Language of Care
In this artist talk and community workshop, three queer feminist artist-organizers from 离离草 Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective shared their previous community-engaged art projects and led a poetry reading and collective dreaming/writing session.
As the afternoon light shifted in the lush Cannoneer Dye Garden, we gathered to talk about community-engaged art, read together, and wrote in response to each other’s words. We read poems written in CAO’s previous collective writing workshops, sharing the weight of the words responding to traumatic social events from the past year. Our voices were joined by the chatter of birds, the swaying sheets of poetry hung between two majestic trees, and the emotional histories we each brought into this space to give the poems new textures of meaning. We took care of ourselves and each other. We meditated, relaxed, stretched our bodies, laughed, took many photos with disposable cameras, and ate a shocking amount of 旺旺仙贝. We feel tremendously grateful for the soil and the living beings that held us, the people who take care of this land as a way of self-care and community care, and all of you who arrived and who will arrive, ready to build a healing and caring space with us.
This is the first time we hosted a collective writing workshop outdoors, and we could feel the energies of language released and taken care of by our surroundings. As we asked each other what care feels like, tastes like, smells like, the trees, the plants, the clouds, the birds and an occasional squirrel were also answering us. We hope to continue exploring more-than-human kinships and affective belonging in the future.
May 6, 2023 @Pratt Institute