The Art of Ubuntu

Song: ONE VILLAGE by Maggie Wheeler
 

I am because we are. Ubuntu. This Zulu concept of community stands stark against the backdrop of bombings abroad and fear and hatred of “other” at home. Talk of alternative facts and fake news dizzy our days. Disconnection drives the discourse. Why consider the art of ubuntu? To what purpose a painting? What is the point of a poem?

This page features a sampling of a community arts reflection on interrelationship. “The Art of Ubuntu” event was one weekend. The art of interbeing is every day. Painters and poets, dancers and dreamers, singers and stargazers help utter the ineffable, sound the silence, portray the paradox.

Maybe this moves us nowhere. Maybe this moves us everywhere. Maybe being moved is the point. Maybe the point is the beginning of a line, and the line is a long thread through space and time. That tugs at me. And tethers “we”. And steadily sings, I am because we are.
UNTITLED by Susan Krochalk
(Acrylic)

UNTITLED by Susan Krochalk (Acrylic)


SONG & DANCE ARTISTS: ECHOES OF PEACE CHOIR, RYAN FRANE, LYZ JAAKOLA AND HUNTER JAAKOLA, KAKO'S CHOIR, REGINA M. LAROCHE, PEACE CHURCH CHOIR, ONE COMMUNITY/ONE SONG PARTICIPANTS, SARA THOMSEN

ART OF UBUNTU POETRY & SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS: ARE POETRY CREW, GARY BOELHOWER, DEB COOPER, TIM DAVIS, REBECCA DOMAGALA, ANGIE FRANK, PAMELA MITTLEFEHLDT, PENNY PERRY, PAULA LEKATZ ROBINSON, YVONNE RUTFORD, ELLIE SCHOENFELD, GLENN SIMMONS, KYM YOUNG
CHORUS OF TREES by Joel Cooper
Silkscreen Print

CHORUS OF TREES by Joel Cooper Silkscreen Print

Chorus of Trees


The stark bodies
of the trees

as if they were separate beings

are reaching up
into the light

after a spell of darkness

so that the leaves,
at the persuasion
of the wind

take flight,
rising like prayers

or like the notes
of some lost song

a hymn, an anthem
or a lullaby

after a spell of silence.

All the while,
deep within the earth

as if they were one being

ten thousand roots,
entwined

hold fast
to one another.

—Deborah Cooper

Booklet

Booklet

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This commemorative booklet features a sampling of the artwork and poetry from "The Art of Ubuntu" festival held in Duluth, MN. Design by Blackbird Revolt.

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SYRIA by Jon Hinkel                         
Wood & Linoleum Block Print

SYRIA by Jon Hinkel
Wood & Linoleum Block Print

Patriotism


My country is this dirt
that gathers under my fingernails
when I am in the garden.
The quiet bacteria and fungi,
all the little insects and bugs
are my compatriots. They are
idealistic, always working together
for the common good.
I kneel on the earth
and pledge my allegiance
to all the dirt of the world,
to all of that soil which grows
flowers and food
for the just and unjust alike.
The soil does not care
what we think about or who we love.
It knows our true substance,
of what we are really made.
I stand my ground on this ground,
this ground which will
ultimately
recruit us all
to its side.

—Ellie Schoenfeld


ARTISTS FEATURED IN THE UBUNTU EXHIBIT AT ZEITGEISTAJ ATWATER, ALISON AUNE, SUSAN BAKKEMO-BANKS, LAURA BIRNBAUM, SARAH BROKKEJOEL COOPER, RENÁN CRUZ, JEAN DERIDER, MARY BETH DOWNSERIC DUBNICKAC. M. FAITHCARLA HAMILTON, JON HINKEL, SARAH A. HOLST, SUSAN KROCHALK, ELIZABETH KUTH, KATHRYN E. LENZ, STEVEBOYYI MAKUBUYAALBERTA MARANACHRIS MONROE, SUE PAVLATOS, PENNY PERRY, MARY PLASTERTOM RAUSCHENFELS, JEANNE MARIE RIESE, BROCK ROBINSON, BOBBI SAWYER, KATHERINE SKWIRA-BROWN, ADAM SWANSON, IVY VAINIO, MOIRA VILLIARD, LEAH YELLOWBIRD, JAN WISE.