"Rock, Alice Bag, Alynda Lee Segarra, Ann Powers, double-consciousness, Feast for the eye, Film Festival, Leah Michaels, Meshell Ndegocello, Mexican skulls, Mike McCready, Rage & Self Defense: An Oral History of Seattle's Home Alive, Rozz Therrien, Sharon Jones, Violence Girl (2011), Washington Hall Seattle, WEB DuBois, Women Who Rock unConference 2014
I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the EMP POP Conference 2014 soaking up as much theoretical ethnomusicology as humanly possible. POP Opening Keynote Speakers: Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegocello, Alynda Lee Segarra and MCd by Ann Powers Saturday April 25 I attended the Women Who Rock unConference to watch the Film Festival, an event I particularly look forward to during the unConference. As I walked up the stairs and into Washington Hall’s upper remodeled area I was struck by the wonderful smells generated by the fusing of ethnic foods. The Pastry’s were a feast for the eye and palate. As I entered the Hall I was immediately mesmerized by the welcoming ‘Day of the Dead’ alter with all its color and symbolism. I asked several children to show me their contribution to the altar and then I asked each of them if they understood the meanings associated with their sparkly ‘feminized’ sugar skulls. They assured me that they did by suggesting that it ‘is a good way to remember family and people you love after they die’. These children have a life learning advantage attending the Women Who Rock event. It’s about us, them and who these children will be inspired by from the past that will bring them into a fuller ‘becoming’. It is for this reason that I would like to be involved with project planning for future events with these children in mind. This is my second film festival and each year the films are more sophisticated about reflecting personal breakthroughs that real people experience within a culturally imposed ‘double consciousness’ that W.E.B DuBois poignantly articulates in his “The Souls of Black Folk” (1903). “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others. . . . One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warrings ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” While watching the film I managed some social ‘women rock bonding’ with Rozz Therrien and Leah Michaels who presented their film “Rock, Rage & Self Defense: An Oral History of Seattle’s Home Alive at both the POP Conference and at the University of Washington April 23, 2014. I am both impressed and moved by their work. We are going to keep connected through social media. Unfortunately, the POP Conference pushes all my theoretical buttons and therefore took precedence over my full attendance at the unConference. Listening to other students who did attend and participate in the drum fandango music and spontaneous dancing sounded wonderful and I would have liked to have been a part of this kind of energy. I also missed seeing Alice Bag whom I admire, at the Bush School Sunday afternoon. I recently finished reading her book “Violence Girl” 2011, and I would liked to have taken this opportunity to ask her about her relationship with her 5 siblings which she seemingly omitted from her memoir. For those of us who felt conflicted and would like to have fully participate in both events, perhaps the Conferences’ should be held at a different date. Creative energy, music, art, food, bonding and theory … life doesn’t get better than that!