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The myth project

This practice is about working with local storytellers and residents to write and visually interpret new mythologies that aim to reclaim and decolonize the accepted origin and outcomes of our bodies and cities.

Beginning with a 1 on 1 or intimate group story session, I work with others to turn a story about their lives, bodies, neighborhoods, or cities into an original myth. Afterwards, I build the world of the myth and document the storytellers within it. AfterWorking with others to tell our stories from our own cultural references, playfulness, and dreams, I have seen the reflection of this healing. I see this as a vehicle to process collective grief, joy, to give space to cultural memory.

The project has not yet been presented publicly, and is currently a four year long collection of audio, written mythologies, photography and footage of each myth, with multiple artistic interpretations of the new myth from other local artists.

Presentations of this work may take the shape of a book, immersive exhibitions, and public offerings like workshops and community dinners.

Below are an outline of the process and a sneak peak of some of the work.

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These creatures are created from a combination of sculpted, molded, and cast silicone and foam latex prosthetics, alcohol paint, and organic materials.

"tamah. the foremother of children returning from exile."

 

reclaiming ourselves, our mothers, and our children from cycles of abuse.

sneak preview

Storyteller: Tamah Yisrael

Original topic: Escaping generational cycles of abuse / finding oneself

This myth tells the origin story of a celestial diety, who rules a small planet closest to the sun. As a young girl in her human life, she never felt she fit in. Her mother--who acted as her angel and confidant-- told her: "you are different. you are special. embrace it." As sweet as her mother was, the girl watched her over the years battle with abusive relationships. Later, as the young girl grew to be a young woman, she too faced the wrath of abuse, until shortly after her mother's death, she couldn't take it anymore. She claimed a new faith and a new name: Tamah- the foremother of children returning from exile.

In the afterlife, she soon learns that the name was not newly chosen- it was always hers. It was always her destiny to embrace her difference, her full celestial self, and rain gold onto the hands and ears of exiles still on earth, who would soon find her and be all they never got to be. 

"the pain of many lives"

understanding schizophrenia as indigenous rite of passage 

sneak preview

Storyteller: Santi Castro

Original topic: Schizophrenia

This myth centers a celestial being who is approached by divinities while embodying Quetzalcoatl on their home star. The divinities prophesize that their next mission is to visit earth to help generations of humans transmit and understand their generation suffering. The being is told that they will know when they are soon to return to their star when they are on their last human life, during which they will feel and experience the lives of all their human manifestations at once.

excerpt from original story session
00:00 / 03:07

with Santi Castro & Maya Pen

Origins of Narcolepsy
Sneak preview

 Version 2 - photographed by Kenzi Crash

This myth tells the story of a mother on her death bed, desperately trying to tether her soul to her human body so that her daughter will have a chance to say goodbye. Just as her daughter is arriving, however, her soul ascends, and she begrudgingly finds herself before the Goddess of death. She begs the Goddess for five extra minutes on earth to spend with her daughter. The Goddess grants her wish, but not without warning her of the sacrifice she is making; the unending years of restlessness to come for her future lineage, who would always feel in between dimensions. 

excerpt from origin story

She could hear something in the distance. The sound came to her from deep inside a locked drawer. Her daughter. She was here. In one ear: a roaring. Like an ocean; like a thousand people carrying a building through a city; like a beast in love. In the other ear: her daughter pulling into the driveway; undoing her seat belt; wiping a rogue curl from her temple; her weighted steps toward her mothers death bed. 

 

But the Mother was no longer heavy enough to occupy her complicated body. She could not fathom how to slink back in. She was amorphous, looking over herself, expanding across the room, feeling what she had always been, staring at her empty vehicle. She watched herself with a desperate silence.

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