I am very glad and grateful that four of my pieces from A Complex Grief are included in Victoria Arts Council’s magazine ‘Until 5‘ which engages with the theme of memory. Here is an excerpt from the foreword:
“In the following pages, there is a surprising array of interpretations to the theme of Memory. Some artists are ruminating on geographic memories (both pleasurable and painful) while others look to the memory of objects through social and personal histories. Memory becomes tangible through stories, poems, and other artworks both lived and imagined here; these memories become touchstones for past atrocities while signaling the wellspring of hope for future possibilities.”
For me ‘memory’ is a timely theme. I am familiar with the personal effect of history’s generational wounds. These are often active below the surface and never fully called into the open even though they affect the present profoundly. Today, through the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as enormous turmoil, there is tremendous change being released through the breaking open of deep wounds and long memories. Wounds that are hidden come to the surface to heal, that is what I have learned and that is what I hope is happening in our world today.
The foreword for ‘Until 5’ includes a call for us to work for a more compassionate future in this time of upheaval:
Here in Victoria, this past Sunday nearly 10,000 citizens took to Centennial Square to protest in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement in support of anti-racist actions.
The killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by Minneapolis police officers will have ramifications. Already that city has taken steps towards disbanding their police force in order to invest in community-based public safety programs. This will have ripple effects around the world. What has become crystal clear is that Canada is not immune from our own histories of injustice and so we must remember going forward, together, that we can be better and we must be better.
While we are thrilled you’re taking the time to read this very special issue of UNTIL… we also urge our non-BIPOC readers to take stock of how you are addressing the various ways we all contribute to the ongoing racial and social inequalities in our own neighbourhoods and City, and more importantly what measures can be taken to address this systemic problem.
Take time to educate yourself on these racial inequalities by listening to those who face them.
Speak up when you see it happening, in the workplace or on the street. And if possible, donate to one of the many organizations helping to fuel the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember, all lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter.