THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Future

Aim Ren Beland

 

Date of Interview: October 10th, 2017

Name: Aim Ren Beland

Age: 26

Pronouns: He/Him

Location: Chicago, IL

 

If you were an underwater creature, which would you be?

Any underwater creature? I’d be those little crabs that have no eyes that live next to the ventilation ducts in the ocean, the little white ones, you know, that feed off the weird phytoplankton. Maybe that one. They’ve adapted to live so uniquely to their environment, and they are so a part of their environment that if you remove them from that context, they literally cease to exist. And not just in that it kills them kind of way like a fish out of water, like a very literal– they can’t live in any other water or in any other space. It’s a very unique situation. I like that [laughter].

How often do you bathe or shower?

I shower twice a day, once in the morning to wash, once in the evening to rinse off from the day, and then in the winter, I bathe more because it’s like a warm comfort, a fetal womb kind of feeling, but otherwise I don’t bathe [laughter]. The wash-off and rinse-off is my way to decompress. I have a lot of anxiety, and I like to find little tactics to manage it that aren’t destructive to other people or myself. So I shower at the end of the day. You usually shower alone, so it’s your own space. You can’t do anything else besides just be in the water, so you have to tune into your head and your body, and then you have the good sensation of getting clean so that when you go to your bed or wherever you go to next, you’re really coming there fresh and revived.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about the arts and whose voice gets represented in the arts. I’m from up north, and there’s a lot of focus about the environment and the arts there, but the arts community there is predominantly white, middle-class, and straight. I intentionally moved away from that community to Chicago because I felt there were no voices but the stated prior being represented in the kind of art I was seeing around me. So I came here to experience more narratives and grow and see the world through lenses of other people and hope it helps me and my work mature. To find missing pieces of my voice in others. I’m mostly a visual artist, so a lot of stuff I do is drawing or print. I’m really involved right now in the comic scene, so a lot of zines, and I love zines because they’re accessible. They’re usually extremely inexpensive to produce and buy. Almost anyone of any class, creed, whatever can partake in zine making, buying, sharing, so I find that’s a good way to get art into the masses and to spread various messages of not only the current things that are taking place in the world but also the human experience.

What is one of your main thoughts or memories when it comes to human experience?

Things that stand out in my mind about the human experience… I’m still young enough that my childhood plays a large role in my perception of the human experience, so a lot of it is the different things like nature versus nurture that impact you as a person, whether from your parents or the community you grew up in, or the academia that you become a part of– so that’s a significant role. Going into the larger role as an adult and taking on other narratives, I am always more conscious of the ways that the universities and the other infrastructure around us impact other people’s narrative, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

How do you think you impact your community’s narrative? If you do.

Yeah. I think everyone does, whether they intend to or not. And right now, I am still coming into this particular community, which is Chicago– queer Chicago, as relatively an outsider. I’m still kind of a newcomer. I’m queer, but I’m definitely not from Chicago. I don’t know the infrastructures as well as other people, so right now, I’m kind of taking a step back and trying to listen to other voices, especially those that came here before me who understand the infrastructures at hand. And most of my work right now is purely introspective because I feel like I can speak on myself. But as I become more part of the community, I feel more comfortable taking in the various narratives I’ve heard, and with the guide and consent of those voices– putting that back out into the community.

What does the word community mean to you?

Community, to me, means a large group of people working together for a common cause. And as a queer person living in Chicago, those roles are mostly– just having the rights to various infrastructures [laughter]. Just having rights to infrastructures with the acknowledgment of the various privileges we all hold, I am white and I am from a predominantly upper-middle-class background, so I’m aware of those privileges. And using those privileges for good, and not just feeling guilt because guilt doesn’t make change. So using the privileges I do have to foster the voices that are otherwise not heard or not seen. You know what I mean? Just taking it in and listening, and when you mess up, apologize.

What are our thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual, and familial, and do they overlap?

Yeah, tying back into my thoughts on community, I feel like community is built through those relationships, whether it be sexual, platonic, familial, I feel like the backbone of a community is good relationships of varying scales. And my current social circle, I try and build that sort of effect. I have this large circle of friends, lovers, roommates, coworkers, collaborators, and they all sit in this very misty area where they kind of switch roles in my life, from one to the other. But the people never disappear. Do you know what I mean? Other than an event of moving or some other grand thing, the people stay in my life no matter what space they’re occupying, and I like to manifest conversations and communities that help build those bonds instead of tearing them down because they don’t fit whatever need it is at the time.

What are you looking forward to?

What I’m looking forward to– it’s a mix of apprehension. So I’m young. I’m 26. The future is so way ahead of me. The world is a really scary place right now, so that means a lot of changes happening very quickly and it’s really easy to feel powerless. But at the same time, I feel very fortunate to be in a city like Chicago because the communities that do exist know their power and they know their worth, and they know what actions they have to take to see what kind of change they want to happen, and it’s not just talk it’s actual action. So that makes me super excited, and I feel super fortunate to be a part of that community in an artistic sense, and welcomed into it, and to be able to take a part in it.

Kalani Naihe

Kalani Naihe

 

Date of Interview: October 3, 2016

Name: Kalani Naihe

Age: 23

Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them

Location: Philadelphia, PA

 

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be?

Ohhhhh good question. I would probably be an orca. I really like whales, I think they’re really cool and interesting creatures and like, they just swim around and shit, it’s pretty cool.

What are you passionate about?

Very passionate about the DIY music scene, booking shows, being vegan and embracing my queerness. That’s something that is very new and very fun to become more passionate about. I never… I mean, it’s strange to me to talk about because I’m really new to this whole embracing my queerness thing. I’ve always been like, I’m definitely pansexual and I’ve always thought that my whole life. I’ve been very into loving people for who they are but recently come out to those that are close to me as non-binary when it comes to my gender so I started using they/them pronouns and I think that just making sure that my queerness doesn’t doesn’t get lost in relationships with those who are not. And I think that’s very important. In the past I’ve let people over step boundaries with that for me, like they kind of dictate my level of queerness especially if I’m dating a cis, straight male. So I’ve recently became very passionate about learning and accepting who I am instead of just letting someone else, just because they’re around a lot, dictate that I am this person that I know I am.

Do you feel like you have to carve out spaces that you exist in?

Always. Absolutely, especially because I book shows and being a queer promoter and trying so hard to be inclusive of everybody. It’s like having a third job a lot of the time. A lot of the time I feel overwhelmed by trying to make sure that my space in which I’m occupying is safe for those around me and for those who are also attending. It’s everything from entering into my home, to going to a show, it’s so important to be aware of. Lately I’ve been going through a lot, I moved back into this house after a year after some bad things happened and everyone just took me back in, but I feel better being around other people who are queer. They just sort of encompass my life. Having my friends, even having people in my life who aren’t queer, just making sure those people in my life are also accepting of who I am… All of my friends are and I feel so good and confident about it. But it’s important for me to dictate what is safe for me and those around me. Cuz people do look up to me when it comes to all of that stuff because of how loud I am and how I’m in charge of the spaces that people are in, especially for shows and stuff.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise?

My platonic relationships are soooooooo important to me. I love all of my friends with my whole heart, and I always have, that’s just the way I’ve been my whole life. My platonic relationships, because they’ve always gone better than my romantic ones, have always meant more to me. That’s definitely one of the reasons why my romantic relationships have failed, because I have tried so hard to make sure that if I’m in a romantic relationship, my platonic ones will not be overlooked at all. They’re so important. I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t met my best friend five years ago. And if I have ever treated them terribly or completely disappeared on them or whatever because of getting into a relationship they wouldn’t be here today. So it’s definitely paid off, caring so much about platonic relationships. The people I surround myself with are like family to me because my family is over 500 miles away. I think it’s important for everyone to think of their friends like that. You get to choose them so you should put as much effort into them as anything else, they’re important.

What is something you’re afraid of for yourself?

The future. It’s very scary and uncertain. I think about it all the time and it terrifies me. I’m soooooo scared of it because every aspect of it is scary. Things that are going on politically are scary, it’s sooooo fucking terrifying and then jsut my everyday life, like what am I going to do in two years!? What am I gonna do in two months? Because everything has been so uncertain for me lately and I’ve been kind of just going with the flow, doing whatever. I don’t know. The future. The future is very scary and I’m terrified of it.

What do you wish you had known when you were 15?

I wish 15 year old me, I’m going to go into this crazy vegan thing because that’s who I am, I wish 15 year old vegetarian me, fence walking peanut butter eating piece of shit who REALLY didn’t do ANYTHING, it’s cool, like I was vegetarian so young and it took me so long to vegan. I wish someone would have told me “there’s something called vegan-ism, this is what you want to do” because my mindset was “I want to help animals BUT I’m still gonna eat dairy” ::laughs::. So I wish 15 year old me would have known what being vegan meant.

 

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