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On Creativity and Solidarity in Times of Conflict
Too many days in our world call for moments of solemn reflection, shared grief, and renewed calls for peace. This past week, like many before it, has been full of those days.
I don’t know what it’s like to live in a war zone or survive occupation and genocide. In that sense I have nothing, truly, to say. Certainly, I can’t articulate or even approximate the pain felt in Israel and Palestine today.
Know that if you have felt alone while absorbing the trauma of this moment, I’m here with you.
That if you or your family or your friends are impacted, I mourn with you.
And that if you find yourself targeted, I’ll stand with you.
I’ll offer just these quick thoughts on creativity, compassion, and solidarity in times of conflict:
If you feel the pain of others in your body, acknowledge it, ground yourself, pray if that’s your thing or speak to the universe, breathe, and recommit to building a more liberated world.
Be wary of misinformation and scrupulous about the sources of information you consume.
Continue to create with a fierceness, in the hopes that creativity for its own sake feeds the sum total of peace and joy in the world.
Honor the full humanity of others. Look folks in the eye to acknowledge their pain and their wholeness.
Keep loving, keep fighting.
I’m against all violent repression. I mourn for the lives lost in Israel and Palestine. I condemn terrorism and antisemitism and state-sanctioned military violence.
And I call for an immediate stop to the genocide, forced relocation, and occupation in Palestine.
I am afraid of saying these things publicly, though I think they are right and just. Like some of y’all, I’m concerned about saying the wrong thing. Of hurting others. Of being misunderstood.
But though my comments are not rooted in personal experience, they are informed by a lifetime of activism, deep study, sociological training, and a commitment to the human connection cultivated through art and creativity.
Everything I’ve learned in these areas tells me that it’s our responsibility, as artists in times of war, to take care of ourselves and others, to bear witness, to stand with the most oppressed, and to do everything in our power to fight for a more just reality where more people can engage in play, and dance, and the making, rather than destroying, of things.