Pandemic Passover Seder
April 12, 2020
Inspired by Michael Twitty’s African American Seder Plate, we had already talked about making an art event of Passover for months. Then, as it happened, our celebration fell during the peak of Lousiana’s first formal shut down.
Despite both low spirits and fears for the future of Yes We Cannibal, we convened a group of about 20 friends and family for a Pandemic Passover Seder by Zoom.
Here’s an excerpt from the Hagaddah we wrote. Part of the ritual we created involved ritually dipping our fingers in the household cleaner Simple Green, a kind of sacrament, and then touching each side of a small pyramid we constructed, with one side each made of cardboard, metal and plastic.
We also used tobacco (which Mat grew and then cured during Summer 2018) as a key part of the ritual, meant to emphasize how the natural world has been mutated and suffused with human meaning, pointing to the sacrednes of the plant and its transformation and pathologication since industrialization.
This brick of tobacco we grew and picked and dried and cured
Sweet innocent plant that grows from the size of a flea til taller than me
Our brothers and sisters the world wide long sensed it was sacred since before the first sunrise
But industrialization and consumption, dare I say … capitalism, which kept us in place,
Transformed it and spread it, like a cancer …. and it caused cancer
We place it here to remind us of the sacrifice the natural world made for us, letting us shape it and recreate it and fill it with all this material.
Like cardboard. They say COVID lives on it for 24 hours!
Like metal. They say COVID lives on it for 48 hours!
And worst of all, like plastic – they say COVID lives on it for 72 hours!
In the wild?!
No, bats tend to keep to themselves. Dracula’s a recluse and all.
So what you’re telling me is that we’ve built a habitat for this …. Thing?
Yes, and that is why we’ve built a pyramid, to remind us that we’ve made ourselves slaves and with this plague, perhaps we have the chance to free ourselves into other possible worlds.
7-8 pm CDT
All are welcome
Email for invite.