Words For 2017

Burn The Old. Create New. Build Community.

Many people do a "word of the year" type thing.

As I reflected on last year and this coming year I decided to do some phrases of the year, and then make a painting about them. 

This is that.

Burn The Old: this is the bottom. By old, I mean old systems and structures that are restrictive and over determining our lives. (Just to be clear, older people are cool, and should be listened to, Outdated systems and structures = Burn them down.)

What do I mean by systems and structures? 

I mean things like the patriarchal white supremacist ideals our country was built with. 

I mean using shame and guilt to motivate people to take specific actions. To spend their money on things they don't need and vote for people who don’t deserve their vote. 

I mean expecting people to fit into a little box of standards that value people only for their ability to endure specific kinds of struggle at work and discarding anyone that doesn’t fit. 

All of these things and more. I need a name for these outdated systems, but I don't know what it is just yet.

Create New: This is the middle. This is the tricky part. How do we create new systems that support everyone instead of just a few? How can we do things in ways that don't manipulate people and treat some as better than others? Many see the current systems are not supportive of everyone but aren’t sure what to do instead. This is because we need to create new ways. It's an uncomfortable place to be, but together we can figure it out.

Build Community: How do we figure out what new systems and structures are needed? By building community and listing to people. Both in person and online. 

We need to listen to our most marginalized members of society and as we help them access what they need, include everyone in how we create our communities. We need to make space for people to share their stories and know they are heard. We need to actively be a part of creating our communities and learn take feedback as we go.

This is the top of the painting. There’s no specific order to follow. This is just what’s going down in 2017.

You are welcome to join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/1398270373522078/

Art, Life, PaintingToday isart, painting, 2017