A Word from our Artistic Director
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and afraid.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down the dulcimer. Let the beauty we love be what we do…
I love this poem by Jelalludin Rumi, 12th century mystical poet. It does have a final line: ‘There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground’, but as an unbaptised bastard child of a recovering Catholic, I will NEVER genuflect again.
Art is powerful, it opens our hearts and minds, our creative endeavours forge connections when we are losing our way. Our art is our creative heart, the vital pulse of our being in the world. We, at Vital Xposure, are currently working online to plan our next creative endeavours and will soon offer you all an update when we are ready for public consumption. The arts and culture we are turning to in this challenging time, while we fill our days in isolation, provide us with far more than frivolities, they provide us with meaning.
Nietzsche once wrote:
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how…
Right now, it is so vital to find ways to stay sane, to nourish ourselves, and our loved ones, and to support our communities. Some of us are becoming more fragile by the day, bombarded with a tsunami of messages about the value of our lives in the world. If you are disabled or have a long-term health condition, step back. Sign that DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and allow the beleaguered frontline workers of the NHS some room to save the fittest amongst us. Are we truly back here – ‘Survival of the Fittest’? Only ‘save those who stand the best chance of recovery’ i.e. the most productive for the future of our Capitalist economy. If you, like many of us in Disability Arts, fall into the category of the most vulnerable to this Coronavirus, please do not feel left alone, left behind or erased. Every life matters. You matter!
Channel 4 broadcast a letter of hope, delivered by Doctor Matt Morgan from the critical care team at University Hospital Wales, Cardiff, he said: “It must be so hard listening to endless news reports that end with ‘don’t worry, this illness mainly affects the elderly, frail, vulnerable, or those with serious underlying health conditions. What if that is you..?
We have not forgotten about you…” he went on to promise that the team alongside him would offer care to everyone in need. It was a bold and beautiful message of hope filled with compassion, and the first time somebody had publically acknowledged the psychological impact of some of the messages continually pumping out of the media.
Dr Matt Morgan’s full letter can be accessed here.
Audrey Lorde once said:
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
So let’s make a commitment to ourselves, so that we are ready to do what needs to be done for those of our friends and comrades who are in need of more support. Leave no one behind!
We may have closed Vital Xposure’s office temporarily, but we have not closed our hearts and minds. We have had to abandon our tour, but we are not abandoning you, our friends and supporters.
This too will pass. Try to find a moment of joy in each and every day. The air is cleaner, the plants and animals recovering. Most of us will do so too. Please look after your selves and do keep in touch. Never give up!
With love and hopes for great happenings,
JulieMc and team at Vital Xposure
The cast of Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters has moved from the rehearsal room onto Zoom.
Earlier this month they shared their greatest hopes for this show and they captured them in a screenshot, which is shown at top of this article. We are sharing below everyone’s greatest hope for Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters:
Shereener Browne, Actor – Role: Elaine / Elsie
To show my family NOT to be scared.
My body CAN do amazing things with the right SUPPORT.
Lisette Auton, Actor – Role: Mad Mary
Working alongside new people and making friends, new and old!
Eden West, Actor, Role: Walter Riddle
Share the very real and lived experience of those in the mental health space.
Fatima Niemogha, Actor – Role: Kem
Showing it to audiences and seeing their reactions. Hoping it might help some people’s understanding of mental health.
Becky Brown, Stage Manager
Julie McNamara made a sketch of Shereener and Fatima with Omikemi, writer of ‘Medicine’ in rehearsal. The drawing represents the hope to realise Omikemi’s unique, extraordinary poetic voice on stage.
Useful links and resources
In the past weeks, we have all been searching and sharing information on support available during the pandemic. From emergency funds and resources on working remotely, to ideas how to create and present work online. We have collated a list of links that you may find useful. Feel free to share the list and send us any news that may be of interest to our friends and community. You can view the list here.