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Posts Tagged ‘Dawn Maxey’

Post-Compostmodern: Now What?

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We’d be lying to you, dear readers, if we didn’t admit that before this weekend’s Compostmodern conference, we were in a very bad place.

Maybe it’s just the typical occupational hazard that comes with being a blogger. But when you’re bombarded, every day, with designers touting the eco-sensibility of their newest utterly useless product you should buy for only $499.99, architects who want to be praised for using some non-toxic paint on their latest 500,000 square foot monstrosity, and creative people using up valuable resources to launch misdirected movements about using up valuable resources, it’s enough to make us want to reach our hands through internet until we can wrangle the mouse from their smug little hands and whack them over the head with it until they get it.

So when spoken word artist Dawn Maxey stood up and read her little poem on eco-hype yesterday (read the full text), we wanted to run up on stage and kiss her. Oh, how we feel you, sister.

Valerie Casey addressed that eco-fatigue we’ve all been feeling. But she coupled it with a very interesting point about movements in general–they spike, then dip, then slowly gain more solid acceptance over time. So don’t despair, we’re all just feeling that spike. The dip has yet to come.

Except now, this movement belongs clearly to designers. Activism didn’t work, said Adam Werbach. We are in need of better stories, said Alex Steffen. We need to stop making stuff, said everybody. And Casey made a great argument for why designers by nature are perfect to spearhead change. But when Casey showed the slide above, which was sent to her by, in her words, a “very prominent and well-known designer,” it really got us fired up. Because every single company we heard represented at this conference–Mark Galbraith and Nau, Jane Savage and Nike, General Electric and VSA Partners, yes, even Werbach and Wal-Mart–has realized the importance of not just being designer-centric, but being designer-dependent in order to make big changes. People: There. Is. No. One. Else.

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Dawn Maxey’s Eco-Backlash Poetry Is Totally Refreshing

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As a wonderful pre-lunch appetizer, Dawn Maxey, a spoken word artist, gave the crowd at Compostmodern an earful (in a good way). Her poem about the women who pile their carts full of organic goods at Whole Foods, sport the “this is not a plastic bag” bags–and by the way, they have seven Priuses, did they tell you?–because it’s trendy, was a highlight of the morning. Maxey gave us the full text of the poem, which we’ve included below, but we enjoyed this line in particular:

See, it’s gone from a Pri-us to a Pri-ME.
because
it’s all about how cool I can be

Check out more of Maxey’s work at her homepage, the Stanford Spoken Word Collective and YouthSpeaks.

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