Interview: Vulnerable Rally
Part direct action, part open-eyed group meditation, part street theater, part grief ritual and 100% unexpected, Vulnerable Rally isn’t just “the opposite of advertising,” it’s a cultural somatics movement.
“The thing that really unites us is we’re all hiding the same kinds of things. We all have shame around our sexuality, around our appearance, around our worth, around if we’re doing enough with our lives, if we’re showing up for others and the earth in good ways. We all have deep fear and shame around that, and no one wants to talk about it.” –Gabriel Diamond, Vulnerable Rally Co-Founder
Beloved recorded a call with the founders of Vulnerable Rally: Gabriel Diamond and Candice Holdorf to discuss how it started the day after the 2016 election, the way it evolved into a practice space, and how it shows us that often our greatest teachers are avoided at all costs.
We also discuss how Vulnerable Rally mitigates the effects of toxic shame, how the Rally at Beloved is different from the Rally done in the street, and some stories of what happens when you tell a deep secret in public!
We introduce Candice and Gabriel and then the interview gets underway at the 4:25 mark.
Content warning: mild talk/images related to eating disorders, suicide, sexual abuse and other traumas.
“I chose anorexia over my marriage.” – Co-Founder Candice Holdorf’s Vulnerable Rally sign
“What would it be like to do the exact thing that we’re trained as a culture to not do, to avoid rejection?” –Gabriel Diamond
“There’s no fourth wall, in any way.” –Candice
On the differences between feeling vulnerable and feeling shame: Shame gets dissolved in community and connection.
“Vulnerable Rally helps us, as James Kapicka says, to ‘re-mammal’ ourselves. –Candice Holdorf
We also discuss power and privilege: Who has access to Vulnerable Rally? What does it mean to be truly vulnerable when bodily safety is stratified along identity lines?
With a final shout-out to Portland-based blessedupthreads.com for this fine sentiment:
What would your sign say?
About Gabriel Diamond:
Gabriel was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland by a single, disabled, feminist, artist mother. After years of daydreaming about the concept, he shared his vision of the Vulnerable Rally with Candice Holdorf. Together, they launched the first one on the eve of the 2016 elections as a social experiment—blending street theatre, shadow work, and anti-capitalist culture hacking – provoking empathy in an effort to build a tangible bridge across the increasing divides in our society. As an artist and activist, he is interested in the intersection between high ideals (non-attachment, altruism), fear (shame, rejection, risk, surrender, death), art, sensuality, and play. As a dancer, he co-created the Blindfolded Contact practice along with Candice Holdorf from a desire to connect to source, find freedom from judgment and unconscious bias, normalize platonic touch, increase sensitivity, and build attunement amongst dancers. He’s is an award-winning filmmaker by trade – capturing stories about visionaries working to tackle some of the world’s thorniest problems. His feature narrative film, Less, is an urban fairytale about a man who chooses to live on the streets of San Francisco in an effort to live only off what others throw away. His short documentary, We Are In The Field, follows a young Nepalese animal rights activist on mission to save elephants, cobras, leopards, and vultures in his native land. Dance Roulette is another project he and Candice are co-creating – which blends elements of conscious dance, tarot, role play, improv, and healing ceremonies. He lives in Oakland with Candice and his 9-year-old daughter and loves seeing the world through his daughter’s eyes.
About Candice Holdorf:
Candice is an award-winning author, screenwriter, producer, director, performer, teacher, and erotic embodiment coach. She is the author of Reclaiming Eros: A Heroine’s Journey – a semi-autobiographical shamanic initiation into erotic living written through the lens of six feminine archetypes. She co-produced and co-directed the music video, RISE/Vulnerable Rally, with Gabriel Diamond. She co-teaches Blindfolded Contact Dance with Gabriel and also co-founded the Vulnerable Rally movement with him. She is dedicated to helping people delve into the taboo places in their lives so that they can find joy and freedom. Her work explores the themes of eating disorders, sexuality, appetite, desire, bisexuality, marriage, and entering womanhood through the lens of orgasmic living. She is a recovering anorexic and uses the wisdom she has found on her journey to fuel her passion for film, writing, creative performance, volunteering, and travel. She is currently working on her one-woman show, Portrait of the Heretic as a Young Woman, which will debut at the Rogue Theatre Festival in Fresno, CA in March 2020.
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