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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Circle the Earth Audio Clip and Transcript

Circle the Earth Audio Clip

Jeff De Jong, interviewed by Penny Peak

I think it’s very healing when people come together for a common purpose. In many ways, so much of the work that’s done at Tamalpa and that Anna has done through the years has a very ritualistic aspect. And I don’t feel that ritual can fail if it’s approached in the spirit of ritual. Basically ritual is people coming together as a community to heal AIDS, to heal childhood sexual abuse, to ask for peace on the planet. And as long as ritual and the coming together is taken with that kind of seriousness, then ritual really can’t fail.
So much of the AIDS epidemic has been about people feeling ashamed, people feeling blamed, people not receiving support that they need from the larger community, not only because they have AIDS, but because they’re gay, or they’re drug users, or they’re women or they’re Black or Latino, I mean the list just goes on and on. And so I think people coming together to heal through movement and to heal through dance and, and saying, really claiming themselves as “I am HIV-infected,” or “I have AIDS,” and “I’m doing this dance not only for my own healing, but for the community’s healing” is an incredibly powerful, powerful gift.

©Museum of Performance + Design

Circle The Earth
Circle the Earth Audio Clip and Transcript