This video shows Rhizome Cafe is more than a place to eat, it’s a place to come home to.
To celebrate its 6th anniversary, owners Lisa and Vinetta harvested Rhizome stories. Over a 3 week period, over 50 people wrote “What does Rhizome mean to you?” or “What is your favorite Rhizome memory?” on slips of paper and put them in a sealed box. On the Day of the Dead, Lisa and I opened the box and I had 3 hours to draw the memories.
Lisa asked our friend Carlo to transform the image into a special video multimedia presentation.
Behind the scenes:
Lisa and I opened the sealed box November 1st at the Day of the Dead celebration. There were over 50 submissions, $4.35 in change, and two pens. (The pens were from a foiled attempt to try and peek by fishing out an answer ahead of time.) The slips of paper were tiny windows into peoples’ lives at Rhizome. “I met my lover here.” “The Jack O’Dell book launch – the room was overflowing.” “The pop bottle orchestra performance – I laughed until my face hurt.” “No one is turned away hungry.”
For a few minutes I sorted them into some vague groupings, then I put up my giant piece of paper (6 feet by 3 feet) and started drawing. I had only 3 hours. My challenge was to include something from almost every submission.
My pen knew where it wanted to go. Drawing during the Day of the Dead event was special. I drew Rhizome memories while people gathered to share family memories, culture, and food. I think the cafe full of people laughing and talking influenced this image to emerge with bright colours, bolder statements, and the strong lines from the roots going down and growing up. My drawing style changes depending on what I’m listening to. It could be CBC if I’m home or if I’m working at an event, I’m focussed on the speakers and the room’s energy.
This picture is a moment in time. I’m using skills from my graphic recording/graphic facilitation practice to create this image. It’s not a polished, perfect illustration. It’s a visual tool for a group or community, made in the moment. It’s a way to look and see, What is important to us, today? Where have we come from? Where are we going? And then there’s a visual for the group’s history and archive.
The very next morning, our talented friend, organizer and designer Carlo Sayo created the digital presentation with Prezi, selecting Leela Gilday’s music for accompaniment and we revealed the result at the anniversary party. I hadn’t seen the presentation before, so it was a surprise to me too. What was beautiful was that Carlo told the story in a different order than what I had drawn. It meant I could experience Rhizome in a new way, with fresh eyes.
For the full experience, hit play on Leela Gilday’s song One Drum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5XUqT13KWY
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Visit Rhizome Cafe: 317 East Broadway, Vancouver Coast Salish Territories
Become a Friend of Rhizome: http://www.rhizomecafe.ca/friends.html