Unprecedented. It may become one of the most hated words of 2021. Pivot. That’s another one that will make it on my list. Those two words have described what many of us have had to do to survive and cope amidst a global pandemic that none of us were prepared for.
Yet, despite the pandemic, the work to create an equitable world does not stop.
For safety, for community care, for harm reduction, many of us doing this work had to take pause. This space allowed for reflection, redesign, and revision.
Reframing Relations is a CACV program founded by Ronnie Dean Harris and Kelty McKeracher. The program sends Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Artist Facilitators to schools, organizations, companies, and helps participants internalize their understanding of what it means to live here, now. What is their connection to this land? How do they acknowledge it? Does their relationship change when they discover the colonial histories that we all live with? How do we show solidarity, build community, strategize for a better future together?
Reframing Relations is made up of a team of world class artists, committed to doing the work to decolonize, and exploring futurism on Turtle Island. Though our team members have ancestors from across the globe, the program is based on the unceded, traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.
We believe that art is both platform and vocabulary. It is a flexible structure that allows folks to hold space, share their knowledge, and discover their questions in a healthy way. Since its creation the program has delivered over 100 workshops, and the demand was growing until COVID-19 became the pandemic that changed the world.
The team took many months to pivot, and rework the delivery method. Could we do it online? What would that look like? How do we hold space, and care for our participants if they’re feeling triggered? How do we follow up? Can we create a “safe-ish” space when we’re not in the same room? How do we lower barriers so that folks can participate in an online environment? Can we afford to do this?
We believe we were able to answer those questions. Though Reframing Relations took a long hiatus, not only for the team to regroup, but to recognize that schools and organizations needed time to adjust, we piloted our online version this past Fall to great success. We’ve followed up with a few more workshop series this semester, and are looking towards the year ahead.
Whether it’s online, in person, or a hybrid version of both, we’ll be ready. The work demands it, as there’s still so much work to do. There are still so many truths to tell, and futures to design.
Though we’re reaching our capacity through June, we do hold sessions all year round, and always welcome inquiries for questions and bookings. If you’re interested in exploring what Reframing Relations is, or considering bringing it to your community, you can find out more at http://www.cacv.ca/programs/reframing-relations/
You can also reach out to CACV Program Manager, Johnny Trinh: firstname.lastname@example.org