Angry and Outraged, Present and Kind
By Beatriz Escobar, February 2017
When the new administration took office, I found myself in conflicting emotional states, and I could sense that in my friends and communities. The Women's march on Jan 21st provided a landscape of these feelings in the march signs. The phrases that resonated with me the most were the ones that captured the dichotomy of loving feelings with fierce resistance, like the "Assist Love, Resist Fear" quote by artist Nathaniel Russell.
I learned that there is this balance I need to achieve to remain sane: let myself be angry and outraged, hinder normalization; but on the other side be present and kind, trying to do the work that needs to be done with love. The News Mandala was a way to exercise this. We can't avoid the news, and we can't blame ourselves for being outraged. But there's the moment to center ourselves and go out to the world with a strong and positive energy. For me, making art has that power, to connect our body to our soul.
ACTION: RESET YOUR ENERGY WITH A NEWS MANDALA
1) Set aside all news that upset you this week. If online, print them.
2) Using a hole puncher, PUNCH THOSE NEWS.
3) Focus on the images (Trump’s face?). Punch, punch. If you don’t have a hole puncher, use scissors – cut, cut, stab.
4) Now that you released that energy, you are going to reset your balance before you go out to the world do the work.
5) Gather all the pieces and start the construction of a mandala, using a glue stick, on paper or any surface of your choice. Make this a meditative process.
6) Start from the center and work your way around it in circles.
7) Keep going until your mandala feels finished, somewhere around 7 inches diameter.
8) Take a last deep breath and appreciate your News Mandala.
In this work I was inspired by the art collective USCO (The Company of Us) and their uses of mandalic images in meditative pieces.
[100 Days Action is a counternarrative to the Trump administration’s one hundred day plan. A calendar of activist and artistic strategy, 100 Days Action is a call to thinkers, artists, and writers to propose gestures that can be carried out either at home or in the world. Whereas the president’s 100 Days will seek to dismantle restrictions that protect our environment, public education, health, and jeopardize unprotected minority groups, 100 Days Action is a forum for resistance, an artistic coming together, an exercise in endurance, a call to all bodies that stand against bigotry, xenophobia, racism, sexism, and the destruction of our environment to act together.]