What do we do with collective trauma? What do we do with collective fear? How do we transform a culture of panic, into a culture of understanding? More specifically, how do we cultivate and maintain an ethos of peace? To answer these questions and to begin to move into a place of actionable outcomes, it is important to ask exactly what peace includes. While the way one describes peace is different from person to person, most every definition has something to do with ease, and the ability to live without environmental, personal, interpersonal and institutional obstacles or burdens. By definition, peace requires freedom from oppression. Oppression – forms of oppression imposed by both outer forces and inner struggle – are the biggest barriers to freedom in our societies. As ever, it seems that the world is at odds with how to balance the roles of peace and power in our societies, and it remains up to us to determine how we will proceed toward a future that contemporary generations and generations yet to come, can live with.
In this session, artist, activist, educator, and yoga practitioner Cara Hagan offers practices for reaching deep into our collective pathologies related to the perpetuation of inner oppression (internalized racism, sexism, classism) and outer oppression (systemic racism, sexism, classism). Through writing, meditation, movement, and discussion, participants will become familiar with Hagan’s Five Essential Questions, and her inquiry-based method for confronting the ways we oppress ourselves and others, and how we can use that knowledge to foster more inclusive, emotionally and socially sustainable community environments.
Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose work exists at the intersection of movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. She is founder of Small and Mighty Acts, a grassroots civic literacy group in Boone, NC helping citizens to reach their civic potential. Ms. Hagan also serves on faculty at Appalachian State University where she serves as an assistant professor of dance studies. Cara is a certified yoga instructor at the 500 hour level, and uses her practice and teaching to explore our relationships to systemic oppression and generational trauma.
Open to all, aged 16+
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