Coming into this program, One Billion Rising was one of the coolest things I felt like I had ever been a part of. It was a worldwide movement, led by Eve Ensler, an artist and activist that I admire and respect, and it involved dancing to try to make social change. 'These are all the things I love' I thought. Leading the Vancouver Rising (as we called it) felt incredible, like I could make things happen and I could really do what I wanted to do with Art and Social Change. We partnered with lunapads, Global Girl Power and Dancing 4 a Change, and over 100 people showed up to the event in order to dance for change.
Check out this video to see how it went!
The year after that there was rain, complications with space and conflicts with other groups vying for the same space, the year after that there were noise complaints and angry neighbours and so on and so on. After four years of "Rising", the excitement for the event itself had subsided for both myself and the participants, the energy of the event itself was reserved only for the event with nothing else going on in between, and I struggled to feel as excited about the cause as I did when I began. There were decisions made within the organization that I did not agree with, and the partner that ended up working with from year two on did not seem like a good fit for quite a few reasons. All and all it was slowly dying out as a project I was interested in continuing, but I felt the need to hold onto it for some reason.
When I entered the program, I knew I had hit a plateau with my work that I was not sure how to overcome and this poster/case study (below) helped to illustrate that. While I was drawing the poster something just did not feel right. The multiple distinctions we discussed in the ways ASC can look and ASC like projects can direct themselves was an 'Ah Ha' moment for me in that they seemed to be the next step I was looking for! It was like I had been mixing them all together in my work and confusing myself about what I was going for, what I wanted, and how I was going to try to go about doing it. These distinctions in our first term helped clarify that exploration for myself. Over the next two years I explored these distinctions within in the context of my work and now at the end feel incredibly clear about what I want to do and how it relates to the other projects. I do not have the answers about what I am going to do when, but I do have a MUCH clearer idea of my interests and how they relate to each other.