This most recent Midnight Tea was named A Season of Contentment after a work of art by fellow Trinidadian artist, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, who generously offered her artwork to the fundraising efforts that led to the manifestation of this event. Thank you to the many people who made this project possible with their contributions!
On Saturday, July 25, 2015, 13 women gathered at Java Cafe & Gallery in Phnom Penh for a art ritual dedicated to self-care. Most of the women who participated heard about the event from a close friend or from the Facebook event page, but all were bravely taking a risk to meet with me at midnight.
Local makeup artist, Apple Love, guided participants in Ritual Adornment using red or black lipstick to transform each of the guests into their new personas.
During the 3-hr ritual, guests were given specific roles and assignments to complete. Many roles involved working in pairs or groups. The event was a multilingual one with poetry, memoir, and fictional elements incorporated and performed in Khmer, English, French, and Japanese. Java Arts Goddess, Dana Langlois, generously photographed the event in addition to opening up her cafe/gallery for the event. Please see more images here.
Before the event, I was part of a performance called The Stones Are Awake at Meta House. I had never split my creative energy in this way on the evening of a Midnight Tea, because preparations for the Tea are quite all consuming. Also, this was my second night in Phnom Penh and my jetlag was just starting to settle in. This 37th Midnight Tea challenged me on many levels but in the end, I received as much (if not more) than I was giving.
The women of Phnom Penh are truly generous and deserve whatever kindness, gentleness, and care they can afford themselves. They are still helping me to heal myself.