moment is raw and can be painful, but sitting with that pain also gives us time to examine the ways that we have benefited from, given sustenance to, and papered over the problems of systems that perpetuated injustices. In the planning and design professions, I’ve been encouraging colleagues to examine that awareness and then to begin the work of undoing racism. We’re going to need everybody with their heads in the game, because when we emerge from this recession, neighborhoods across America will still be dramatically under-invested; BIPOC communities will still face a maddening paradox of both disinvestment and displacement pressure; and many of our cities will still be in the throes of an unprecedented and devastating housing affordability crisis. There’s no time to lose.