An incredible sharing yesterday - congratulations to the E|MERGE participants who showed their work last night!
The evening included…
A candle lit journey to a sacred space.
An engulfing installation of resonating sound.
A Sensorium to dive into memory.
A practice of dignity and look into power.
And a magical, whimsical walk through the snow.
There are still two more sharings, Saturday afternoon (4pm) and evening (8pm). Hope you can make it!
Want a sneak peak of what you may be in for? Check out the projects here!
And now, some thoughts from the fabulous Qween, one of this year’s participants:
If there is one thing that we all desire as human beings, it’s the capacity to be free and to express our freedom. This begs the question: What is Freedom and how do we become free? I’ve been pondering this question for quite some time now and I think it’s time that I tackled it in the most intellectual and philosophical way possible. Growing up (especially here in America) we are bombarded with rhetoric concerning freedom such as: “Land of the free, home of the brave.” But are we really free in this land? Do any of us really know what it is to be free? And if we aren’t free, how do we become free? I’ll tell you this much, freedom isn’t free.
For the longest time in human history wars have been fought over this idea of Freedom. In America, we fought for freedom from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. In modern times, countries all over the world are rising up against oppressive governments and demanding freedom. Politically, freedom is something everyone has fought for. We desire to live in a society where we can love who we want, wear what we want and go where we want. America is a “Free” country so long as you do what the government says and follow a list of rules. So I’d say we’re not entirely free here because it’s freedom with a limit on it, with a fine print at the bottom of the page. I have a street show that I do and I dance across the country performing songs of love and freedom. Every state that I’ve been to thus far I have been harassed and detained by police for nothing more than dancing on a sidewalk. Now here are my options: Either I can continue to dance, do my show and not think twice about the police OR quit dancing, get a normal job and fall back into the system that has been designed. Of course I’m going to continue dancing until my feet fall off and just hope to avoid the police. However, it’s clear to me that we can’t live in a free country if being free is illegal. I refuse to believe that the men that sacrificed their lives so this country can be free would accept the oppression of our government. I can only imagine what would happen if the people of America rose up and acted on their freedom. We’d probably be looking at tear gas and rubber bullets to keep us suppressed.
I have been traveling the states for the last year, and I will say that I AM free. It’s more of a state of mind than anything else to me. I cannot define freedom for everyone else; I can only define freedom for myself based on my own experiences with freedom. So I’ll just give everyone a little insight into my idea of freedom. I spent my entire life trying to please everyone else and never really honoring my own intuition or happiness. When I left on this Journey I broke free from that. A big part in personal freedom is recognizing your own self-worth and then making decisions based on that. When we make decisions based on the world’s idea of what is right and what is wrong, we lose our piece of our individuality. A part of ourselves that allows us to decide what is right and wrong for one’s own life. One cannot be free when one is bound to the thoughts of others. Don’t let the world around you dictate the life you live if you desire to be free.
Fear is the enemy of Freedom. Most of us (and I speak for myself when I say this) live our lives in a state of constant panic, a state of fear. We are scared of each other, we are scared of displeasing god, we are scared of going to jail, and we are scared of the unknown. I have to say, that this fear MUST be overcome in order for any of us to know what freedom really is. Fear is a big motivator in all of our lives. How could it not be? Turn on the evening news and all you see is War, Murder, Catastrophe and layers upon layers of chaos. Fear is instilled in us from the time we are born. Don’t touch the stove it’s going to burn you! Don’t sin; you’ll spend an eternity in hell! Be a good boy/girl! We are taught to live in fear. How can we ever manage to know what true freedom is if our entire lives are based on this concept of fear? In my own experience, the biggest thing I was scared of was being poor and not having any money. This was a hard fear to overcome. Everything in this world is dominated by the dollar. Most of us do not follow our dreams, do not live our passions or pursue or arts because our dreams, our passions, and our arts do not give us money and this fear of being broke and homeless overruns us. We never really live a life of meaning because a life of meaning does not pay the bills. Love doesn’t pay the bills but I’ll tell you something when you sacrifice everything for what you love there is boundless freedom. It wasn’t until I faced everything I was scared of (mainly myself) that I could truly enjoy the beauty of my life and bliss that comes with being free. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Take a moment to look at your life, look at your history and decide for yourself what is worth fighting for. Are you free? Do you wake up and know that this life is yours? What are you scared of? Are you willing to face those fears for what you love? Ask yourself these questions then go out and discover what it is to be free. Freedom is an experience. One cannot fully appreciate even the word freedom until one actually experiences freedom.
About the Artist:
Qween Amor is a performance artist that uses various forms of dance to portray an immaculate image of Mary Magdalene. S/he travels the states of America and utilizes public space for her performances. S/he very bravely projects gender nonconformity in her performances and aims to spread love with her dance. S/he also uses her performance art as a form of activism. S/he demonstrates at protests around the country. S/he has been an active performer at the March Against Monsanto, received national publication from her performance at the Marriage Equality Rally in Washington, DC 2013, has received numerous publications in various newspapers such as Huffington post, Washington Journal and metro times. S/he has danced within the pews of churches with the message "Tax The Churches" and has been arrested numerous times for her form of expression and political activism. Her ultimate goal is to dance throughout the Bible Belt using music as a medium to preach about Love, Life and God.