Things that came to mind while watching Beware the Dandelions Apr 19, 2015

by Erica Bower Reich

Things that came to mind while watching Beware the Dandelions:

*Space is vital. Space is where we form committed communities, where listening and relating and empathy has real room to breathe and have life. Beware the Dandelions has it's audience experience it's world from within a space-age pod full of whirring visuals and flashing lights, taking a journey that ends with sitting in a dim-lit room, and talking about the world of the audience. Our world that we live in day in and day out. Because the world of the pod is the same as ours, and we need to TALK about it. Not just fear it.
*"The Solution is in the Problem." Quoted from Complex Movements, something so obvious it is rarely considered and deserves to be so plainly stated again, and again, and again...
*Surviving. The tension between the Haves and Have Nots has risen to dangerous levels. We are no longer fighting just for equality or fairness, we are fighting for a right to survive. I was ashamed and appalled to hear of the water shut offs happening in Detroit, the hometown of Complex Movements. The Mayor doesn't believe water is a human right, and has been turning off Detroit resident's water for over a year now. HOW did I not know this? HOW could this STILL be happening?
*Organizing. Last summer, when I still lived in New York City, I had the privileged chance to participate in a workshop hosted by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB)***. The workshop was titled "Understanding and Undoing Racism / Community Organizing Training for Cultural Workers." Big title, big ideas, big workshop, and a huge amount of support around the idea that with the will and effort of organizing, change CAN happen, and our cultures, our ideals and our community CAN survive, even in the world of non-profits arts. This was a huge turning point in my own overwhelmingly pessimistic view of the world and it is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.
*The work Complex Movements is doing, and what Beware the Dandelions presents is something we all need more than anything: empowerment. Beyond hope, beyond scare tactics, is the knowledge that we are empowered to make change happen, just by sticking together and giving ourselves the space to think and speak and listen and WAGE LOVE.

***PISAB has a branch in Seattle, and if you are interested in experiencing one of their incredibly powerful (and what I would consider essential) trainings, reach out to them at