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The River Composes Us In Concert Together

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Saturday, October 3, 2020,
11am - 12pm

Meet at the Riverside Ave Bridge
Santa Cruz, CA

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Join a socially distanced, outdoor performative public “hearing" hosted by Laurie Palmer, Beyond the World's End exhibiting artist and professor in the UC Santa Cruz Art Department.

Laurie will be joined by co-organizers of the event from local groups The Anxiety Caucus, The Prefiguration, Pleasure and Play Group, Abolition Ecology Walking Tours, the Ecosocialist Working Group, and the Love Boat.

Join Laurie in sharing and recognizing the harm enacted against your well-being and connection to the environment due to the privatization of property. The goal of these "hearings" is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of what is common among us, who constitutes that “us”, and to promote values that recognize and amplify what is shared rather than what is privately owned and controlled.

These performances will flow with the movement of the San Lorenzo River, testifying to the pressures, stresses, and anxieties we feel because of the way private property has separated us from each other and stolen our common ground.

Meet at the Riverside Avenue Bridge in Downtown Santa Cruz and we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes as most of the event will be mobile and outside.

If you'd like to contribute to this dialogue send in a transcript (2 minutes max) of your testimony, or an audio recording. Laurie will be curating the contributions to create a dialogue – but will publish all the contributions on her website after. Anonymity is fine, or you can say your name, or you can identify yourself in any way that might contribute context for your testimony. You can send your testimonies to: ecosocialism@dsasantacruz.org

Laurie Palmer

Artist, Professor

Laurie Palmer

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This discussion is heightened by our incredible need for social networks rooted in care and response-ability in our society. Huge unemployment rates, weak public health infrastructure, millions without insurance amid a pandemic, state violence against BIPOC and poor bodies, rampant fossil fuel extraction, environmental deregulation through global climate change, and a profit-driven housing market allowed to run havoc in a city with the highest rate of houseless people in the nation.

On top of all of this and more, our very anxieties and other difficult feelings are also privatized—we are expected to keep our fears, dreads, terrors, furies, and despairs to ourselves. To deal with them personally, as if they were our own to solve and not effects of the travesties of racialized capitalism and privatization; or we are incited to channel our feelings into social media echo chambers where they largely remain individualized, depoliticized, surveilled and monetized.

Share your testimony and speak to the ways in which private property has created unlivable, degrading, and isolating conditions that deny our basic and common needs. Share testimonies about housing, food, health, education, jobs as these issues reflect on the violence of privatization seizing our commons. Feel free to include testimonies from non-humans as well, translated to language or other sonic forms, about the stresses of pesticides, of fossil fuel and other extractions, of drought, heat, of neglect and humiliation, of being deemed expendable. Share testimonies to de-privatize and de-monetize our anxiety, to make it public, shared, collective, political – and to allow the flow of the river to bring us together while reaching across the distances that separate us.

This is the first in a series of Multispecies Tribunals that will unfold as a series of public events in which a broad spectrum of human and non-human witnesses will be invited to present evidence of harm enacted against our common by private property.

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