This month, we’ve been reflecting on the key ideas and methods that The Laundromat Project holds close to heart, and that have guided our practice as an organization over the past 15 years. This is a time of great uncertainty, but we also see inspiration in the form of resistance and movement building. How are LP practices—making art, building community, and creating change—put into play when faced with new challenges? We’ve been wondering: how does concept affect strategy, and meditation inform action? And who better to ask than the artists we’re in community with and working alongside through our Create Change program.
We talked with a few current Create Change Fellows in response to the question:
“What’s a lesson you’ve learned about community building, adaptability, and resilience in your practice over the past few months?”
Since we’ve been called (in this storm of a year) to respond to the unexpected, we are thinking about how we can reframe this moment for ourselves and our community at large as a time to re-center in order to bring a clearer, more intentional collective vision to our futures.
“I paint and spend a lot of time in my head. For me, these past few months reminded me that humility is necessary. My community work is now, more than ever before, conversations with my family and loved ones. Community work means different strategies and personalities. Humility encourages listening and receives feedback well. It also makes adaptability easier, because a humble spirit doesn’t dwell on hurt. At least that’s how it works in my life. I’m very proud, so staying humble is necessary for me to move forward with generosity and keep working on my contributions to this revolution. I have spent my past few months learning this from LP artists and I am so grateful for that opportunity.”
“I have learned several lessons that have expanded my practice and work: I learned that community-building can exist within yourself on a cellular level as the systems within your body come together to combat or prevent the invasion of a lethal virus, and it can simultaneously exist outside of yourself with fellow artists, family, and friends coming together with fury and resilience to face systemic racism and inequality. I have expanded my understanding of adaptability and resilience by studying nature, specifically spiders and plants, to learn new regenerative ways of existing and creating; observing how they adjust to disruptions, and create space or resources for themselves. I have taken those lessons and understood that it has always been possible to have a practice that is fair and equitable towards all beings and bodies, but it’s that many non-Black people and institutions have pretended they don’t know how, or never had to be forced like they are now. In the process of watching this truth be confirmed, the resilient and fair are floating to the top, my practice has felt strengthened, and I have been able to identify new individuals who I can build with.”
“2020 has emphasized how vital it is to nurture love and patience for ourselves, and for those just now joining us in this work. Witnessing how neighbors and strangers alike choose to contribute, in however small a way, to healing the collective wound reminds me that this recovery is not a sprint but a marathon. That it will take learning resilience beyond any one moment or year, but learning it to sustain the life blood of our communities generation after generation.”