“…the most important feature of powerful social movements, is an affirmation of community.”
– From “Young, Brown and Proud: Personal purpose and political activism” by Harsha Walia
Connection requires a crossing of boundaries. It requires seeing one thing in another without disturbance of difference: that old mean thing still snipping at the threads we THE PEOPLE weave when we breach the gap between ourselves and another, when we see ourselves as one. And it seems these days that those who are best at connecting were born to difference, too. With wide focus, they can see it for what it truly is and pass through as if there were no boundary at all—grasping at those other strands with ease and bringing the rest of us gratefully along.
A person who hands themselves over in the service of revealing truth; who gives even their voice in making sure the untold is spoken.
Here in Canada, many still shy away from the basic truth of our colonial history: that European settlers erased the voices of entire populations already living here, stifling the heart of What-We-Could-Have-Been.
Even today reconciliation with this truth sometimes seems little more than a distant hope on the horizon; and yet, there are those who refuse to let such a cause die. Who give even their voices to this truth above all else, and who aren’t afraid to stand up for the many voices which were lost then—voices of healing that we need now more than ever to understand.
At first there’s no warmth. Only the hot black pain of frostbite. Then like a shock, the blankness ends again and I feel my skin start to thaw, my blood slowly pulsing through veins that had almost forgotten how to push it.
To Canadians (and maybe the rest of the world), Western Canada is known for its big trucks, big houses, and big energy. Oil, gas, forestry, renewables…you name it, we make it. But if you were with me at Western Canada Fashion Week’s opening night last night, then you’ll know that the energy doesn’t stop at business—it leaks into our culture, our charisma, and most of all, the minds of the incredible artists calling Alberta and B.C. home.
This review is a personal perspective on Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie, and outlines my own impressions regarding this narrative. There are no spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, don’t worry! If you have, I would love to hear your own reflections in the comments below!