Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Inspiration! Roundup: Water protectors, Coast Salish acknowledgments, countercultures

Today is a sad, deadening day. I thought about not posting my inspiration roundup, but of course, we need inspiration more than ever today. More election thoughts later.

This Week's "I want to go to there":
I wish I could be contributing in a real way to Standing Rock. Especially today.
Photo posted on Facebook by Dell Hambleton.

Sacred Stone Defence Camp

It's about time I say something about the Sacred Stone Defence Camp. I think one of the reasons I haven't said anything yet is because it just feels like there is way too much to say. I am so awed by the honour and strength of these people, standing in defence, not only of their own rights and land, but the land of their ancestors and children. I have heard the saying that land is not inherited from ancestors, but borrowed from our children, and that is so beautifully enacted here.

I think I have also not said anything because I feel a drive to be there, and that's just not possible for me. There are ways to support this movement, though. We can donate, sign pledges, and organize solidarity events in our home. All the info is on their website.



Making Coast Salish Territory Acknowledgements Matter

Working in theatre in Vancouver, there is a general norm of acknowledging the territory we are on before a show starts. I think it's important, but have felt pretty sure it's just the beginning. It is. This podcast goes deeper into the protocols of the Coast Salish Peoples and the things we can do to make these acknowledgments more meaningful. If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, you might want to still give it a listen, as it might help you begin to understand the nuances of whatever territory you do live on.

Collecting Counterculture

I have always been really into the different counterculture movements throughout history. As a young pseudo-punk of the late 90's, my friends and I would talk a lot about how our attempts to be 'nonconformist' lead us all to conform to each other.

Photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek have made their work out of profiling individuals from these groups, referring to them as "style tribes". It's a fascinating and beautiful exploration of subsets of our culture: from the punks with mohawks to aunties with pastel blazers. Once you pick an aspect of our unique differences, we suddenly become indistinguishable from a wider tribe.

Concentrated Frustration

There is something oddly inspirational to me about this gif, depicting one frustration after another. Maybe it's the clever way they assembled these images of "almost there" and "not quite", but it makes me want to go and do something. Anything. Just get something done to cover up all the pent-up feelings.


Being LGBTQI at Trinity Western University

Trinity Western University is a Christian university in BC that has a "community covenant" all students must sign to attend. The covenant includes that the students pledge to refrain from sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Every once in a while, they get into public hot water over this aspect of the covenant that many (including myself) see as discriminatory against the LGBTQI community. There is a long debate here about what we are supposed to do as a society with the right to religious freedom collides with the other human rights, and that is an argument we'll save for another time.

Right now, I am impressed and inspired by Mars Hill, the student newspaper at TWU. You see, the school insists that it is a warm and inclusive environment for queer students, and hasn't dealt well with dissenting voices. At Mars Hill, they shared stories from queer students and their allies about the challenges they faced at the school. This is brave and important. No matter what you think about the school's right to put these rules in place, it is vital to know what the real impact is of these rules on the student population.


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