Walking Water: Day 9 Update

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Walking Water Phase III Day 9:

What has been taken that can now be gifted?

This question was posed to us in the morning as we began our walk, leaving Audubon Center at Debs Park. The thought was inspired by Big Pine Paiute Tribe member, Alan Bacock, who, together with Kathy Bancroft, ceremonially poured a cup of water for the Tongva people, offering now in gift what had been taken by DWP all those years ago, and routed south, changing both landscapes.

In the afternoon, walkers were invited to visit the Metabolic Studio, founded by artist and activist Lauren Bon. Lauren, together with a team of 15 people, has leveraged the power of art towards healing the water story between LA and the Owens Valley, originally known as Payahunadu (meaning Where the Water Flows in the Paiute language).

Amongst inspiring and unique art installations in the warehouse space are jars of honey that have been shipped from war zones worldwide, a stage with many musical instruments where weekly (Thursday) concerts take place and a silk screening studio where any and all are welcome to come and print shirts with whatever messages serve. This, because there aren't always safe spaces to speak radical truth.

We were guided through the space by Millie Macen-Moore, shown a map of the nearby urban lands Lauren and Metabollic now stewards. The team works to restore soil and water and Lauren is the only steward, besides LADWP, of the LA River.

A true intersection of art and activism, the space stands as an example of how art and action can help restore relations on many levels, from soil to indigenous water rights.

Our day concluded as it had begun - learning about the Metabolic Studio- their beautiful vision to gift back to many communities and the original peoples of these lands some of what has been taken.
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