: Branly López, Elvira Semmoh & Nelson Carrilho, Juls, Nonty Sabic, Preeti Chopra, So Roustayar, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi Initiator:
Masha Ru Host:
The interviews with the Grounding participants will appear on the Post-Crisis Hope Radio: https://postcrisishope.radio/More about the participants:
Branly Lopez (Guatemala), ajq'ij (Mayan spiritual guide), representative of Mayan community that went through genocide. Branly is searching for ways to integrate Mayan culture back to daily life. With Branly we will talk about the struggle of his people, the meaning of Earth and gender aspects in Mayan spirituality and culture, as well as touch upon the situation in Guatemala and in Mayan communities during corona times. We will in particular focus on the connection between Earth and Death, and relationships with Death in different societies. How our relationships with Death and taboos connected to it form our relationship with Earth?
For more information a documentary about struggle of Mayan folks in Guatemala: http://www.pbs.org/pov/watch/500years/video-500years-trailer/
Juls (France / the Netherlands) s*x worker, s*x workers' and queer rights activist, former member of an ecovillage in Switzerland, co-organizer of a people of color centered sex positive festival in Amsterdam. With Juls we will explore intersectionality of environmental movement with the s*x work and queer activism. How are the connection with our bodies and desires linked to the connection with Earth? Is sexuality sacred? Can s*x work be a healing practice? We will touch upon dirty connotations connected to sexuality in the contemporary world, making a parallel with the association of Dirt with Earth in English language, which is as well embraced in Western society. We will explore how those connotations serve the hierarchical societal systems of control, and how those systems are being reproduced.
lvira Semmho (Suriname / the Netherlands) and Nelson Carrilho (Curaçao / the Netherlands) are a storyteller and a sculptor. Nelson is a creator of the sculpture Mama Baranka (Mother Earth) in Vondelpark, Amsterdam, placed in the memory of Kerwin Duinmeijer, a 15-year-old Antillean who was killed in 1983 for the fact that he was black. Elvira collaborates with Nelson to give the voice to the sculpture. With Elvira and Nelson we will explore the Earth as a feminine energy, the position of this energy in contemporary Western society and the links of this position with the privileges of color.
More information about Mama Baranka in Dutch: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mama_Baranka
Nonty Sabic (South Africa / Spain) is a Shaman, Facilitator, Environmental and Racial Activist. She is focused on holding sacred spaces for groups and individuals, bridge building, healing and reconciliation between Africa and Europe through Ubuntu regenerative projects. With Nonty we explore the topics of healing of Earth and healing with Earth. https://www.nontycharitysabic.com
Preeti Chopra (India / USA / the Netherlands) is a professor of Architecture, Urban History and Visual Studies in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written extensively on colonial Bombay. Preeti has lived in Pondicherry, Auroville, the so-called city of the future. Preeti was born to a family of refugees who were forced to migrate as the result of the Partition. With her we will explore what it means to be disconnected from the land or the earth of one's origin. From the article of Preeti: "I never know what to say when people ask me where I am from. Surely, it would have been easier to simply say that I was from Delhi, a city remade after 1947 by Punjabi refugees. I always knew that I was forged by the Particion and the fact that my ancestral homeland lay across the border. That world was lost forever even for those who could cross the border or stayed behind."
So Roustayar (Afghanistan / the Netherlands)
From the interview with So: "I am a Muslim, activist, feminist, anti-racist and refugee. I have faced racism, sexism, refugee hatred and Islamophobia. Because of this I know what it is like to be excluded. This was the direct reason to commit myself to refugee rights from the age of twelve and to become involved in Dutch politics. We have lived in a world that degrades the planet for years and downplays climate problems. If we want to adapt the climate problems, we have to do this through a joint plan and not by placing the burden on citizens. We also live in an (extreme) right-wing climate where migrants, refugees, Muslims and people of color are blamed for the economic crisis and the hard austerity." https://amsterdam.bij1.org/fractie-amsterdam-bij1
Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (Ghana) is an international artist, transgender activist and a former Christian priest, founder of an intersectional artist-in-residency project in Kumasi, Ghana, where artists and activists of different origins, religions, (non-binary) genders and orientations are invited to live and work together. Interaction between a human and the Earth is strongly present in the practice of Va-Bene's.
More information from Va-Bene's website: "sHit" if not "she" Note: [sHe/it...] is Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi's [crazinisT artisT] bio-political pronoun. Anyone or any institution can 'responsibly' use any pronoun of their preference for crazinisT artisT, otherwise just use "sHit" and "sHits" Born 1981 in Ho, Ghana, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi [crazinisT artisT] works and lives in Kumasi. sHit is a multidisciplinary artist, founder and artistic director of perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) which aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers. As a performer and installation artist, crazinisT investigates gender stereotypes, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized groups or individuals. With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, sHit employs sHits own body as a thought-provoking tool. https://www.crazinistartist.com/biography/
Masha Ru (Russia / the Netherlands) http://www.masharu.nl
Founder of the Museum of Edible Earth www.museumofedible.earth Since 2012 I work with Earth, and the meaning and engagement with Earth and ground across different spiritualities and cultures, in particular oral engagement. The module Grounding emerges from this research and practice. The people invited for Grounding I have met in the last years partly during and through my Earth (eating) journey, and I am happy to bring everyone together for a dialogue.