A-List: Climbing PoeTree

Hurricane Season: The Hidden Messages in Water
Climbing PoeTree, Alixa + Naima
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 7pm
Wesley Center, 120 N. Dubuque St., Iowa City

What more can be said about water after the summer we’ve just had here in Eastern Iowa? That we’re all composed of it, that we all depend on it, and that we all now know the devastating destruction it can cause.

In honor of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, self-prescribed “soul-sister co-conspiracy of arts activists” Alixa and Naima–a.k.a. Climbing PoeTree–is touring the United States to share the unheard stories of silenced communities. “Through a tapestry of spoken-word poetry, video projection, dance, shadow art and a sound collage of personal testimonies, Hurricane Season connects the issues that surfaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the ‘unnatural disasters’ disenfranchised communities are experiencing nationwide and worldwide on a daily basis,” according to a media release.

Alixa and Naima’s work fuses both passion and compassion with beauty and imagination to connect with audience members about issues some find easy to ignore. The duo’s activist ethics permeates each step of this tour, from traveling on a bus fueled by biodiesel (recycled vegetable oil) to performing on a set built from bamboo, which is a high-yield renewable resource. But climate change and environmental injustice are only two of the issues Climbing PoeTree takes on. Policing, prisons and gentrification continue the list, and these artists have lots to say about each one.

After each performance of the Hurricane Season tour, Climbing PoeTree will be communing with audience members about the life-giving and destructive water within their own lives and communities. “The objective of the post-show ‘solutions-ciphers’ is to cross-pollinate creative strategies for self-determination and to turn the passion generated in the show into action manifested in the community,” says the media release.

So if you drink your eight glasses a day and still find yourself thirsty, check out Alixa and Naima’s Hurricane Season and perhaps you might find what you’re looking for.

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