Conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.
MONOMYTHS Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters
Syrus Marcus Ware
In this stage of the monomyth narrative, the hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in life. All the previous stages of the journey have been moving into this place; all that follow will move out from it. This stage is frequently symbolized by an encounter with someone or thing with incredible power, often conceived as masculine, through the patriarchal heterosexist imagining of the state.
In Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters, Syrus Marcus Ware invites you to join in the present moment (after, back then and just before, in the future), wherein the potential directions are seemingly endless, yet also hyper- focused. In this confrontation with the Father State, we move past what we have been training for, and into what we are creating anew. We will move into the prefigurative political dreams we have been working towards. All participants (heroes) will participate in collective struggle that harnesses all the activisms that have come before and that will lead us into the future together. This work will be rooted in the often invisibilized labour behind the scenes, work often done by those on the margins of the struggle. It celebrates the powerful behind the scenes hustle that facilitates–and is its own kind of–direct action.
Participants (heroes) will create a 36-square metre banner, in four connected pieces. The 4-piece banner will be themed around 4 phrases that guide our heroes journey:
- Octavia E. Butler’s phrase, “Our future is in the stars”;
- Nat King Cole’s resistance statement to a white supremacist concert audience, “Some people are just afraid of the Dark”;
- Assata Shakur’s famous words, “I believe that we will win”;
- And finally, the relatively ambivalent expression, “What if we don’t?”
Separately the phrases convey hope, fear, confidence and uncertainty. Together they tell a broader story about the decidedly hopeful uncertainty of our current struggle–the struggle against the supremacist state with the future of humanity and our planet in the balance.
The banner will be gifted to the movement for use in future actions, bringing all participants into the process of supporting this life giving work. As a collective journey, as heroes we are all witness and archive to this behind the scenes labour; and as allies to the struggle for self-determination of all people through the liberation of black people, we are all implicated in the shared risks and responsibilities of this work.
We will work together, collectively, to create these works and through the process we will meditate on the question, “what if we don’t?”, perhaps coming up with answers together as we go. For, ‘its not all we got’….and we do have each other.
This event will be ASL interpreted.