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Ancient Archetypes

Updated: Mar 7

This project is a spoken word to music personal reflection on my emotional process of getting involved in the environmental justice movement, and especially finding solidarity in ecofeminism. Through my “Cinema, Narrative, and Climate Change '' course I took in January, I found it really fascinating that every story across cultures and time have similar story arcs and especially the concept of character archetypes. I wanted to connect with this ancient storytelling by utilizing three archetypes to represent the beginning, middle, and end of this evolving story of my encounters with environmentalism. According to Brown, “The Shadow [archetype] represents the dark side of a hero’s personality, tempting him toward self-destructive behavior.” I interpreted this archetype as a representation of my fears of taking up an unsatisfying, insignificant job that perpetuates the system causing climate change. Secondly, “Shapeshifters are characters who appear to be something other than who they truly are, such as the femme fatale,” which I resonate with as she is constantly evolving and learning from the women of color leading the ecofeminist movement. Finally, “The trickster [archetype] represents the impulse for mischief,” which I interpreted as the activist getting into good trouble which led me to be very inspired by the messaging of the band Pussy Riot and to create an open ending calling the audience into action. Enjoy!



The moment everyone seemed to have it all figured out: colleges decided, flaws and failures understood, saying final goodbyes to empty locker halls and full childhoods was the moment a certain inconvenient fact shattered the foundation I thought I’d built meticulously, crack by crack until I had to confront myself: can I continue building this endlessly?

Our shadows are the sharpest on the brightest of days when we have no choice to brave the sun's harsh rays. The exponentially increasing heat speaks out to me directly asking if I will rise to the temperature or play pretend productivity? In an air conditioned office job as a blurry no-face, how could I live this lie for the rest of my days? Eleven years and counting is over half of my life. Still the years move fast, do we have enough time? The adults in the room say they’ll follow our generation’s lead, meanwhile I wasn’t even born when they were sowing pollution seeds. Corporations tell me minimizing my carbon footprint makes all the difference, while to an extent their right it’s them creating most of the damage. While it’s important to hold accountability rather than point fingers and blame the only productive question now is how can survivability be saved when non-cis male earthly bodies and minds are being invaded and polluted at the exact same time?

A shapeshifter may change mentally, physically, spiritually, but make no doubt about it the femme fatal knows who she is. I am an ancient being with all the blood of my ancestors from stardust to soil I am learning from our predecessors. As a white queer woman finding solidarity in ecofeminism, I know this work is led by indomitable biodiverse women. Dr. Vandana Shiva with Navdanya, Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement, Varshini Procash with Sunrise, and Indigenous knowledge. This work is a collective celebration of ecocentrism of our queerness, our intersectionalities, flaws, our sexy celestial omnipotence. But the Kodama can lead the way for only so much time until we take matters into our own hands and start a pussy riot.

For the secret to good trouble, consult the trickster charged with hooliganism. She’ll say that sex is great but have you ever smashed the system? It’s that patriarchal capitalist exploitation polluting every gender’s mind. We owe it to the birds and bees to give this fight our best try. Climate fiction narratives teach us that doom and gloom stories aren’t productive but neither are happy endings tied up in a pretty whhite ribbon. So it’s up to us to lead the way and break the generational trope because we know that the opposition wins when we lose hope.




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