SHE HEALS SERIES: UPDATE!

Hello to all members of our digital family!!

ImageExciting news! The Eternal Queens crew just returned back to the bay from an awesome trip to Southern California, where we were ON A STUNNING SET, filming an all original intro to our latest artist interview for the SHE HEALS SERIES.

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For those who don’t know, the SHE HEALS SERIES is an ongoing project produced by Eternal Queens that spotlights local Bay Area Women who are using ART as a tool to heal themselves, others, and the earth. We are paying respect to the groundbreaking work that is being done in the Bay Area to uplift and inspire a more healthy, happy, and whole future.

Our latest interview will spotlight Oakland based artist Laila Espinoza. Gifted in the arts of storytelling, painting, and community based work, Laila is a modern day sage, bridging the spheres of arts, transformation and healing. Her art is deeply soulful, and touches on the collective experiences, challenges, and evolutionary processes of both the eternal and modern day woman.

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Eternal Queens is happy to have had the pleasure of sitting down with her to hear about her story and latest inspirational projects. Please, STAY TUNED for her upcoming amazing interview with her which will also feature an all original cinematic introduction brought to you fresh from the EQ crew.

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Learn more about Laila Espinoza and her transformational artwork at her website: http://lailaespinoza.org/

1 Love!
Eternal Queens

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Invisible People: A Walk

I hear great things about San Francisco from visitors. “Everyone’s so friendly”, “It’s so cool here”. Which it is. But there’s always the one complaint, “There’s so many homeless people here.”

San Francisco has a long history of homeless. During the 1980’s, the City blamed Vietnam and the Drug Culture for the growing number of people on the street. At the same time, President Regan cut funding to Section 8 and public housing in half after systematically closing mental hospitals as Governor of California. The Regan administration continued cuts funding to mental health programs through his presidency.

The homeless in SF is bothersome to some. It makes people feel uncomfortable, and forces people to ignore humanity in others and pretend they’re not there. It’s estimated that 39% person of homeless in the US have some kind of mental illness and 22% have been diagnosed with a chronic condition. So, when someone in my own family began to suffer from serious mental illness, I couldn’t pretend to not see the homeless any more.

I shot this video so that I could really see them in juxtaposition with the consumerism and masses of “normal” people in the Downtown. They are always there. We just never see them.

The city has mainly dealt with them through “sweeps” in which the homeless are displaced, in order to make them less visible.

Much Love,

Claire

A Product of His Environment

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Check this powerful spoken word piece put together by Youth Speaks poet Joshua Merchant (Oakland, CA) and the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations about the deeply intertwined relationship between environment and health. In this short but well spoken video Josh tells the story of 13 year old boy named James, and illustrates the harsh realities of our broken food system.

These is a really important issue for me: Food justice, healing through food, nutrition, equity are all part of a bigger picture of environmental trauma that results in health disparities. As a young person, I didn’t grow up knowing much about healthy eating. My family all ate what I call a SAD Diet a.k.a the Standard American Diet. We didn’t know about food and healing and the direct relationship between diet and dis-ease. It wasn’t until I started teaching myself about the role of food in mental and physical health, that I started seeing the ways that poor diet really messed up my own ability to function at my highest level. So, for me, this is personal, it’s political, it’s environmental and it’s something that I care deeply about. I’m lucky to have access to healthy food now, and to be able to be a part of solutions to this problem in my work through science, through organizing and through art.

In this video, James soldiers through the the day to day stress of living in his neighborhood, facing hunger, violence, and over access to junk food, which are only a few of the pieces that will shape his mind, body, and soul, and increase his risk of developing Type 2 diabetes up to 20%.

Poetry heals, promotes health, and spreads awareness! Share this message with your community to look at the BIGGER PICTURE and open the conversation about Type 2 Diabetes.

“He won’t be able to differentiate
Corporate farmers from drug dealers,
similarities are too strong,
selling harmful products to innocent people
for extensive profits,
but like crack – the dollar menu is cheap,
the ingredients are addicting,
he keeps buying.”

She Heals: A Dancer’s Story

How are women connecting their art to health? Eternal Queens explores through She Heals, a series focused on female artists discussing health, social issues and healing through art.

Kaley Isabella is an Oakland based dancer studying the Silvestre Technique. She uses dance to stay healthy mind, body and soul.

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Find Kaley Isabella at http://www.facebook.com/kaleyisabelladance

 

ONE BILLION RISING: Dance to End Violence Against Women

One in three women on the planet will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. That is one billion sisters, mothers, daughters, partners, and friends that will be affected.This year, one of the most massive art and healing movements has been organized to address women’s issues including the undocumented but ongoing prevalence of domestic violence,  rape and sexual harassments, and the absence of operational support system for abused women and children.

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ONE BILLION RISING will unite women and those who love them in over 197 countries across the world to collectively address the global issue of violence against women and girls. This V-day, February 14th, 2013, those in support of this movement will come together in a worldwide DANCE, to break free from violence and oppression, and  empower and activate women across the world to demand that issues of violence against women are addressed.

This movement embodies what we at Eternal Queens love to see. People coming together to use their creative potential to make waves, heal our personal and cultural wounds, and voice their truth. Dance is a creative healing force that everyone of us has the ability to do. Dance keeps you moving and promotes a healthier physical, emotional, and community life. When you dance, your body has a life and a wisdom of its own that is free to come alive. When we when we dance together with an intention to end violence against women, we are invited to have fun and let loose, express and embody emotion, release tensions, connect with others, and non-violently harness our collective creative force to make change.

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Those based in San Francisco have organized several ways to join the movement. Break it down by dancing across the Golden Gate Bridge at 10:00 AM on February 14th or join Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall to vibe with some DJ’s, guest speakers, and Flash Mobs. Eternal Queens supports this powerful gathering, and pays homage to the women of the Bay Area and across the world that move together heal our culture from sexual violence and support women’s rights. Heal yourself, others, and the earth in 2013.

With love,
– Eternal Queens

Looking Through The Viewfinder

As women, we are constantly being judged and judging ourselves based on appearance. Growing up in the Bay Area, I was surrounded by beautiful women of different races, shapes, and cultures. Yet, it wasn’t something that I saw reflected in our media or in the interests of young men my age. The women in ads or on TV were Caucasian with thin straight noses, light skin and high cheekbones. Even if the woman was African American or Latina, she possessed a “white” quality such as green eyes or light skin.

Being biracial, I already struggled with race and appearance in different ways. My features reflect my Salvadorian heritage but my household spoke english and my mother is light haired and Irish. Wherever I went I was treated and expected to act “Latina”. During that time, I felt like the “Latina” stereotype of fiery, passionate sexuality didn’t fit with me but it was a way to receive attention and feel attractive.

After I got older, I began to work on a healing project. I decided to photograph my friends who were beautiful, but whose features didn’t match with our media’s standards of beauty.

Looking through the viewfinder I didn’t see these young women as friends. They became stunning strangers who’d caught my eye. I started to think of the mirror as my viewfinder, and saw the beauty in myself.

Much Love,

Claire

Eternal Queens

 

Eternal Queens’ “She Heals” series goes into production.

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She Heals: Kaley Scofield

Sunday was a phenomenally empowering day for Eternal Queens producers Sam and Claire. We met up with dancer and long time friend, Kaley Scofield, at Oakland’s Tropicana Ballroom for the first in a series of interviews we are going to be releasing called She Heals. Seeing Kaley dance is always memorizing. Meeting her at first, you see a gentle, calm, and soft woman with piercing eyes and smile. Then when she dances, the power she exudes is unbridled and fiery,  and you can feel her strength flowing to the top of the ceiling and into every corner of the room.

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Kaley’s parents were dancers in New York. They became teachers after she was born and took her from class to class, instilling dance in her as an art form. She states: “It was a kind of language that I learned from my parents and ran with it.. if there wasn’t anything else, there was always dance.”

Hear Kaley’s story in She Heals: A Dancer’s Story. Coming soon.

Much love,

Eternal Queens.