Megan Hollingsworth writes:
I received a grant to support performances and promotion of The Whale Memorial Dance, a multimedia tribute to cetaceans. CAF funds supported two performances: an April 2008 performance at Indiana University Bloomington presented in conjunction with a lecture from Dr. Lori Marino on cetacean intelligence and sentience, and an April 2011 performance during Naropa University’s Earth Day celebration. The Whale Memorial Dance was accepted for presentation at the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture’s 2010 annual conference in Perth, Australia. Unfortunately, insufficient funds for travel to Perth prevented participation. The Whale Memorial Dance was accepted for workshop presentation to the International Ecopsychology Society Conference in Uruguay September 2017.
At the close of 2011, I revisited The Whale Memorial Dance after a few years spent focusing on family, including birthing a child, after graduate school. What began with creating a website to promote the performance piece online evolved rather immediately to Extinction Witness, a peacekeeping project with intention to provide spiritual and emotional support to those who are informed about the present, or sixth, mass species extinction, know the climate science, and live in “a world of wounds.” I have since produced several short films while engaging in a creative witness to loss and pain toward suffering’s end. The work encourages embodied grieving in group ritual as well as in solo creative practice as a means of peacefully processing emotions associated with injustice, past, present, and anticipated loss. As such, Extinction Witness is one in a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists, and writers forwarding Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th (Lost Species Day or RDLS) to honor personal and collective losses and celebrate the regenerative power of mourning ritual. More on my current projects along with prose and poetry can be found here.