The Oppression Fashion Show 2012: Peace and Justice intern reflection
The sweet tension of waiting for people to arrive combined with the multiple colored lights filling the room, a dream of cold extremities coursing with adrenaline. I, as the door person watching the welcome table, got to say hello to most of the people to the event hopefully making a positive first impression. From my vantage point near the door I’m torn as to what might have been my most memorable experience. Feel as though personally it might have been leaving the safety of my door post to venture into the spot light to lead my activity “Let’s find a write way” but then again it might have been watching my fellow intern perform an impassioned mime to the song “Encourage yourself”. In general however I found the whole show to be an interesting experience.
To me oppression is a negative force that holds people down and away from becoming all that they can truly and positively become because of hate and a desire for power. It’s an unnecessary and unfortunate action that many have taken a part in across a spectrum of ideas. In the fashion show aside from manning the door, my job was to conduct an activity that engaged the audience with writing. The first step being to drain the brain of clutter in an unprompted free write in which once could do anything they wanted. Soon followed by the video “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill for musical inspiration before jumping into a prompted free write where the audience was asked to ponder two questions relating to being a brown person living in a reality of poverty, violence and/or poor education and what were strategies they would use to positively make changes in their lives. I chose this activity because I feel that writing is an important way to express oneself and often in this world people are not allowed to do so in a way that is free from judgment, free from restrictions telling them what to think and how to think. Instead this was an attempt to open up the space for introspective reflection using a powerful tool to get the wheels turning in people’s heads individually and collectively.