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Performance + Healing / My Petals are Bruised and I’m Still a Flower with Jotika Chaudhary Samant + KeAloha + Phiroozeh Petigara

March 24, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

On Friday, March 24 at 6pm, join Massy Arts SocietyMassy Books and artists Jotika Chaudhary Samant, KeAloha, and Phiroozeh Petigara for My Petals are Bruised and I’m Still a Flower, a night of art, performance, and healing that brings together three Queer, Disabled Artists who are South Asian, Fijian of Indian descent and mixed-Indigenous.

Gather with them as they share stories, songs, and poems. The themes of this evening will center around lived experiences with disability and, through song and poetry, performers will delve into the ways we are more than surviving, the moments where we are getting to thrive, how we are just living, and how we remind ourselves and the world that we are still here.

This will be an in-person event with a virtual option to attend the livestreaming. Please see registration links.

ASL interpretation will be available for this event. Please request ASL interpretation on the event registration page by March 13th. 

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

The title of the event is adapted by a line in the song Persephone by Allison Russel, Queer, Black, Artist, Musician and Activist.

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A message from event co-organizer Jotika

Lately, I have been feeling pretty sad, a little overwhelmed and a lot exhausted. The days are still quite short and rain and darkness still set in quite early in the evening. Most days, it feels like I should be getting into bed at 6pm because it feels like 10pm.

Winter is for hibernating and rest, and for some of us we are doing that as best as we can. For most of us, we still have a lot to take care of. And spring is coming; Spring always comes and I can feel her starting to show us she’s close by. Flowers will start to germinate, petals will bloom, green leaves will return. There are days the sky is so brilliantly blue, gray, and white that I feel like I can take a deep breath and actually relax into it.

Here on the west coast Musqueaum, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh lands, Vancouver, as the barometric pressure lowers, the days are wet, rainy and cloudy and there’s a sort of cold that seeps into your bones. As a spoonie and disabled person with joint pain, ouch!, the ache in my joints and the SAD, all on top of regular spoonie stuff, can be overwhelming. I sit many days with my heated blanket, hot drinks, and many, many pillows to tend to the ache and provide some softness for my weary body.

As Spring returns, that beautiful darkness decreases and we embrace the return of the sweet, nourishing light. Gather with us! Virtually and in person, let’s sit in circle together as we share how we are fumbling, blooming, growing, hibernating and resting as Queer, Disabled folks of Colour in these covid times and through this winter,

The night will consist of performances, and some time for reflection through visual art and writing and will end in a group info, resource share and discussion. We will have arts supplies and lots of paper to draw and write on and space for you to reflect on how you are fumbling, blooming, growing, hibernating and resting in these times.

This is a time to share space and be in community. The group discussion is a space to break some of the isolation so many of us have been feeling. It’s a space to speak candidly and share honestly about what we’ve been experiencing and what are the myriad of ways we continue to take care of ourselves and one another.

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Registration is by donation, open to all, and required for entrance. 

The event is by donation between $0-$20, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

100% of donations will go towards supporting the artists involved in this event.

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Venue & Accessibility

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver. 

Registration is free, open to all and required for entrance. The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site. Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes. 

Massy Arts Gallery entrance has a sign for the old storefront and says “Ming Wo”. Lookout for that sign along with the address if you haven’t been to the space before.

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

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Covid Protocols

Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

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Jotika Chaudhary Samant (she/her) is a Queer, Disabled, chronically ill, cis, Femme. Her people come from Northern India by way of Indentureship to Fiji. She identifies as a settler on the lands she lives, the unceded, un- surrendered, stolen lands of the Musqueaum, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. She is an Interdisciplinary Artist, a Community Organizer, a Social Worker and an Expressive Arts Therapist. She is deeply passionate about the arts as a profound and powerful tool to support a coming back into our bodies. It can be an entry point, a doorway to more self-awareness of our nervous system, to creating greater connection to what safety, soothing and connection feel like in our bodies.
Art has always been a constant in her life and it has saved her many times. Creating and witnessing others’ art have helped her cope with the effects of trauma, nourished & helped her survive some of the hardest times of her life. Her story telling uses various arts mediums that she weaves into one another: collaging, painting, singing and poetry. See more about her and her work www.jotikahealingarts.com on IG @Jotikart @Jotika_Healingarts.

KeAloha { kay – ah – loh – hah } (she/her/they/them) : “Dynamic, multi-pronged musical paradise. Grounded, Elevated, oceanic, bars, all of it” (Music Waste Festival 2022). ​KeAloha weaves soundscapes of Indigi-Pop wonder, fluidly owning the stage as a vocalist, drummer, and dancer. KeAloha is a mixed-Indigenous and chronically-ill artist based in so-called “Vancouver, BC”. With three singles released (“Mama’s Hands” – CBC Searchlight Top 100, “Mahina” – Indigenous Music Countdown Top 13, and “2Lips”) and her debut album rooting to bloom this winter, KeAloha invites us into a world of Indigenous Futurisms. This project was born out of necessity. “Living with chronic illness is like being a bird asked to learn a life on the ground. What I have cultivated is the power in shape-shifting, the beauty in unplanned paths, and the relationships that bloom through deepened empathy.” KeAloha packs treats for a decolonial sweet tooth, and asks us to consider: what’s beyond? Find Ke-Aloha on IG @I.am.Kealoha

Phiroozeh Petigara (she/her) is a queer, disabled, & chronically ill South Asian writer and authenticity coach. As an authenticity coach, she specializes in helping queer and trans BIPOC to stop living in the “shoulds” and to live in their truth. As a storytelling coach, she works with BIPOC to feel empowered to tell their story. Because our stories heal us, they heal others. In her writing, Phi explores the nuances of being queer and brown through the lenses of the many places she has inhabited. She has published in various anthologies and is currently working on her memoir. Phi lives with her wife and their plant babies nestled between the forest and the sea on stolen Coast Salish lands. Read more at phiroozeh.com and on IG: @decolonizedaunty.

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March 24, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT


23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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