Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Spirit Moves

Dear Blue Cheesers, Shanti Sainiks, and other spirits,

This is a bit of an update, followed by some questions.


Apparently I'm going to Kenya this January. Or so says my mother and the universe.

The 2007 World Social Forum is taking place in Nairobi from January 20-25. I plan to take (or be taken by?) a performance project in three strands: Navashwaasam (for the Spirit of Air), Silent Seeds (for Earth Spirit), and another for Water Spirit. I have attached the programs for Navashwaasam and Silent Seeds. Some of you have seen one, some the other, none of you have seen Water because neither have I. Yet. And the final Spirit Moves will be a rebraiding of all three.
Sidenote: The programs are formatted such that if you print them out back to back (so page 2 would be on the back of page 1, and so on), and then fold the sheets in half together, it comes out as a booklet. If you don't get it right it can be a leetle confusing.

I plan to be in Kenya early January and return to India in early February.

I plan to be in Bangalore with these performance projects next month, hoping to raise some decent fraction of the expenses that the Kenya trip will throw at me. (My last month-long northward escapade somehow covered itself, but just barely, and only after the trip. This one's a lot larger scale, so funds have to be mobilized pre-voyage.)

If funding manifests, I plan to be in Delhi mid-November to connect with the Indian Social Forum. I plan to volunteer for the Forum activity work, hoping that would lead me on to explore Kenya, and also hoping that the work will still allow me to take these Spirit Moves to at least a few spaces, all of this so as to bring a nibble of Africa back, while taking a dobble of India (+Singapore/Bay Area) to Kenya.

I plan to weave this all into the Dainika Shanti Sainika Nritta that has consumed me.
(Dainika Nritta can mean daily dance, or the dance that is all life. Shanti Sainik is a member of a Shanti Sainya, or non violent peace force. After a talk with a caremuch Nida in Bombay, I realized I hadn't really figured out how my Dance and my Peace come together, but then on a bouncing bus it cleared itself up. When I explained it to my mother, she smushed together nicely these phrases that had been bouncing on my brain, just like she used to smush cream cheese and jam together on sandwiches for me sometimes.)


Do you resonate to the idea that clear air, clean water, and fertile soil are signs of the Good Life?

Do you know of any texts that convey the Spirit of Water that I might be able to bring to body and life?

Do you know of any folks near me who would be excited to sponsor Spirit Moves to help me mobilize Nairobi funds (This would involve paying for my travel, accommodation if I don't have family nearby, and a little sump'n extra whatever), especially near Ernakulam around November 1, Delhi in early-mid November, Bangalore in late November, Bombay in early December, and Palakkad/Trissur in late December? (And do you know the cheapest way to travel from here to Nairobi?)

Do you know of folks who can't go to the Forum but would like to send a Forum-ish (Other World-ish) message through me to Kenya?

Do you know of folks in Kenya who would be excited to host the bearer of such a message, especially communities to do with movement arts/natural healing/natural farming/natural building/wilderness living/non-violent creative resistance and infinite liberation/a child's world?

Do you feel like dropping everything, mobilizing 30,000 rupees (or whatever it takes to get you to Nairobi from where you are and back, and tide you over your stay), and tripping with me?
None of these questions are rhetorical. None of the update is fictional, and is mostly at least verging on sensical. That's a huge step for me, as Blue Cheesers may realize. Nevertheless, just in case this fermentation was still a little cross-eyed for you, I've pasted an excerpt from a Normal version that I sent out to some Normal people.

Love and gooseberries and spongy coconut egg-babies,
Malavika Mali Ammu Tara Mohanan


The current version is a combination of two previous dance-theatre-poetry performance projects, one called Navashwaasam in the Spirit of Air, another called Silent Seeds in the Spirit of Air, with a new Water project that is yet to be materialized. Silent Seeds was created in celebration of Satyaagraha, for the recent September 11th anniversary. Navashwaasam was created a year ago out of a desire for a new awareness and and a search for more just and peaceful ways of living. I'm currently reading Water Wars by Vandana Shiva for inspiration for the third part. I've attached the programs for first two in case you're interested in them. (They're formatted such that they must be printed back to back and then folded together to make a booklet, I hope that doesn't become confusing)The movement work is based on the classical form of Bharatanatyam, but merged with various other traditions into a new form. The language is mostly English, which is a huge handicap, but I have done Silent Seeds for a Hindi-speaking village audience with translation on the side and, as difficult as that is for all involved, it wasn't a total failure. I'm hoping the Nairobi WSF translation groups will be able to help me out a bit.

Help needed in:
1) Funding: A friend is currently trying to find places in Bangalore for me to bring the performance project in order to mobilize funds for travel and expenses. Do you know by any chance of any other ideas I can follow up on or places in India (or even Kenya) that would sponsor performances?
2) Community: I'm looking for
a) groups in India who want to contribute to the general message I will take from here to Nairobi, so I have a coherent idea of the community I'm representing. I'm also trying to find a way to fund a trip to Delhi to attend the Indian Social Forum so I can help connect the two as fruitfully as possible, but even if I can't do that, I'd like to be in touch with the other people going to Nairobi from India.
b) communities in Nairobi who I could visit and convey this message to, especially those working with movement arts, natural farming/healing/building, non-violent creative resistance and/or children's issues (all as part of a child's world). I am hoping to get to Kenya a few weeks before the forum and leave a couple weeks after.
c) people anywhere who could contribute to the performance project in the form of ideas, texts and resources, constructive criticism, and best of all, by joining me to travel and perform as a tribe." --

"It is stupefying that society does not revolt as a unit against the very sound of the word "War"." -Guy de Maupassant

"The objective of Christiania is to create a self-governing society whereby each and every individual holds themselves responsible over the well-being of the entire community. Our society is to be economically self-sustaining and, as such, our aspiration is to be steadfast in our conviction that psychological and physical destitution can be averted."
mission statement, Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen


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