Tag Archives: Ecological Justice

Fall Happenings!

Greetings dear friends, colleagues, and fellow travelers!

I hope you have been having a fun and fruitful summer, despite the challenging times in which we are living. As we prepare to ease into autumn, I wanted to let you know of my upcoming course offerings as well as the September reading of my newest play, Chokehold at Impact Theatre in North Berkeley on September 15th!

 If you have any questions, feel free to email me and please feel free to pass this on & post on Facebook. If you are not interested in getting further emails like this, please let me know. I hope to see you at the reading or a class. Be well!

I am teaching two workshops on ecological justice, health justice and liberatory world-making. One is a two-hour Villagecraft evening introductory workshop: Ecological Justice Not Ecological Impairment: Co-Creating a Healthier and Ecologically Just World at the Long Haul in Berkeley on August 28th, 7-9pm, $20, No one turned away for lack of funds!



If this interests you, please sign-up for the 6 week intensive at A Place for Sustainable Living:

Ecological Justice Not Ecological Impairment: Co-Creating a Healthier and Ecologically Just World

What kind of society would we be living in if in place of the hyper-individualization of illness, health and health risk, we recognized that the conditions that cause most common illnesses are related to environmental, not individual, impairments such as air, soil and water pollution, the food desertification of low income neighborhoods, unsafe working conditions and long working hours, etc? This 6 week long course provides a conceptual framework for contemplation and action around this core question.  The course will be oriented towards local and collective action for health and ecological justice so participants can bring their learning home and co-create in community.


During the course participants will have the opportunity to explore:

  • How the socio-economic institutions and practices of our society influence health and shape our own ideas of health and healthy living
  • The role of media and culture in health and health practices
  • How environmental and social injustice systematically impact health from the cradle to the grave
  • How medical knowledge is created and the process by which it becomes generally accepted as true
  • Cases of global ecological injustice and their resulting health crises such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the Union Carbide gas leak and ensuing disaster in Bhopal, India, other national and local incidents to be identified and selected by participants
  • How to do health research for yourself, your friends, loved one and family
  • Community mapping exercises to more deeply understand the dynamics of health or health injustice in our communities
  • What liberatory health beliefs and practices look like
  • Dreaming, scheming and co-creating innovative solutions for healthier communities through collective or individual organizing projects, art projects, and / or new daily life practices


Sliding Scale: $250-$300, barter and work exchange negotiable.

Class Dates and Time:

6 weeks on Thursday evenings from 7pm – 9:30pm.

September 11th, September 18th, October 2nd, October 9th and October 16th, and October 23rd.

* Please note, there will be no class on Thursday, September 25th in respect to those who observe Rosh Hashanah

For more info visit Mordecai’s A Place for Sustainable Living


A PLACE for Sustainable Living

Come to a free reading of my newest full length play, Chokehold, at Impact Theatre on September 15th at 8pm.

Here’s what Chokehold’s all about: When Tal, a young man who was once (supposedly) a girl makes the tough choice to participate in a risky Palestine solidarity protest, he begins a journey for his life—to breathe or not to breathe, that is the question.

Part picaresque, part carnivalesque, and like its protagonist, not satisfied being just one thing, Chokehold is a neo-expressionist absurdist hero’s journey examining how to live ethically in an unjust world and other of life’s profoundest existentialist dilemmas which compel and confound us all.

Hope to see you there!


Chokehold_eblast image_Matthew John Sigrist
by Matthew John Sigrist




Finally, I will be giving a workshop on Somatics and Social Justice at the fabulous Siren Festival.

The Somatics and Social Justice Workshop will provide participants with an overview of: 1) somatic practices and how they ‘work,’ and 2) the neurobiology and ‘ecology’ of social inculcation–specifically addressing the ways in which social learning is all too often polluted by social injustice, systematic oppression, colonialism/ neo-colonialism and globalization.

Together we’ll engage in discussion, dyads and full group exercises to learn somatic practices to cultivate insight, resilience and the unlearning of oppression. Participants will be invited to carry these practices into their lives however they wish to help to help them align with their personal goals for healing and social justice values. We’ll close with a collective somatic exercise to help ground intentions in the heart.

What’s Somatics

Grounded in the belief that the body in its wholeness is the foundation for healing, somatic practices combine body awareness techniques with cutting-edge findings in neurobiology and neurophysiology. These practices work to support and enhance the body’s innate self-regulatory resilience-building capacities. Used with focused intention, these practices can also lead to deeper insight about who we are, the world as a whole, and how we wish to inhabit it.

The Siren Festival is a Feminist Festival of Transformative Arts. “The intention of this feminist-powered participatory festivity is to allow all festival attendees to celebrate, experience and cultivate as a vehicle for self & collective transformation.”  September 14th at the Oakland Peace Center.  My workshop will be part of the Creativity Playground, 1 pm -2:30 pm on September 14th. For more info and to register go to Siren Festival !

Help Halt Climate Change, Fund Ground-Breaking Eco-Drama Extreme Whether Now!

In the wake of the catastrophic Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a widely recognized human-made disaster in which the cost of the carbon-debt accumulated by the global North after generations of colonization and industrialization is being horrifically exacted from the global South (who else), there is no more fitting time for the a play like eco-drama Extreme Whether.  You can help bring it on a national tour and ensure its month long-run in at the Theater for the New City, New York City by supporting it on Indiegogo!

Author of the play and co-founder of Extreme Whether’s producing company, the Theater Three Collaborative (TTC), playwright Karen Malpede believes that culture alters consciousness and that to change our behavior, individually and as a species, we need to change the stories we tell.  In the market-driven context of US theatre in which truth-telling is constantly at odds with economic-censorship, Extreme Whether tells the raw, real tale of the fierce battle waged by climate scientists to urge global governments and corporations to heed the severity of climate change being wrought by human business as usual.  The play recalls both Brecht’s Galileo and Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People.

The acclaimed Malpede had already staged five plays and started her own theater when she debuted her ground-breaking work, Us, in 1970.  It was directed by the great Judith Malina, of the Living Theatre.  Both Malina and Julian Beck were Malpede’s earliest mentors.  Throughout her career, Malpede has written and staged 19 plays, most of which she also directed.  In 1995, with the late Lee Nagrin and George Bartenieff, Malpede founded The Theater Three Collaborative.  TTC is dedicated to creating theater that fearlessly explores the most compelling and pressing issues of our times such as war, torture, and genetic engineering, and now, the climate crisis.

Extreme Whether has been praised by noted climate scientist and former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen, who spoke at the play’s standing room only April 2013 public reading.  In a true homage to great playwrights like Ibsen, Extreme Whether isn’t just an eco-drama packed with stunning and sobering facts about science and the dynamics of corporate climate-change deniers, it’s also a family drama.  In the work twin brother and sister, one a climate scientist, one a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry, negotiate the conflict of their beliefs amid a struggle which is shaping the world around them.  In the life-world of the play, as in our own, a young activist, an elder environmentalist, and two climate scientist must grapple with ensuring the truth they know is heard and heeded against overwhelming odds.  Further, they demonstrate how it is possible to deepen their bonds of connection, love and trust while increasing their resolve in the face of potential devastation—the truth they hold is the truth upon which the survival of our species depends.  This may seem overly dramatic-to some, but considering the *recent words of Typhoon Haiyan survivor Catherine Balila, from the hard-hit coastal Philippine city Tacloban, who comments on witnessing the sea swallow her home, “I thought it was the end of the world,” we are reminded that it is simply stark reality.

Don’t let the truth get washed away, support Extreme Whether however you are able today!


*The need to turn to international news sources to hear the words of survivors and learn the true costs of this ecological injustice.

For this article’s ecological and racial justice lens, I am indebted to the work of Aura Bogado, Colorlines blogger and Nation contributor, whose excellent article is linked above.

From the Sept. 2013 Cherry Lane Theatre Reading
From the Sept. 2013 Cherry Lane Theatre Reading