Black banner with gold lettering reads "Finding Oasis." Delicately patterned, decorative golden hemispheres flank the banner on either side.

Finding Oasis: This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

This 3 part suite of virtual programs is designed by and prioritizes BIPOC communities interested in reparative relationships with the land. We understand that distinct communities have differing definitions of and needs from land justice work. Finding Oasis looks to global examples of Indigenous-led land justice films to inspire regional dialogues between Indigenous and Black communities connecting with land in the Pacific Northwest. In post-screening break out affinity groups, we will we will name the history and limitation of white supremacy, hold space for story-telling and processing, and connect with food sovereignty projects and offer arts-integrated actionable steps and strategies to deepen BIPOC community connections with local land.

February 15th 6:30pm PST: BIPOC Post-Screening Circle: “This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection” Register here!
In our first workshop of the series, facilitators and speakers will hold a post screening discussion in BIPOC affinity space after audiences have viewed the Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s work entitled “This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”in partnership with the Cascade Festival of African Films and BEAM Village. The film can be viewed anytime between 7pm on Feb 13th through this event.

In the mountains of Lesotho, an 80-year-old widow named Mantoa eagerly awaits her son’s return from working in the South African mines, only to learn of his demise instead. Yearning for her own death after the loss of her last remaining family member, she puts her affairs in order and makes arrangements to be buried in the local cemetery. Her careful plans are abruptly upset by the news that provincial officials intend to resettle the village, flood the entire area, and build a dam for a reservoir. Mantoa resolves herself to defend the spiritual heritage of the community.

Facilitators: Blanca Villalobos, Felipe Fontes Delfino, Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, and Aviva McClure



A watercolor painting of a ghostly white river winding through colorfully painted, angular rocks and trees.

Love Letter to Dr. Qinqin Liu

A watercolor painting of a ghostly white river winding through colorfully painted, angular rocks and trees.
Dr. Qinqin Liu, Untitled, 2009

My friends like making dark jokes about climate change: “Given that my hometown is currently on fire…” “In fifty years, when we’re all underwater…” “Love that natural sepia filter over the Bay…”

Cynicism about the climate crisis acts as a protective measure. If you assume the worst, you can’t be disappointed. When my mind shies away from anything but the most jaded outlooks, I turn to Dr. Qinqin Liu’s otherworldly paintings of California’s watersheds to remember what we have at stake.

Like me, Dr, Liu is an immigrant from Taiwan. We’ve had to learn to love California instead  of naturally inheriting the innate West Coast pride that born-and-raised Californians exude. Unlike me, she’s an environmental scientist with the California Department of Water Resources. While my climate anxiety stays confined to fretting and reading the news, she made it her life’s work. Liu’s paintings reveal an intimate knowledge of California’s precious rivers and coasts, and radiate an intense devotion built on years of study and respect.

In her “Ocean and Watershed” series, Liu’s delicate, layered watercolors make California freshwater glow, and articulates ghost-pale rivers with streaks of pink and purple. There’s a style of traditional Chinese painting called shan shui, or mountain and water, that calls upon the artist to paint not what they’ve seen in nature, but what nature has compelled them to think and feel. The ethereal shine of her rivers, painted with gentle, overlapping strokes contrasts the harsh lines and clashing colors of the landscape around them. Each painting conveys her respect for California’s most valuable resource, as well as her grief for how quickly the natural beauty of our chosen home could disappear.