Under-the-Radar: Oakland Event Picks of the Week (March 22-28)


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This week’s picks just might be the most strangely juxtaposed events ever: dirt and water, compost and performance art, seder and social justice, grasshoppers and lynching.  Lucky for you they are all separate events, though how cool would it be if we could fit it all into one event? A bonus–most of it’s free!

Be Blue: Today is World Water Day, but you knew that already, right? Okay, I just found out about it two days ago too. Forget going green, be blue. Well, don’t forget going green, just remember conserving water is just a significant part of ‘being green’ as anything else. The day is described as a “means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.” As far as I know, though there are events in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, there are no specific events happening in Oakland. But hey, we don’t need an event to learn more about water use and conservation and improve our aqua-literacy. On Tuesday, SF hosts the Water Conservation Showcase, which will explore cutting edge water-conserving technology and strategies through expert-led presentations and exhibits. A number of Oakland organizations will be represented including Pacific Institute, Greywater Action, and East Bay Municipal Utilities District.

You’re making me uncomfortable!: Plan your weekend early. It looks like Temescal Arts Center is the place to be Saturday night if you want to do something out of the ordinary.  The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun: experiments in experience/participation performance. “World-known shaman performance artist Frank Moore, will conduct improvised passions of musicians, actors, dancers, and audience members in a laboratory setting to create altered realities of fusion beyond taboos.” I’m not sure what that means, but the LA Reader called it a “mind-goosing experience” so that sound like something I’d like to be a part of. The announcement says to bring your passions and musical instruments and your senses of adventure and humor. Admission is Free!

Flick Picks: Learn why it might be a good idea to stop treating our dirt like dirt.  Dirt! The Movie will be shown for free at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center 388 Ninth Street, Suite 290 (2nd Floor), 6:30, Wednesday. The film is only an hour, with discussion afterward.  Also, the film Corazon del Tiempo: Un Viaje Al Corazon de la Resistencia Zapatista will be shown for free on Friday night at 7:00pm at the Eastside Arts Alliance.  The screening will be followed by a community discussion facilitated by a local delegation of Native women who visited the community of Morelia, Chiapas, Mexico. Spanish, with English subtitles.

Compost this: Learn about everything ranging from zero-waste to composting at Northern California Recycling Association’s 15th annual Recycling Update.  Downtown Oakland Tuesday. Conference details here. Perhaps people won’t be flocking to this, but I find it fascinating.  Check out the title of one presentation: “Open Source, Web-based Tools for Recyclers.”

If you are looking for that obligatory non-fun, deadly-serious, but edifying social justice event of the week, look no further than the Lynching Then, Lynching Now: The Roots of Racism and the Death Penalty in America teach-in at Laney College. The discussion will be about the historic link between the death penalty and lynching in the United States. Speakers include Barbara Becnel, Founder of Stanley Tookie Williams Legacy Network, Lawrence Hayes, Former New York State death row prisoner, Jack Bryson, Justice for Oscar Grant Movement, Jabari Shaw, Laney Black Student Union, and Kevin Cooper, a death row prisoner, calling in from San Quentin. Free, 7pm, Room D200, call 510-333-7966 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              510-333-7966      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              510-333-7966      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for Campaign to End the Death Penalty for more info.

What is the meaning of this?: Spring is upon us, which also means Passover is upon us.  Looking for a social justice seder? The Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) will be holding its 4th Annual “Not-A-Seder: Passover Cabaret of Laughter and Liberation” on Wednesday, March 24, at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. Free. The event views the ancient tale through the lens of Bay Area artists and incorporates real-life stories of contemporary liberation from local social justice activists.

Beer and Bikes and Pedaling with Penache: Well, separately. Drink beer and socialize while talking about all things WOBO.  Walk Oakland Bike Oakland‘s monthly social meeting is Thursday, 6:30-8pm, at Pacific Coast Brewery, 906 Washington Street.  Among other items, WOBO will be preparing for Bike to Work Day. Also, Saturday is the East bay Tweed Ride, starting from Ohlone Park in Berkeley. “It’s time to dust off your smoking pipes and take your tweed out of mothballs! Put that dapper cap on your head, oil your chain, and get ready to pedal with panache!”

Listening to Grasshoppers: I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that renowned author and global activist Aurundati Roy is in the house…or at least our neighbor’s house. She will be speaking at Mission High School Friday night. Sponsored by Haymarket Books, Arundhati Roy will read from her latest collection of essays, Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers. Get tickets here.



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