“We must start with the densely entangled core.”– Geoff Mann, Disassembly Required: Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism
FRAY, a community dialogue and guerrilla poetry installation, uses the metaphor of “fray” to evoke the strain we feel as individuals and communities living deeply within an economic system that is fraught with painful realities and contradictions that we must internalize in order to survive. The logic of our system becomes “normal” and unassailable, but we fray, and the earth frays, creating a dense double-bind. There is nowhere to go; whether we choose to or not, we are complicit in the densely tangled core of capitalist consumption from which we are emptying our oceans, warming our earth, and exploiting others to produce our food and clothing. Instead of taking the moral position of capitalism (and humans in general) as “the enemy,” what happens when we stop and look at ourselves? What happens when we feel this double-bind and share this experience with others? What forms and feelings does turning toward our own grief produce? What kinds of expressions might emerge? How can we then share this experience of rage, grief, etc. with others, in a real and vulnerable way?
In order to explore these questions, the project will have the following parts:
1. A group workshop, to be conducted using Joanna Macy’s grief work as a model:
March 16th: beginning at 1:00. End time to be determined by participants. Location to be determined. Led by Stella Reed and Kirsten Mundt
2. Writing/visual process (generated during workshops). These groups, starting with individual participants, will generate a collection of poems to be copied in fragments on small pieces of parchment paper (meant to evoke fragility and impermanence).
3. Guerrilla poetry installation. On April 15th (tax day) or before, each participant will take their collection of poems and will distribute them in public places around Santa Fe (on car windows, shop windows, public parks, taped to park benches, etc.). Papers will all be stamped with (fray) website.
4. Reading of poems in Santa Fe. (Late April). Location to be determined.
In the process of creating and sharing, the verb “to fray” takes on a more empowered meaning, in which the act of sharing pain through public poetry becomes a tool to actively fray the edges of a worn-out system. While the process of accessing pain and frustration could lead to despair, here the act of grieving is seen as a kind of cleansing, in which a group has support to stop ignoring the wound, effectively loosening the “dense tangle” that is fraying communities and individuals. The physical act of creation and distribution is meant to be an act that connects people emotionally through shared knowledge, resources, and action.
Kirsten Mundt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stella Reed: email@example.com