Syria, Gaza, Frances Crowe And A New Direction For Roots2Resistance

Hello to all and gratitude to you for taking the time to read the blog. I honestly do not know how you found the time 🙂 and truly I appreciate it.

I am reporting back to you after completing our 9th Portrait of the Syrian Activist Razan Ghazzawi. We partnered with Syrian Students, Activists and with Underground Syrian Art Collective Masasit Mati to create three Postcards that would support Peace and Justice for the Syrian People. We printed thousands of Postcards and translated them into French, Spanish and Arabic and sent them to Burma, Cameroon, South Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Afghanistan, France, Sweden, DR Congo, UK, Thailand, Mexico, Portugal, Canada and across the US! We continue to raise the funds to print and send to more partners in more places on this Planet and we will continue to support and Partner with Razan and every Community seeking Justice where they live!

SAM_5379SAM_2489

Portrait number ten is a supreme honor for me and is of a Woman who resides in my own Community, the amazing Peace and Justice Activist Frances Crowe of the US.

For any of you who do not know Frances Crowe, she is a Woman who has been on this Planet for more than nine decades and she has been on the  streets for more than fifty years demanding Peace, Justice, Accountability and offering in return Persistence, Hope, Resistance and a Raised Voice. If you ever feel you need a break from the hard news, the grim details of what is being perpetrated on the People of this Planet, spend some time with Frances and you will leave feeling you are not doing enough listening, and must double down your efforts. Frances in her 95th year is alert to every Resistance Movement, every call for Peace, every demand for Justice, she is always there at every rally, every vigil, every film. She has spearheaded organizations like AFSC and the Traprock Peace Center and stood on the forefront of Resistance to Nuclear Weapons and Power Plants here in the US.

1509182_10152089727374806_1575027161_n1-Frances and DC serial killers 4x6_0

The Frances Crowe Portrait is under way and Frances and I will be partnering to create Global Campaigns which will support the Justice work and messaging that she wants to see passed forward into the World. More on how to support that in the coming paragraphs!

A brief word here on a very big shift in this project. Up until now Roots To Resistance has been a project about 12 specific Women that were chosen back in 2009 on the basis of the amazing and often profoundly risky work they were doing in places across the Planet. We have painted many of those Women who were chosen, beginning with Natalia Estemirova from Chechnya and following with Malalai Joya, Chouchou Namegabe, The Zapatista Women, Rebecca Gomperts, Wangari Maathai, Aung San Suu Kyi and Yvonne Margarula. What an amazing list and with so many yet to come. The original plan was to paint the 12 chosen Women and partner with them to create 12 Global Campaigns and to end there with a giant cross country tour in a big bus. But things have been changing…..

Last Summer I was approached by folks who wanted to bring attention to the Resistance Movement in Syria by having a Syrian Activist included in the Roots To Resistance Project. An amazing Activist by the name of Razan Ghazzawi came to the forefront and thus we painted someone not on that list of 12 originals. It felt very right to be creating something in the moment that would and could impact and support a movement so profoundly important and so current and since then I have been doing a great deal of thinking about bending and opening the scope of Roots.

I am starting the walk down a new path of Roots. The new path has no beginning and no perceived end. Perhaps there will be twenty Portraits, maybe fifty. Many names are being nominated every day, as there are so many amazing Activists, so many important campaigns. From here on in we will pick and paint on the basis of the most important Activism and campaigns happening in the World today, and of considerations of the many Women who are being nominated to me as we speak. I am looking for a permanent place to house the Portraits which will become a museum of sorts, but much more. What I do know is that I am currently painting the amazing Peace Activist Frances Crowe. After that I have decided to paint a Palestinian Activist as I have had more than half a dozen Women from Gaza and the Occupied Territories nominated,and because the profound importance of such a campaign is glaring.

Not to worry folks! I will be painting Vandana Shiva and Marina Silva. Their time is near as well 🙂

So that is where Roots To Resistance is heading. A more permanent fixture with more flexibility and a lot more Portraits! I will be honest folks, I am going to need serious help 🙂  The Postcards, The Printing, The mailings, I cannot tell you how successful, how connective and important they have become. We make do on very small Funds from many generous folks but we can increase that outreach with a bit more support. This is a small project and it is never meant to become big or blockbuster. Part of the magic is in it’s small scope and I want to keep it so, but I want to stretch and reach a little further. To do this and to find a permanent space for this project I will be hosting some Fundraising Events this Fall. I will be doing an event which will include Film, Art, Wine Tasting and Fall Harvest Foods and I am gearing up for an Indiegogo campaign as well. More on all the details as they arrive.

In the meantime if you want to help us start plugging with our Frances Crowe Campaign you can support us here: Roots Support

Please know I am grateful to all of you who have supported this project, the Women and the Campaigns. Thanks so much for taking the time. ❤

Denise/Roots

Advertisements

Malalai Joya Visits! Our Food For Thought Event and Our New Work Together!

Two weeks ago we were profoundly honored with a visit from Roots Activist Malalai Joya. For those who do not know her, Malalai is one of the most important Peace and Justice Activists working in Afghanistan today. She tirelessly resists the War and Occupation, attacks on Women’s Rights, violence, corruption and warlords who have been handed authority over townships and Communities in Afghanistan.  As many know she has survived 7 assassination attempts not to mention a constant wave of aggression coming from those that she stands against. It would be easy to caricature her as fierce and fearless, a mythical Super heroine, after all , she is called the bravest Women in Afghanistan. That she is. However,  Malalai Joya like so many Activists is more than just her Activism,  she is a Mother, a member of her Family and Community, and a citizen of Afghanistan. She worries, faces many fears and feels the weight of a path that is chosen but very difficult. I feel very lucky and honored to call her a friend. She is profoundly kind, gracious, loving, likes to be silly, and yes she is fierce, strong, and profoundly effective at moving mountains. We spend a lot of time checking in about the challenges when I see her but also we laugh a lot. She amazes me. I feel exhausted from doing 5 events in a couple weeks while she speaks in a different state every night for months at a time. When she is at home she must stay in a different safe house every night because of the danger to her and to her Family. Can you imagine her concern for them? For her son?

Image      Image

When she was here Malalai Joya and I had some time to talk about and work on the details of an additional Postcard campaign that will support her aims. We currently send Postcards that we created with Malalai demanding an end to the war and occupation in Afghanistan, around the World. The Postcards are pre-addressed to President Obama and the White House and a stream of them are sent each month from many corners of the Globe. Malalai and I are now creating an additional Postcard and Street Postering campaign to raise funds for a film she is working on called, A Woman Among Warlords. The film is a very important one, as it will be informing a World Community about the real truths and realities of the past and present Afghanistan through interviews and conversations with Malalai and with spoken experiences of the People, Families and Communities inside of Afghanistan. The film is important for many reasons but the ones Malalai sites have to do with bringing attention to Afghanistans forgotten People and bringing their true realities, their truths, to all.

The new Postcards bringing support for this Film, will be available this week so please be in touch if you would like to disperse some.

Malalai Joya is someone who deserves profound respect and the consideration of your support , and I pass on her gratitude to you for that.                                                          The link below will allow you to directly support Malalai and her new film:                               http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/malalai-joya

To learn more about how to support Malalai Joya please visit the site of her Defense Committee: http://www.malalaijoya.com/dcmj/

A great article written about the event by local media Organization Orangeink: http://orangeinkeducation.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/the-first-demand-of-my-people-is-justice-malalai-joya-comes-to-food-for-thought-books/

 Click here To learn more about the Roots To Resistance Project

Image

 

My Experience Inside Roots To Resistance

Hello to my loyal group of Blog followers! Apologies for the long break between now and my previous blog as I have been ferociously painting away in my efforts to complete the Portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi! I am thrilled to say that her Portrait is done and pictured below!
So, this blog will be dedicated to giving a brief little peek into what I am doing in the months between beginning a new Portrait and it’s corresponding campaigns and those final days when I post the pictures declaring “The Portrait is done”.

How do these Paintings start? Do I have them mapped out ahead of time? Most definitely not. They build slowly, like a puzzle I am creating as I go,image off of tiny image, I fit the puzzle pieces in one by one. Perhaps the whole Portrait starts with one tiny butterfly as it did in Aung San Suu Kyi’s and then explodes forth from there. That said, the Portraits have common threads. All of the Women stand in the center of their Portraits generally surrounded by other images that define and support them and their work, their lives, their feelings and mine. I paint all of this directly on the eight foot wooden panels and in greater part on pieces of paper which are then collaged onto the wood(the puzzle pieces). The Natural World plays a central role in every Portrait, for both the Women who are profoundly linked to Nature as well as those who may not think of themselves this way. As many know, I do not believe we can have wholly successful movements of any kind with out a full intimate partnership with the Plants, Rocks and Creatures of this Planet and so the Nature is there to support the Women and it is there because it means so much to me. I am an avid Woods walker and hiker and spend some part of every day out on the trails. Many of the things I see there end up in this work.

My materials: wood, pencils, acrylics, watercolor paint and paper, lots of paper. I work standing at my studio table, the same one that the amazing Tammy Stacy built for me 16 years ago. I try to paint 8-10 hour days four times a week and one or two 4-6 hour days.

The rest of my efforts are directed toward researching the Histories of the places where these 12 Women Activist are doing their work, understanding the issues and the challenges they are addressing and listening to the people intimately involved so that I may come to understand a way that Roots To Resistance can support this work and support the voices of these Communities. In my last campaign for Aung San Suu Kyi this meant reading everything I could find written about Burma, its History, the History of Aung San Suu Kyi, and most importantly the History of the over 100 different Ethnic Peoples living there. It meant a lot of emailing. Thousands upon thousand of emails were sent out to People who have lived and worked in Burma. People with a great deal of knowledge about Burma and most importantly Indigenous People living in Burma and experiencing the challenges first hand. As always language plays a part in the challenges faced in corresponding with People in many places on the Planet. I do not speak Burmese or any of the other 100+ Indigenous languages spoken in Burma so I depend humbly and gratefully upon those who speak English and can bring these questions to their Communities. These are the People that make these campaigns possible.

Being that I am a White Woman from the West I have stumbled into predictable ways of thinking about change, being helpful, concepts of victims and perpetrators and conflict resolution, but I am learning and listening and noticing. I recently noticed how this came into play as I was trying to grasp the changing landscape within Burma and how it was affecting Indigenous minority groups there. ( For those like me who hear the phrase ‘Ethnic Minority’ groups so often that the words loses meaning, it is a good practice to remember that these are groups of Indigenous People who belong profoundly to the places that they live>In Burma Indigenous groups prefer to be called Ethnic Nationals)   I had been for many weeks deducing that the main issue in Burma that needed addressing was the physical violence being perpetrated against many Indigenous minorities in Burma, particularly the Rohingya People who recently had an entire village burned to the ground. From my outside view this was the pressing issue and it is certainly of profoundly critical importance, but there is such a complex web of issues which support such violence.When I began to read more reports written by Youth Workers who lived in these Communities  I found that time and again they felt that the main issue to be addressed was the violence of complete non inclusion. Most Ethnic Indigenous People in Burma are not even given the most basic rights to participate in decisions about their Homes, development on their Lands and about the resources which belong to their Lands and to them. These are the pressing issues that they feel separate them from any possible dreams of a Democratic Burma, as the race for resources, gas, dams, rubies(yes rubies Burma has more than anyone else) races toward them. So I think we have a Postcard Campaign here and I am grateful to the Youth Workers for speaking their truths and for translating them into the one language I can read. *Gratitude*

I hope I have given my friends and followers enough of a peek. I paint, hike, sketch little ideas in my tiny idea books, research and more research, and go through my daily meditations about how to keep calm about funds and little by little keep raising money for this project.

To clarify: Why do I sometimes use the word *we* when I speak about the Roots To Resistance Project? Most people know that the Art, research, and Global Campaigns contained in this project are created by me, Denise Beaudet the Artist. This much is true. However the Roots To Resistance Project is powered by so many People. The 12 Women Activists who’s work inspired this project, the People I correspond with around the Globe who help me to understand histories and issues, the Organizations who partner with Roots To Resistance to bring Postcards and Street Posters across the Planet, the People who translate these materials into the languages of the World, the People who have helped me with fundraisers and funds, and my much loved Friends and Family who have supported me through years of Roots To Resistance events and milestones. WE!

I am happy to answer any questions anyone may have about this project and I would be *very* grateful to receive feedback, ideas, brainstorms and offers of help:)

Please pass this on to others if you have enjoyed it because it makes me smile when People join my blog 🙂                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For more information on this project: http://www.denisebeaudet.com/  or email me at invisible_earth@yahoo.com

Aung san is done!

Some Of The Most Important Organizations From Around The Planet! Our Roots To Resistance Partners!

In these final days of 2012, which have been beautiful, difficult and indeed heartbreaking for many across our wonderful and complex little Planet, I would like to present to you a group of Organizations doing the work of the People, Plants and Creatures. These are our Partner Organizations. Our Partners help us to bring the Histories, stories, challenges and triumphs of our Roots To Resistance Activists by bringing our Postcard and Street Postering Campaigns to People across many Communities. They are truly doing amazing work and I assure you that if you give the list a few minutes of your time you will be grateful, uplifted and hopeful. Please consider giving your support to one or several below that you may feel especially moved by. Much Gratitude.

Click on the Org to visit the website:

The Greenbelt Movement-Africa, Uk and US

Sacred Land Film Project-Berkeley, California

Greenaid Seedbombs-L.A, US

Urban Reforestation-Melbourne, Australia

Kai Food For New Zealand-New Zealand

Pon Leary Foundation-Siem Reap, Cambodia

Greenbelt Movement-Nairobi, Kenya

AWID-South Africa 

Imagine Philanthropy-U.S.

African Gender Institute

Youth Human Rights Movement-VoronezhRussia

Jeanette Rankin Peace Center-Montana, U.S.

Defense Committee For Malalai Joya-Canada/Afghanistan

Stop The War Coalition-London, U.K.

N.O.W-Seattle/Washington D.C, U.S.

The Freedom Shop-New Zealand

STITCH-U.S./Guatemala

Artists for Recognition and Acceptance, Kenya

Intrahealth International-N. Carolina, U.S.

Albuquerque Center For Peace and Justice-U.S.

South End Press-NYC, U.S.

Prisoners Literature Project-Across the U.S.

SOS Femmes En Danger-D.R.Congo, Africa

Valley Vday/Vagina Monologues-International

Northampton Community Clinic, U.S.

YEAGHANA-Ghana, Africa

Mujeres Libres-California, U.S.

People’s Free School-California, U.S.

Truthout-U.S.

Global Sisterhood Network-Victoria, Australia

A.P.E Unlimited-Northampton, U.S.

Trouble Puppet Theatre-Texas, U.S.

STPEC-University Of Massachusetts-U.S.

Judy Kibinge, Filmaker-Kenya, Africa

Portland Books To Prisoners-Oregon, U.S

Media Island-Washington, U.S.

Opal Free School-Oregon, U.S.

Kubatana Trust-Zimbabwe, Africa

Monkeywrench Books-Texas, U.S.

Art Department, Georgia College, U.S.

Northampton Committee To Stop The Wars-Northampton, U.S.

Grrrl Zines A Go Go-California, U.S.

AFEM-D.R. Congo, Africa

The Enviro Show-Florence, U.S.

World Pulse-International 

Intercontinental Cry-Winnipeg, Canada

Rabble.Ca-Ontario, Canada

ACTWomen-Belgrade, Serbia

The Labratory Of Insurrectionary Imagination-London, U.K.

Briarpatch-Regina, S.K, Canada

GreenRightNowTexas, U.S.

Organic Consumers Association-Minnesota, U.S.-

Native Observer

Resources For Organizing And Social Change-Maine, U.S

Optical RealitiesPennsylvania, U.S.

Atlantic Regional Solidarity NetworkNew Brunswick, Ca.

Buntport Theatre-Denver, Colorado

Rosinah Masilo-Rakgoasi-Social/Environmental Support Services-Gaborone, Botswana-

Centro de Información y Documentación Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género-Mexico City, Mexico

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas-Chiapas, Mexico

London Mexico Solidarity Group-London, UK

Marie Stopes ClinicChiapas, Mexico

ALRANZ-Wellington, New Zealand

Family Planning Association-Bombay, India

Radical Women-Seattle, Washington

Housmans Bookshop-London, U.K.

Feminist Alliance Of Louisville-Louisville, Kentucky

Green Left Weekly-Sydney, Australia

Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre-East London, South Africa

Center for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema

News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop-London, U.K.

Alliances for Africa-Lagos, Nigeria

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum-N.Y.C, U.S.

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement-Suva, Fiji

Jane Addams BookshopChicago, U.S.

Peoples Health Movement-Abomey Calavi, Bénin

PeaceWomen Across the Globe-Bern, Switzerland

My Hero Foundation-Laguna Beach California

Soliton-Los Angeles, California

Free Dimensional-N.Y.C, U.S.

Groundswell Journal Of Art and Activism-Massachusetts, U.S.

Greatmore StudiosCape Town, South Africa

KioskoSanta Cruz, Bolivia

Amiguitas LatinasChicago, U.S

Triangle Arts-NYC, U.S.

Xerces Foundation-Portland, Oregon

To support the Roots To Resistance project please visit: http://www.denisebeaudet.com/support/index.htmlwangari

Roots To Resistance>How Does Art Happen.

Hello and welcome to my second Roots To Resistance blog posting!

Although this blog will be used to report on the news of the Women and Partners of Roots To Resistance, it has been suggested to me that sharing some personal thoughts and experiences about my Art should also make frequent appearances in my posts. So here is a brief collection of thoughts about my process of making Art.

Hmmmmm this is not as easy as it may seem. I don’t usually talk much about this part of the work, which is kind of ridiculous because in essence it is the work. So here it goes…..

The 3 important steps to staying sane and creating Art that makes me happy:

1. Go out in the World and get inspired, curious, angry, sad, reverent, awed and of course filled with joy. I guess this an obvious one but I can’t work well if my fuel tank is empty so I have to constantly remind myself to separate from the Art which is always calling me to it. I have to go out in the World and remember what life is, since that is what I am ultimately painting. To do that I always start with the woods and find a way to get in to them every day. This is where I find the awe, the curiosity, the reverence, joy and sometimes of course there are painful things to see out there too. Little creatures suffering like we do when things go wrong or perhaps when things simply take a difficult course. I do not have an idealists love of nature, there is pain out there but there is a profound grace which calms and feeds me. This is where I remember how life works at its core and where I am reminded about the deep and necessary partnerships inside of nature.This nature holds a small place in it for us all. It is always there every day, it is waiting. So when I work I am always tying us and the 12 Women I am painting to those partnerships and to the creatures and plants inside of it because I feel that they are the spirits and the spirituality that we so desperately need and seek.

Of course I do not spend all of my time in the woods and find so much of what I need in the company of those I love. I am blessed with a lot of close connection and deep rooted companionship. Simply leaving the Art for the day and laughing in the company of such friends fills the tank. No laughing=bad Art 🙂

2. Look at as much Art as is humanely possibly. Art can be so much like cooking for me. If you stay lost in your own World for long enough you are just making the same stir fry every day, it is a really yummy stir fry but it is beginning to become a very unexciting meal. For me Art is about mixing my old and well established ideas and imagery with brand new ideas, the ones that I am not sure work just yet. Those moments are the relished ones, the risky ones and the ones I am working for every day. Art is everywhere. In the obvious places like galleries, studios and on the streets, but my preferred avenue for doses of brilliant Art when I can’t find it in person is from books. I am in love with books and in love with what they offer me. They offer an intimate and endless supply of beautiful, unexpected, unique and awe inspiring images and ideas, they offer a seat on a huge round the World Art expedition that I can jump into anytime, day or night. So again this is about refueling and keeping the intimate balance between what I am putting out and putting forth in the work and what I am taking back in. When I forget about the balance, when I forget about being full of the big beauties, curiosities and intensities then my Art suffers and I suffer. So I try not to forget.

3. The last part of the process is transforming all of this intake into Art that is uniquely part of my language, my voice and my imagery. I think that is what we all want as Artists, to make Art that is new, to invent a new language about something that we have all been trying to speak about and to paint about but in ways that are uniquely ours. For my part I am trying to speak the language of intuition, connection and deep, deep feelings. So I am often taking ideas, pictures and emotions from the woods, books and loves and putting them through the Denise filter where they pop out on the other side as mini explosions of snakes, plants, fists, bones, bats cocoons, open mouths and hearts exploding with weeds and forks. The ideas and feelings fly out of eyes, ears, mouths, hands, ribcages, beaks and sacrums and they are meant to represent things in an intuitive manner. So it is ok for you to ask me to explain them in a language made up of words, but the description will not even come close to what is happening in the language of Art and intuition.They are meant to be moving, connecting, calming, turbulent, heartbreaking and joyful. I hope that they provide some of this for you.

This is a small window into the more personal Artistic process that I am trying to bring to the Women I am painting in the Roots To Resistance project. I hope it has been helpful and a bit interesting. There are so many other pieces that enter into the process of painting these Women> The narrations of their experiences, their Activism, their feelings, their struggles and my reactions to all of this. I hope to weave more of this personal story along side of my reporting on the 12 Women, our Partner Organizations and the progress and directions of the Roots Project.

The next post will be a spotlight on one of our Partner Organizations and some updates about the amazing Activist Natalia Estemirova. Thank You so much for your time and please consider subscribing to this blog!

Sincerely Denise/Roots To Resistance                                                     https://roots2re.wordpress.com/                                                                                          http://www.denisebeaudet.com

Birth Of The New Roots To Resistance Blog!

Hello and WELCOME to the new Roots To Resistance Blog!

Roots To Resistance is a project of Public Art, Activism and Global Connections. Roots To Resistance is sharing the stories, voices, and critically important work of 12 International Women Activists, with people and Communities across the entire Globe using: large scale painted portraits, Global Postcard and Postering Campaigns and traveling Community installations and Performances. We are linked with over 80 International Organizations which partner with us to spread the words and materials of the Roots Project.

If you are not familiar with this project please visit our website: www.denisebeaudet.com to learn more about the Art and about the 12 amazing Women Activists we are portraying.

The Roots To Resistance Blog has been created so that we can share the ongoing work, challenges, campaigns and triumphs of the Women Activists of Roots To Resistance. The blog will also be used to spread the news of and create connections between our more than 80 Partner Organizations which are located across the Globe.

The blog will also seek to explain and describe the internal landscape of my experiences as an Artist, Researcher and Activist. To share with you the everyday actions, intimacies,  and lovely connectivity involved in the Painting of these 8 foot Portraits of 12 Amazing Women and the creation of the Postcards and Street Posters that support their work and the aims of this project> Engaging, Connecting and Empowering Global Communities.

This blog will be written and used with our busy lives in mind. The entries will be short, inspiring, easy to read/browse and not a platform for me to prattle:) Connection, Inspiration and Engagement will be the goals of the Roots Blog, stay tuned for my first real update in the coming days!

Sincerely Denise Beaudet/Roots To Resistance