Unifying Walk Performance Monday, November 17

by | Nov 16, 2014 | Art, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT, Chemical Sensitivity News, NEWS | 4 comments


Map lines for walk


On Sunday, November 9th at 11am CST, a group of students from Trevor Martin’s Social Practice performance art class in Chicago were joined by friends and individuals from the Environmental Illness (EI) community for the simultaneous drinking of tea.

For part two of the performance, there will be a unifying walk in Chicago this Monday, November 17th at 4:30 CST based on the locations of all the tea participants from Sunday. There were about 35 people we know of who enjoyed tea together that day!

Community Tea participant locationsA Google map was used to plot all the locations of the tea drinkers who joined in and were able to relay their locations. The locations have now been extracted from the original map and overlaid upon a map of the city of Chicago and will serve as the route for Monday’s walk.

Jeremiah Ray, Ellie O’Hallaron and Anna Liza Evangelista, the students who spearheaded the project, would like to invite you to join in (practically or even symbolically) if you can.

Unifying Walk route in ChicagoThere are several ways you can participate. If you are housebound, bed bound or unable to walk for any reason, know that others are walking through Chicago with you in mind. If you care to walk in your own location, attached is the Chicago map you could follow or improvise upon if you choose to.

Before the students embark on the walk they will treat their bodies and clothing as though they were going to visit an EI friend with severe chemical sensitivities. Liz Housewright, another member of the class, has developed a protocol with baking soda that she has come up to share with her fellow students that everyone will follow in preparation for the EI unifying walk.

The idea came about during Trevor Martin’s Social Practice performance class at the School of the Art Institute-Chicago. The desire behind the project is to create a “unifying gesture” conceptual, performance art piece in an effort to bring the students and the EI community together in some way. The students are learning about socially engaged art-making and working with a variety of artists including, Julie Laffin, an EI who spends summers in the Snowflake, AZ EI community.

read about the Community Tea performance art piece


  • Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.

4 Comments

  1. Mokihana

    This is an awesome inclusive act! I am inspired, and will be there with you here on Whidbey Island. Pete and I are building upon that same theme through storytelling — performance art! Here is a link to describe what we have been working on for two years.
    http://www.thesafetypincafe.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-safety-pin-cafe-in-winter.html

    These “unifying gesture” concept pieces are just what I see as vital safety pins in the overall picture!! I’ll keep you posted as The Safety Pin Café grows, and include you as we do.

    Yay Julies.

    Love xoxo
    Mokihana

  2. Julie

    Thanks for your ongoing support Mokihana, and the sharing of your own projects and vision. I am so impressed by the fact that you and Pete volunteered to clean the bathrooms the past few summers at Tilth so that you could institute a fragrance and chemical free policy in the bathrooms. I love that “if it does not exist, we will create it” attitude. That is how Planet Thrive was born. I think this is very necessary to see change in our world; each of us must do our part in our little corner of the planet. Your vision for the cafe is beautiful. Sending you love and energy for that vision to come to manifest. xx Julie

  3. Mokihana

    Thank you Julie. We affirm the dream, and love the support for its manifesting. Yes, Planet Thrive has been the model for many of us, we grow and thrive where we are rooted.
    Aloha! Mokihana

  4. Mokihana

    Julie, I took that Unifying Walk yesterday. What a powerful and beautiful time. I have a post and pictures to share, and hope you will pass them along to Julie Laffin and the folks in Chicago.

    http://thesafetypincafe.blogspot.com/2014/11/unifying-walk-performance.html

    What a time to be alive, and thriving!! Like my astrologer says, “Self-esteem? You gotta earn it, and then no one can take it from you.”

    xo Mokihana

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