Distance from home can be frightening considering culture shock, facing strangers or the potential of getting lost in a new land. I don’t feel this way however, I find myself inspired and excited to explore endless possibilities. Throwing myself into the fire lifts what impression of the world I may have had. We tend to seek commonalities in relationships with other people before we can relate but by releasing that need for a cultural comfort zone, you create more acceptance. In this I see beyond my own experiences and expand my capacity to be compassionate towards others.I hope to travel the world one day and share my “voice” with others. This past weekend I traveled south a few hours to our nations capitol, Washington D.C., for the Annual Anti-Fur Society Conference. I was accompanied by Lauren Cox, a professional dancer from San Francisco. She comes from a much different upbringing than myself but somehow we both dance with compassion and understanding. Our artistic journey may not end in the same place but for this past weekend our path was from New York City to Washington D.C., a big adventure for open minds and open hearts on open roads.An art initiative online called PINNACLE Reinvent The Icon, encourages artists to utilize their talents to make a statement against Fur. Fur bearing animals live terrifying lives while enduring a great deal of suffering and all for human vanity! After doing my research I felt compelled to create a piece that brings forth their perspective. Hopefully in turn providing a voice for the voiceless.The piece was inspired by Satyrs, a popular character within Greek Mythology, often portrayed as half man and half goat. These creatures live jovial lives, love to dance, play music and enjoy sexual encounters all making them innately free spirited. I imagine any living being would wish to live their lives this way. I contacted Marlena Pavich, a compassionate costume designer and film stylist, to create the anti-fur pants that would simulate the half goat element of our character. Using all recycled vegan materials, she constructed the most brilliant interpretation of a Satyr I could have ever imagined!As we walked on stage you could hear clinking silverware and people boasting about the bread sticks. The room was silenced by our focus, intention and powerful advocacy. The music began, our bodies shivered and the story was told.Taking a moment to realize our experience here on this planet is blind to suffering, society shelters us from these issues because it wants us to stay ignorant to what suffering exists. With information compassionate people take action and this isn’t what the Fur industry wants. “We must be the rebel, and reclaim our position of being the visionary. The fashion industry poses in rebel iconography, when they are the conformist selling out to the fur trade”, said Joshua Katcher of TheDiscerningBrute.com. They have no right to treat animals as painless, lifeless creatures meant for luxury, vanity or power.
My anti-fur piece entitled “Please, Don’t Touch” will release in late July of 2011.