In 2016, alongside with and in support of Marbles’ Jumbo Radio’s workshop Wrecking Walden, Aiyana Masla, Hana van der Kolk, Shanna Goldman and Margit Galanter offered a facilitated forum to examine how embodied practice could support white allyship/accompliceship. By addressing white privilege and specifically how it operates in the context of cultural work, the seeds festival and Earthdance Creative Living Center became a locus for people who wanted to examine regenerative practices around privilege and embodied experience, to share skills and dialogue, to develop articulation, and to practice tools towards collective liberation.
This workshop could be organized in different contexts, with a flexible group of facilitators based on the original team. In Embodying Allyship, we broke down the basics of white privilege and bore witness together to the historical and current white supremacy in contemporary dance/art, science, academic, and environmental activist spaces, paying particular attention to environmental racism and the intersectionality of racism, classism, and ecological crisis. Drawing from conscious communication, embodiment and mindfulness practices, as well as a range of somatic modes such as the Internal Family Systems therapy model, the workshop leaders facilitated a non-hierarchical space for sharing, listening, and skill exchange around how, as artists, environmentalists, academics, activists, teachers, and community members, we might continue or begin to activate allyship in our personal and professional lives. We spent time in the year and months before the event in dialogue an inquiry with the host organization, building connections with organizations and leaders with overlapping practices in the region, and inviting key memebers to particiupate in the workshop, thus deepening the efficacy of the project for the region and participants present. How does the radical space of not-knowing required of us as artists offer tools for new ways of thinking and acting outside our art practices? What can movement and awareness in our lived body offer to this cultural understanding?
Anyone identifying as an ally/accomplice or committed in its possibilities, regardless of race, is welcome to join.