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Lawnya Vawnya 13 Weird and Wired
End of Festival Special Edition
Thank you to everyone who came out to Lawnya Vawnya 13 and followed along online! Enjoy some final pieces from our amazing LV13 Writers-in-Residence: C.H., Elijah, and Holly!
HOW WE TAKE CARE
A CONVERSATION ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY AND MENTAL HEALTH IN THE ARTS
Kate Lahey, Daze Jefferies, Frankie Teardrop, Cecile Believe
Hosted at MUN School of Music as part of Lawnya Vawnya 13, this panel is a must watch for event organizers and artists navigating how to keep themselves and others as safe as possible within their pursuits of art and community. The following is just an excerpt - Watch the entire conversation on YouTube.
CW: Violence, abuse, addiction
How we take care … as partygoers, participants, humans with bodies
“I moved out of downtown Montreal up to the Mile End and I went out with my roommate to this event. And it completely changed my life in terms of going out, listening to music and meeting people. It was a fundraiser for this queer medical use clinic. And they're like, teaching you about it at the door and then you like go in and there's these amazing queer and trans DJs playing and the music was like so awesome. And then people in the crowd were like, really friendly and there were safer space workers and I'd never seen anything like that before.” - Frankie Teardrop
Having access to parties and events for and by queer and trans people is lifechanging for young people starting out on their journey with music. Feeling safer is a huge deal. But the panellists all acknowledged the tension between free, open spaces and the abuse and violence that can occur in these environments. There’s no easy answers here, but to hear this being discussed feels important.
One thing you can do, said Cecile Believe, is to foster a life and community for yourself outside of events.
“I don't go out at night anymore because I just can't” - Daze Jefferies
“People work so hard, I think to create open spaces that are do it yourself and make a lot of sacrifices and so it can be difficult to acknowledge. Absolutely, when it's actually not safe.” - Cecile Believe
“Violence is there in the room, whether it's in the room or not. And then what it is literally in the room, it's complex.” - Kate Lahey
“After I stopped drinking, I found it really important to have to start to foster a life and community and this is also probably a privilege of getting older as well, to start to foster a life and community that sort of outside of the event community itself.” - Cecile Believe
How we take care … as artists and performers
“My music was really vulnerable. And I was sharing a lot. And the more that I played, I realised that my body as a young trans woman was a spectacle no matter where I was. I used to perform a lot. But then I stopped and that was due to changing mental health and certain bodily needs … Stepping away from performance was a big part of that and then re-channelling that energy into different means was also really helpful.” - Daze Jefferies
“Personal responsibility is the first thing that comes to my mind. I'm just looking to give messages of love. And also of like, it's going to be okay. Especially for younger people that are getting into the fray. It’s my responsibility to make sure that I arrive as clear and sober and as well taken care of internally as possible. And in that way I have so much more to give.” - Cecile Believe
“Not staying on couches is really major for me. Having a private space is really big. To have a comfortable place to get a good sleep, fill up your cup, have privacy is so important.” - Kate Lahey
Self-care might look like stepping away from performing, being ok saying “no” when something doesn’t feel good, making sure you have access to a private space
Taking good care of yourself means you’re in a better place to hold space for your audience
Mentorship is a powerful tool for supporting the younger members of your community, and for growing up within your community
“Mentorship for me was like a beautiful place where there was really clear roles between people … that was something I was really missing was being in sort of professional spaces and being a really vulnerable younger person.” - Kate Lahey
“If you experience something you can, you can bring that to me and I can try to be there for you … that's kind of like a culture of trans mothering where it's like, you know, this is, this is what I can share with you to try to protect you. But this is also your journey.” - Daze Jefferies
As heard by HOLLY KNOWLMAN
Quotes have been edited for length and clarity with full effort spent on communicating the speaker’s best intentions
While St. John’s is a unique city, full of fog, oceanic views, and centuries-old architecture, it’s the people who make this place truly unique, which is part of what Lawnya Vawnya showcases.
But I don’t only mean the people who live here.
St. John’s is as rich in culture as it is because we also have wonderful people who come here, gravitating towards the scenery and all the music and art that oozes out of this place, bringing their own cultures with them to add to the existing fabric. Those who “come from away”—especially those who continue to come back—are as much part of the fabric of St. John’s as anyone or anything else. This is why St. John’s is on the radar for so many others who’ve yet to come: everyone who visits leaves with a piece of the city lodged in their heart.
St. John’s is always vibrant, even in the middle of winter. Though it’s never as vibrant as when Lawnya Vawnya is happening. Despite all the fog and the off-on rain showers, or outright downpours, Lawnya Vawnya 13 brought with it an alluring excitement I felt hanging on the air downtown. At each event, I was greeted by smiles, by the ole Newfoundland wink-and-nod, by strangers from other places with their own stories of St. John’s to tell, by inviting faces hoping to share a moment of connection amongst the music and artistry on display. At a time when the world, for many of us, feels deeply unstable, even hostile, Lawnya Vawnya is, like St. John’s, an enchanting port in the storm filled with comfort.
- C.H. NEWELL
Design and Illustration by ELIJAH JANKA
If you read this far you get to know a secret…. LV14 June 5th-8th, 2024!
Thank you all! See you next year!