Top Ten Articles on Synkroniciti 2015

Here are the top articles posted on Synkroniciti during 2015. This year saw fewer articles than videos or photoblogs, but those I posted found resonance with many of you. Click on the article name to read the post. Thank you!!

Gold top 10 winner

© Sam Churchill with CCLicense

 

10. This is Kansas? Thoughts on a Sunrise over Lake Scott

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9. Building Creative Resilience: Strategies for Cultivating Enchantment

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8. Looking Down From the Mountaintop: Remember! Opens a New Season

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7. Literary and Theatrical Magic: Suspension of Disbelief and Resilience

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6. Grab Your Shovel: Guerilla Gardening in Los Angeles

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5. We Were There: Synkroniciti’s Open Mic: Exploring Earth

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4. Unearthly Appetites: Italo Calvino’s The Distance of the Moon

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3. A Tale of Two Conchitas: Reflection on That Obscure Object of Desire

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2. Dawn Without Memory: Isis in Palmyra

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1. The Roots We Carry With Us: Synkroniciti’s Open Mic: The Journey 

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A Darker Shade of Blue: Andrea Gibson’s Blue Blanket

© Generation Progress with CCLicense

© Generation Progress with CCLicense

Andrea Gibson is a poet, activist and one of the most powerful poetry performers of today. Her impassioned recitation and stirring fearlessness in subject matter have garnered her a fourth place finish at the 2004 National Poetry Slam, third place at both the 2006 and 2007 Individual World Poetry Slams and first place in the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her poetry focuses on what it means to be human, with a heavy emphasis on gender and social injustice. A very committed thinker and crusader for human rights, Gibson often performs at LGBT events and Anti-war rallies.

The poem featured in the video below is from her album entitled Storm. It is a passionate piece that gives voice to a woman who has been raped. We may not be ready to hear voices like these, but we pay a very high price if we encourage them to be silent.

Video via Faux Pas Productions on YouTube.

Synkroniciti feels a deep sisterhood with this piece and with Gibson after producing our own video poem, Alouette, which brings up many of the same feelings. You can see it on our Video Page.

Gibson has published several books of poetry, including Trees that Grow in CemeteriesYellow BirdWhat the Yarn Knows of Sweaters, and Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns as well as numerous albums, such as Bullets and Windchimes, Swarm, When the bough breaksYellowbird, and Flower Boy. Her new album, Truce, is due in October.

Food, Labels and Unexpected Voices: Graffiti Artists vs. GMO

© Mike Castle with CCLicense

© Mike Castle with CCLicense

California Proposition 37 would have been the first law in the United States requiring retailers and food companies to label products made with genetically modified ingredients had it passed in late 2012. China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the entire European Union, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India and Chile are among nations that already require such labels on food, but in the United States food is big business, and companies like Monsanto and Hershey poured money into defeating this legislation by arguing that labeling would cost money and disrupt the status quo. Much as the tobacco companies of the second half of the 20th century dreaded the education of the public as to the dangers of nicotine, these companies fear losing customers when science reveals the dangers behind the refining, hybridizing, and genetic modification of our food supply. Gluten, soy and corn intolerances, autism, celiac disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer might be hidden beneath the rug of ignorance, but unless someone investigates we will not know what connection exists between GMOs and these diseases.

© Alexis O'Toole with CCLicense

© Alexis O’Toole with CCLicense

As a person with gluten intolerance, I experience firsthand how devastating the effects of poor labeling can be. Just this week, the FDA has set a standard requiring gluten free labels on any food containing less than 20 parts gluten per million, but there are those of us who react below that level. Brain fog, joint pain, nausea and diarrhea are just some of the symptoms resulting from gluten intolerance. It takes days to get over the effects of one cookie, one piece of candy, or even crumbs left on a pat of butter, not to mention the long term consequences. Our laws also don’t require that gluten free foods produced in a facility that also produces foods containing gluten be labelled accordingly despite the very real dangers of cross contamination, nor do they require full disclosures of ingredients. This means that a company could get away with hiding gluten under different names or inside other ingredients. For example, yeast is gluten free unless it is made from beer, a variety known as brewer’s yeast. This distinction could mean a world of difference to someone sensitive but it is very easy to omit on a label. Many companies are labeling their products well, and I think those companies will see an increase in sales as people become more aware of gluten sensitivity.

What does this have to do with art? Well, creativity and art are a part of everyday life, from the music we hear on the radio to the advertising we see on the internet and television. The following is a film featuring Californian street artists and their works as they seek to raise awareness of the dangers of genetically modified food and build support for Proposition 37 and future legislation like it. Street art is a very provocative and communicative medium, despite its “criminal” connotations in our culture. I very much like the idea of having spaces in our communities where such thoughts can be explored in public.

Voice of Art is a documentary series produced on Pharrell Williams YouTube channel, iamOTHER. It gives artists a platform to advocate for transformation and justice in their communities by allowing their voices to reach a wider audience.