Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy
Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy (Just Breathe, Mother Earth) is a collaborative project led by Cree artist Sandra Lamouche and settler artist Melanie Kloetzel.
Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy offers intimate groups of 20-30 individuals an immersive journey into and out of climate anxiety. As the audience-participants are physically guided through a crafted landscape, they experience hope, deceit, folly and serenity, while also uncovering alternatives to a shocking fate.
Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy presents audience-participants with the opportunity to engage with the climate crisis as a nexus where economics, ecology, health and Indigenous knowledge meet. Using tactics of disorientation, satire, and state-based tasks for audience-participants, those joining the Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy journey experience both the deep inequalities and inadequate nature of Eurocentric cultural responses to the climate crisis, as well as the cultural possibilities that exist in reconnecting to the land via Indigenous worldviews.
Each Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy journey concludes with a debriefing session with a trained psychologist. These sessions, facilitated by Camille Mori, help the audience examine the feelings that emerged during the immersive journey, as well as connect to others who may be feeling disempowered in the face of the climate emergency.
Just Breathe, Okâwîmâwaskiy premiered as part of the Professional Series at the University of Calgary in January 2023.