Hello, my name is Erika, a liberation arts educator and permie newbie.
After working with indigenous schoolchildren in southern Philippines, I pursued Anthropology & Education and Indigenous Studies at Columbia University to re-imagine new forms of dialogue, social action, and ways of engaging in decolonizing research that involved a more egalitarian process--all of which my country's public education system I severely lacks.
It was in the course of my studies that I became involved in workshops in Theater of the Oppressed at TOPLAB in NYC and Gas & Electric Arts in Philly. Their incredible work resonated with my desires so much so that I packed my bags and moved to the opposite coast where the University of Southern California offered an MA in Applied Theater Arts. The program's thrust of Liberation Arts & Community Engagement exposed me to different modalities of the work with genocide survivors, gender justice warriors, immigrants working for community land trust, youth fighting the school-prison-pipeline, former convicts working to rebuild their lives, psychiatric ward residents trying to change the stigma around their disorders, female domestic workers fighting sexual harassment, and youth fighting drug-related gang violence. After a residency with Centro Teatro do Oprimido in Rio de Janeiro, I took a permaculture design certificate course at Occidental in Northern California, which exposed me to Liberation Permaculture, where colored communities empower themselves by building self-sufficient, resilient communities through the tools of permaculture.
A thread that ran throughout all these democratic spaces was an ethics of possibility that invigorated prefigurative realizations of better worlds. I hope to weave this thread in my own life in the Philippines where I am sprouting Lunangan Initiatives, a non-profit project.
"We make the road by walking" and I've been belly-flopping into mud puddles along the way! Thank you for visiting and mud-puddling with me. :)
|Permaculture Design Certificate|
|Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course|
|Verifying teacher: Occidental Arts and Ecology Center|
|Other Teachers: Brock Dollman, Kendall Dunnigan, Toby Hemenway, Darren Doherty, Janine Bjorson, Carol Nieukirk|
|Location: Occidental, California|
|Date: Sep 2013|