January continues on here. We have even had some grey days and a huge rain that left an inch of rain in my closet. It is a quiet month here after the busy-ness of December and I am happy to be at home and being a slower pace. Part of this is making plans for this upcoming year, and one of these has to do with the incredible young people I have had the opportunity to work with this last year in Tzucacab. As many of you know, D and I worked with six high-school graduates on a participatory photography project focusing on biodiversity in a little Mayan town. As I reflect on 2011 this was definitely one of the best parts. It was the best because I got to know this little middle of nowhere town from the eyes of these young indigenous people as they set out to make those beginning of adulthood decisions about their lives. As an artist and educator it was a great honor to get to be part of their exploration.
It opened up a complex world of newness in regards to teaching, making art, rurality, transnational families, humility, and guides for navigation. I recently read this piece by a colleague Amanda, and it felt so good to hear about the similarity of the complexity of how it feels to work in the ways she does in El Salvador.
Now in the spring we have an opportunity to take two, Leo and Jiminez to California for a series of speaking engagements. In the opportunity that enables all of this is reflective of the roots of this project we are honored to have been invited by a student-run class at UC Santa Cruz that books 10 incredible speakers (like Vandana Shiva, Kevin Danaher) each year. The past week for me has been spent with a whole new series of thoughts whirring in my head. So here are some:
1. Do you remember your first time on an airplane? What was it like? What did your stomach feel like?
2. What does being worldly feel like?
3. Please get in touch with me if you have ideas about how to find some money to do this. We are trying to figure this out and don’t have much time.
4. What does it feel like to share my tierra after being so long on theirs?
5. How do we learn to listen? What has to happen in order for this happen?
As I promised in my last post I stretching out of my imagination for this blog and you are invited along for the ride. I would love to hear your thoughts about these things or projects that you are doing that we might talk about. Until then…