Occupy

Why is the peace movement using military language? What is the difference between occupying and colonizing? How can we hope to usher in a post-colonialist era by being occupiers? What do we want in the end? Certainly not peace, because one cannot expect peace to result from having occupied territories, either physical or imagined. What is it then that the occupy movement demands? Free Coca Cola? Or a healthier version of Coke that still tastes like Coke and looks like Coke but without sugar or calories or cancer-causing artificial sweeteners? Free video games for the whole world? Fame and fortune for everyone?

The nature of seeking is the not-knowing. When seeking, we cannot know if the thing we seek is palpable. Only time-space can reveal this. However, it is more likely that one finds what one seeks if the imagination is fully engaged along the way. Our minds create the goals as well as the journey. Collective participation wants collective imagination. The naming of these goals, and of the paths to the goals, is the essence of the project.

Instead of occupying, I propose exiting. You can keep your Coca Cola, US of America. You can keep your Wall Street and your harbors, your churches and your banks, your Disney Land and your Hollywood. For those of you who need these things, go ahead, occupy. But I am looking for another way, the way down and in and through and out. The Exit Movement is afoot.

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About Maureen Burdock

Maureen Burdock was born in the Black Forest in Germany and grew up being enchanted and awed by fairy tales, witches, and magical landscapes. At the same time, her family often told stories of the war years, making her acutely aware of a divided Germany. Burdock arrived in Chicago at age seven, where she learned to navigate a foreign environment and language with the help of teachers, books, and art. Drawing, painting and writing became both communication tools and psychological means for survival. As she matured, the artist used these tools to understand her own identity and the world at large. Burdock’s current work still incorporates narrative and visual elements to probe deeply into her psyche and to explore societal divisions and disconnections. Since 2006, Burdock has been creating a series of graphic novels that deal with gender-based violence around the world. Most recently, she has been working on an animated short film. She continues to incorporate both elements of magic and political awareness into her work. Burdock currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is working on an MFA in studio practice and an MA in Visual Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She facilitates Laydeez do Comics San Francisco, a comics forum weighted towards women creators, which originated in the UK. Burdock has won several awards for her graphic novel work, including high commendation by the global Freedom to Create International Competition and top prize in the Judy Chicago/Through the Flower, Feminist Artists Under Forty Competition. The artist has received critical acclaim by diverse reviewers, including articles in Marie Claire, Mumbai, India; Strip, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the online publications Lamp Project and Art Animal. She has published reviews and articles in publications and catalogs such as Graphic Novel Reporter, Art Practical, and WomanHouse v.4.0 Catalog. Several gender studies and world literature professors have adopted Burdock’s graphic novels for their classrooms, and McFarland will publish an anthology of the F Word Project in 2014. Burdock continues to exhibit her work in gallery and museum venues, and is looking forward to an exhibition of the art for her current book, Mumbi & the Long Run, at Space Station 65 Gallery in London in 2014.
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