Why Carnival Is Exactly What This Moment Needs

Restoration Village Arts is proud to partner with the prophetic witness of the Carnival de Resistance. Tevyn East, Carnival’s director, shares her thoughts on why Carnival is what this moment in our country and world calls for.

I have felt the urgency of our ecological crises for some time, which fueled my years of trekking across the country, preaching the gospel of an earth-centered, economic justice movement. And now, we encounter a mighty, menacing, and … I will not shy from saying… evil threat to our future on this planet! Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA- “a close ally of the fossil-fuel industry” (NYTimes), who is hostile to the environmental movement, and could undermine existing regulations that barely hold these industries accountable – is a treacherous move which demands resistance!

On all fronts. Unlike ever before. We need to focus on our interdependence with earth and water through our art, our actions, our money, our organizing work, and our way of being community!

This is exactly why you should support the Carnival de Resistance! Help us realize our fundraising goals so that we might demonstrate, educate and weave a world that mocks ‘the powers’ and empowers the people with a dream of returning to the earth and resisting that which threatens her.

Over twenty years ago Wendell Berry said, “Whether we and our politicians know it or not, nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” We will all suffer, eventually, as ecosystems are annihilated and ‘resources’ controlled by global powers are greedily consumed.

“But be certain, those of us who have benefitted the most carry a great responsibility, especially to the cultures and people groups who are being discarded as casualties in these endless resource wars.”

Kensington, our projected location for a 2017 Carnival residency, is bearing the strain of environmental racism. As an economically abandoned neighborhood of Philadelphia, Kensington faces so many environmental challenges, not the least of which are food deserts and numerous EPA-designated toxic waste sites left behind by factories after deindustrialization. Kensington families live in the blast zone of so-called “oil bomb” trains which transport highly volatile crude oil and fracked natural gas through our backyards. What’s more, the city of Philadelphia is planning to build an energy hub that would repurpose old refineries to process fracked natural gas and construct more pipelines to transport the dangerous chemicals. The people of Philadelphia do not want this energy hub, and the Carnival de Resistance is ready to lend our energy to this struggle.

We need your help in bringing the Carnival to Kensington and Philadelphia! Our new partners in holy mischief, Restoration Village Arts, will enable your gift to be tax deductible and two gracious donors are ready to match your donations up to $20,000 throughout December. Please visit this link and give today! Any amount you can give aids our cause!

In a broad sense, the Carnival de Resistance addresses the need for hope and imaginative alternatives in the face of the overwhelming crises in our neighborhoods and watersheds. We ‘walk the talk’ with our eco-village demonstration project and our local programs, and we journey through transformation in our Carnival productions. We believe art and storytelling are essential tools for revealing the truth about the dire threats to our ecosystems and for sparking creative change toward a more resilient and sustainable future. Your support can help us make this happen in Philadelphia!

Have hope! Help us act! Let us subvert the systems and the stories that threaten our future.