I was having a difficult time coming up with a theme for this week’s post. If you read last week’s post, I was bummed out over weeks of grey, cold and rain, with very little sun, as well as the disheartening news coming out of the US. This week we’ve seen more of the same weather – grey, cold and rain almost every day. And unless you’ve been living under a rock (which I’m seriously considering), we’ve been bombarded by even more alarming and crazy news from south of the border. I took a (social) media break last night to attend an event and wow, am I ever glad I did.
Nokee Kwe is an education and employment centre here in London. One of its programs, I’m proud to say run by a graduate of one of Western Education’s Master’s programs (I work in the faculty), is called +Positive Voice. This program “is an innovative pilot program that supports the development of +positive narratives and +positive community connections by urban Aboriginal women, 18 years and older, who are experiencing a transition to employment or education” (from their web site: http://nokeekwe.ca/positive-voice/#about). It provides a safe haven for Aboriginal women to share their good and bad stories, form positive bonds, and help each other heal while also developing useful job skills.
Last night, we got to see some of the fruits of their labours. It was the opening night of their exhibit, “Warrior Womyn” “Reclaiming our identity,” celebrating the creative works of the first two groups to complete the +Positive Voice program. I didn’t take a lot of photos as I want to encourage my friends to go see the exhibit for themselves, and not spoil it. It runs at the Museum of Archaeology until March 28th, but those of us who attended the opening were treated to songs, drumming, poetry, and some courageous and inspiring words from some of the participants.
Here are a few photos to whet your appetite, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. What is not pictured is some beautiful photography, which you know I enjoyed! Some of these photos they have made into postcards that you can purchase for $1 each, the proceeds going back to support the program.
I really encourage you to take some time to check this out if you live in the London area or will be passing through before March 28.
Here is the URL for the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/740140036162081/
And here is the event flyer:
This is a departure from the sorts of posts I usually write. It’s very text-heavy and the photos are not typically of the type I would share on the blog. They were taken in a hurry, with only the thought of possibly posting them on my personal Facebook page. However, I’m happy to switch things up to promote this event. I knew I would enjoy the opening and suspected I would hear some words of inspiration, and I was not disappointed. For those who go see the exhibit going forward, you will still find words of courage and inspiration, as each of the displays is accompanied by commentary from the participant. It would be a wonderful event, celebrating the success of the program and its participants, at any time. However, I am particularly grateful to have enjoyed such a wonderful diversion after another dreary week weather-wise, and being bombarded by absurd and sometimes frightening news. I am grateful to have had the chance to fill up on positivity!
All images by me; copyright Tina Beynen, 2017.