is a traveling arts carnival, village “demonstration” project, and education and social outreach experiment. The first “full launch” of the Carnival included two 10 day residencies, first in Harrisonburg, VA then in Charlottesville, VA in the fall of 2013. The following year, the Carnival curated round the clock programing at their own venue within the Wildgoose Festival in Hot Springs, NC. This year, the Carnival reconfigured within the Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries’ “Festival of Radical Discipleship” in Oak View, CA. The Carnival de Resistance will convene another “full launch”in 2016, which will include two 10 day residencies that connect the faith, arts, and activist communities of two cities in the US.
The Canival Midway gets things started, offering clever twists on old carnival games, face painting, roving musicians, performers, side-shows and interactive installations. The featured event is the Carnival’s ceremonial theater productions that weave storytelling, live music, dance and ritual- to interact with the powerful symbols of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. These lively performances also help us collectively grieve, celebrate, and strive together for justice. Throughout the productions and throughout our life together, the visual artists are almost always painting… enhancing the beauty of the Carnival world and leaving visually compelling gifts in our wake.
A group of courageous artists and activists form the Carnival Crew live communally together in a “Village Demonstration Project”. Shaped by a mindfulness around our environmental impact we experiment with alternatives in regard to waste, energy generation and consumption, transportation, gathering and cooking food. This is a holy game where labor is stitched together with song, making common work a spiritual practice. A bicycle-powered sound system provides our sound needs and we draw on local volunteers to generate power for our productions.
Weekday engagement focuses on creative embodiment, eco-justice and radical theology. Whether it’s mask-making with local children, helping out at local community gardens, painting a mural, leading drumming workshops, storytelling circles, open mics, potlatch events, leading worship, or teaching classes at the local college, and much more… we want to learn from and help revitalize the work of our local allies. When it’s possible, we bring in our mentors who provide even more depth of analysis and experience to bear. From liberating Bible study, to conversations around native rights and earth justice… From discussions about movement history to trainings on bike repair, primitivist and sustainability skills, the Carnival is a special place for learning.
Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, and they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools. — Ephesians 4:17-18