Remembrance Day for Lost Species 2017
Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, Oakland CA
Extinction Witness sponsored two 2017 Remembrance Day for Lost Species events at Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge: Dedication of the cardinal Generative Memorial on November 30th and Pollinator Procession around the lake on December 2nd.
This short film documents Pollinator Procession and introduces the Memorials. Please enjoy and be prepared to fall in love with Keira Lee. She is "just a butterfly". Many thanks to Kristin Tieche and Susan Bradley for recording and finishing the film.
The memorial dedication was a private gathering honoring Tora Rocha and her service with the City of Oakland and Pollinator Posse to ensure shelter and food for the smallest community members in the Oakland's gardens and groves. Bells were rung and poems were read in celebration of the Mother's joy upon sight of each and every one and in recognition of Her equal sorrow upon each and every one's loss.
By nature, a mother's love for her own child protects all children as she realizes a total empathy for the loss of a child. And grief for the loss of a mother's own child is so total and complete that this is chronic, lasting her lifetime. A mother's initial wail and ongoing tears remind that every member is loved beyond reason - that love is unreasonable. Generative Memorials help cultivate and catalyze a shift from honoring death as the greatest sacrifice - warrior culture - back to honoring birth as the greatest sacrifice - mothering culture, in which mothers love and care for all children as their own.
In cooperation with Giant Puppets Save the World and Pollinator Posse, Extinction Witness sponsored Pollinator Procession on December 2nd. The 2017 Procession around Lake Merritt, North America's first designated wildlife refuge, drew attention to the plight of pollinators globally while informing participants about the history and ecology of Lake Merritt and what has been accomplished in the Gardens at Lake Merritt to provide for pollinators.
In addition to carrying a giant pollinator puppet, 2017 Pollinator Procession was a pedal-powered event that provided participants an opportunity to help amplify speakers and musicians, Cello Joe, Heather Normandale and the whole crew at Biketopia Music Collective.
As part of annual Species Remembrance Day November 30th (RDLS) events occurring globally, Lake Merritt Pollinator Procession culminated in Lake Merritt gardens with a ritual burial of moths, bees, and flies, and release of monarch butterflies, honoring death and birth in life's full cycle.
Deepest gratitude goes to anonymous sponsors, participating artists and musicians, and everyone who participated in the events and helped with promotion, including National Wildlife Federation and Bioneers. Extinction Witness and Giant Puppets Save the World connected at Bioneers in 2016 and again in 2017. Special thanks to Bioneers for the annual conference and year-round communications, which serve as a hub for inspired networking and creative, healing collaborations.
Pollinator Procession at Lake Merritt is the first time that artists have been compensated financially for their participation in an RDLS event.