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Bringing Tzucacab to California

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…

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