Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State

October 30, 2016

Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto

ASL interpreted / Accessible / All welcome

It's not all we got, but they still can't figure sh*t out...still I worry about you, I do, I worry about you... ~LAL, "brown eyed warrior"

In this stage of the monomyth narrative, the hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in life. All the previous stages of the journey have been moving into this place; all that follow will move out from it. This stage is frequently symbolized by an encounter with someone or thing with incredible power, often conceived of as masculine, through the patriarchal heterosexist imagining of the state. 

In Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters, Syrus Marcus Ware invites you to join in the present moment (after, back then and just before, in the future), wherein the potential directions are seemingly endless, yet also hyper- focused. In this confrontation with the Father State, we move past what we have been training for, and into what we are creating anew. We will move into the prefigurative political dreams we have been working towards. All participants (heroes) will participate in collective struggle that harnesses all the activisms that have come before and that will lead us into the future together. This work will be rooted in the often invisibilized labour behind the scenes, work often done by those on the margins of the struggle. It celebrates the powerful behind the scenes hustle that facilitates–and is its own kind of–direct action. 

Participants (heroes) will create a 36-square metre banner, in four connected pieces. The 4-piece banner will be themed around 4 phrases that guide our heroes journey:

  • Octavia E. Butler's phrase, "Our future is in the stars";
  • Nat King Cole's resistance statement to a white supremacist concert audience, "Some people are just afraid of the Dark";
  • Assata Shakur's famous words, "I believe that we will win";
  • And finally, the relatively ambivalent expression, "What if we don't?" 

Separately the phrases convey hope, fear, confidence and uncertainty. Together they tell a broader story about the decidedly hopeful uncertainty of our current struggle–the struggle against the supremacist state with the future of humanity and our planet in the balance. 

The banner will be gifted to the movement for use in future actions, bringing all participants into the process of supporting this life giving work. As a collective journey, as heroes we are all witness and archive to this behind the scenes labour; and as allies to the struggle for self-determination of all people through the liberation of black people, we are all implicated in the shared risks and responsibilities of this work. 

We will work together, collectively, to create these works and through the process we will meditate on the question, "what if we dont?", perhaps coming up with answers together as we go. For, 'its not all we got'....and we do have each other.

Movement: Training Sessions for Freedom Fighters will be joined by Rhythms of Resistance!

Rhythms of Resistance is a political, samba-inspired band that plays for all kinds of socio-political and ecological causes. We oppose all forms of oppression and use music to demonstrate our opposition and to show solidarity with struggles for social justice. We are part of an international network of Rhythms of Resistance bands and work as a non-hierarchical collective that is queer positive, anti-colonial, feminist, anti-capitalist, and against racism and ableism. We believe everyone is musical.  We actively criticize and confront any form of domination, exploitation, discrimination or oppression and choose tactical frivolity and/or other forms of creative protest as a way to express our rage and indignation… You can hear us on the streets, just come and look for us! For more information check us out on Facebook and Twitter: @RoRToronto 


Wednesday, October 26
OCADU, 100 McCaul Street
FREE / All welcome

Join us for a special pop up pre-performance where we will begin work on the first of the for banners, working with the text "We will win", a key phrase in the Black Lives Matter movement. This performance will be connected to the evening lecture, The Art of Black Lives Matter Toronto, part of the annual Art Creates Change Kym Pruesse Speaker Series at OCADU.

Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1295266590498304/


MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons–both inner and outer–in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.  

Joseph Campbell’s influential book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) prescribes a common pattern to all of the world’s mythic narratives. According to this fundamental structure, the archetypal hero is challenged to embark on a monumental quest. Over the course of the hero’s journey, trials and obstacles must be overcome until a victory is won and the hero returns home with new knowledge about himself and the world. Campbell’s concept of the monomyth (‘one myth’) is a recognizable motif in both ancient mythology and contemporary culture, including film, music, literature, sports, and advertising. A current trend in popular visual culture replaces the male character with a female one, in spite of the fact that our heroine–from the get-go–would make different choices if the conditions, and conditioning, allowed. While each MONOMYTHS stage stands alone, the work of each presenting artist is interdependent and connected. These independent visions, when stitched together through the audience’s collective presence, form an exquisite corpse of a larger experimental narrative. 

The year-long MONOMYTHS project is presented in three sections starting in February 2016 and concluding in February 2017. The series is conceived and curated Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane.

Part 1 (February 3–7, 2016)
Stage 1: The Ordinary World/Call to Adventure
Stage 2: Refusal of the Call
Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
Stage 4: Crossing the Threshold
Stage 5: Belly of the Whale

Part 2 (May 2016–January 2017)
Stage 6: Tests, Allies, Enemies
Stage 7: Ordeals
Stage 8: Atonement with the Father/State
Stage 9: Apotheosis/Journey to the Inmost Cave

Part 3 (February 15–19, 2017)
Stage 10: The Road Back
Stage 11: Refusal of the Return
Stage 12: Mistress of Two Worlds
Stage 13: Freedom to Live
Stage 14: The Return Home


+ MONOMYTHS Limited Edition Perpetual Calendar