Sunday, May 22, 2016

Thank you to our Armed Forces - & art making

Ten years ago I drove onto a Navy base. My little blue car had a red, white and blue silhouette of the famous Iwo Jima memorial with the words "Make Art Not War".

Bold? (My husband still things it was...)

I didn't notice because my car had been wearing the sticker for almost a year.

The sticker declared my support of those in uniform while suggesting that art is a way to create non-violent, positive social change.

I was visiting a friend. Friends. I wasn't randomly driving onto military bases proclaiming that art was a substitute for war.

But I've lived my entire adult life in war and violence. And I have to believe that there's something better, more beautiful in this world than war and its effects. And violence.

I believe in art.

I've been investigating the ways veterans utilize art making and I'm so impressed to see so many voices in music, storytelling, poetry, the visual arts. Thank you!

Yesterday, was Armed Forces Day. Thank you to those who served and are serving.

Perhaps it was appropriate that I discovered this Ted Talk yesterday by Sebastian Junger titled "Our lonely society makes it hard to come back from war." I encourage you to take some time with it:

Perhaps the sticker I should now promote on my car is "Make Art. Not Isolation." 

In this increasing web-connected society, Mr. Junger and many other social researchers are discovering that we are more lonely. More isolated. 

I believe that coming together to share movement can challenge that isolation. Dancing together can challenge isolation. In clubs, in the cafeteria, in the car, in the studio, on stage... We don't necessarily need a platform to move together. 

But - for those platforms that exist on social media, I applaud you! (Have you participated in the #22killpushupchallenge??)

Thank you to all of our Armed Forces, those present and past, for moving together - in drills, in humps, in protecting us, and in the moments you let loose and danced. 

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