LSM Newswire

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Naked Body Stands in for Humanity

Her Naked Body Stands In For Vulnerable Humanity

4th Annual Human Body Project
At the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
August 13-23, 2009

Click link below to watch the Human Body Project video (2 min.)

Barack Obama observes that the global empathy deficit is far more serious than the financial one. As a mother, it feels intensely urgent to me that we humans address this issue. This project, me volunteering as a "sample human," is my way to do whatever I can do to move humanity forward.

I am an artist. For ten years I lived on the edge trying to make it as a painter. I am also a longtime yoga practitioner, a college instructor, and a former journalist. My events reflect who I am, my wisdom, and my depth. Rather than a separate public persona, I show up as a real, struggling human. The events are in the moment, workshop-like, contemplative. One participant said it was like a new religion, sacred.

I use my 47-year-old naked body (no plastic surgeries, two babies, flabby, not what you'd call titillating) to create a felt, visceral experience of shared vulnerability. I also write about my life, as authentically as I am able to, on my blog.

It's hard! I am not comfortable without my defenses. Who I am is a heartful person. Or, at least, this is what I want to own as a human being and what I want all of us to own as human beings. This is the most vulnerable thing to be. I have learned that being naked is way easier than being openhearted.

Sacredness, authenticity, heartfulness, these attitudes or qualities are mostly missing from how we live. For instance, I often feel painfully disconnected when I participate in or am complicit in the many superficialities and detachments from heartfulness that life presents. But how do we create or deal with or engage with heartfulness? I certainly haven't been taught how. In fact, I learned quite the opposite: not to deal with these qualities, not to "go there."

It is a profoundly difficult dilemma that must be understood in a visceral sense, beyond intellect and cognition. Our separation from sacredness has led to everything from individual health problems (such as my own, which I sometimes write about) to global issues like climate change and poverty. It's mine, but it's yours too.

When I conceived this project in 2006 I decided to commit to do at least one annual public event until I die, partly as a chronicle of my sample human body and the changes that take place in it over the years. I also hope to continue to provoke a serious consideration of vulnerability, our own, as humans in a body, and, by extension, the troubled planet's.

Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." By choosing to use my own body and life experience, I have chosen to "be" and represent that which we all share: physicality, mortality, fragility, and vulnerability. It may be mine you're looking at, but it's yours too.

Location at the Edmonton Fringe
Venue #3
Acacia Hall
10433-83 Ave.

Dates and Times at the Edmonton Fringe
August 14 10:45pm-12:15am
August 16 2:15pm-3:45pm
August 17 6:00pm-7:30pm
August 19 12:30pm-2:00pm
August 20 4:00pm-5:30pm
August 22 8:15pm-9:45pm

$12 regular
$10 for students and seniors
(18 and over)

About the Artist
Tasha Diamant has paintings in hundreds of corporate and private collections. She has been a journalist for national newsmagazines including Maclean's and Australia's Who Weekly. She has also been a yoga instructor and experiential workshop facilitator at the largest holistic health facilities in the US, Kripalu Center and the Omega Institute. She now teaches public speaking at Lethbridge College. Tasha lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, with her husband and two daughters.

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