I was at the Women Who Rock un-conference from 2:30pm to 5:00pm. I went to watch the set up and the mix market. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The setup of the room was relatively simple and at first seemed really plain. But once people started to arrive, the atmosphere really changed. There was real community vibe that appeared almost instantaneously. There were so many interesting people there and I did end up enjoying myself.
At the beginning of the mix market, I had a tarot card reading done by Christine Cruz Guiao. Christine is a spiritual healer with Zenyu healing. I walked over to her because I was curious what she had to do with WWR. I talked with Christine about how she went into spiritual healing. She talked about how she has always been spiritual and how she learned from various masters around the area. I realized that she is part of WWR because she represents importance of heritage to WWR. She represents the passing of knowledge from elders to the newer generations. It is an essential part of WWR. Regardless of the form artistic talent takes, art is a part of culture and WWR is about preserving cultures which have been ignored and shunned by the mainstream. Whether it is music or healing, these arts form a unique and critical part of our culture that should not be ignored.
The entire mix market seemed to be about culture and respecting the uniqueness of traditions. The altar at the front of the stage was made in the style of Day of the Dead altars. The speaker talked about how the tradition relates to the ancient Mexican beliefs about death. She said that the ancient Mexicans believed there were three deaths. The first two had to do with dead of the body, but the speaker said the third was when everyone forgets the dead. She spoke about how the altars were built so that people do not forget their ancestors. She emphasized how important it is to preserve the memories of peole who have largely been forgotten.
The speaker’s speech displayed the importance of archiving and why WWR exists. Archiving is the act of preserving memories and in a sense, immortalizing the subjects of the memory. There will always be someplace where a person is preserved through their art. That art contains all their creativity, thoughts, and beliefs. WWR allows us to preserve the art of people who are never really represented in the mainstream. Our pictures are little records that keep people’s memories alive and enrich the human experience.
I definitely have come by a higher respect for what WWR does and what it represents. The major themes of the day seem to be preserving memories, creating a community in the greater Seattle area, and respecting the talents and skills of all people.
I did feel there were some things absent. I feel having some live talent playing during the market would have been fun. The DJ was good, but I always like a live band. Otherwise, I felt the conference was good. That being said, I have other time commitments next year, so I do not want to join WWR at this time. The conference was, however, a very enlightening and enjoyable experience.