Still Healing…’Open Doors’ preview before 2015 Official Launch

I want to thank Audible Observatories 2012 for the invitation to preview ‘Open  Doors‘ which officially launches in 2015.

'Open Doors' Project Audible Observatories 2012 C. Herrera Flor de Miel Fotos 20121113smweb

San Francisco is a very meaningful place to me to launch a new anthropological archive of the Ohlone people – ‘Open Doors‘ involves an inter-generational process focused on healing. The entire Ohlone community is the center of ‘Open Doors’ and for 2013, ‘Open Doors’ presents a model for facilitating dialogue that can travel and be of healing to other communities.

The Ohlone Youth Cultural Revitalization is fast at work creating a new generation of art, writing, music, song and revitalization of language – of Ohlone culture.

I feel very honored to watch them grow into their amazing talents – each of them – possess.  Their  website will be the global portal for historical and contemporary Ohlone life that ‘Open Doors‘ – and many projects to come – can refer persons interested in connecting with and supporting contemporary Ohlone art and all the many cultural projects currently underway in the various regions of Ohlone territory. Their work will be the focus on next summer’s audio recording training with Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco, part of a two-week Ohlone Cultural Healing 2013.

Additionally, I want to thank Audible Observatories’ Fiona McDonald, curator and mad skilled literary editor, who has made this collaboration so very joyous.

I have to say – ‘Open Doors‘ has been a beautiful journey of discovery so far – from the research I did that was particular to Audible observatories – that is, looking specifically at anthropological history and text, that gives context to the past, helped shine light on where and how the anthropological community can be positive collaborators, and, in showing ways and areas of improvement to future relations.

Open Doors,’ above all, is about healing. Our belief is that life is a circle, intimately connected, everything to each other.

Open Doors‘ invites participants to ‘speak’ directly to the Ohlone and become part of the archive documenting our healing, our existence, and our cultural continuity, despite…yes, despite. Join in by being part of creating a new history with us in San Francisco, be part of the Lost Ohlone Archive that will inform the future about how we created something different this time – reached a new conclusion – painted a new ending.

Your healing is my healing. My healing is your healing. We are connected, as a circle.

Open Doors‘ previewing at Audible Observatories is significant too because of AO’s stated mission of ‘Crossing Borders’ – like with ‘Bridge Walkers,‘ ‘Open Doors‘ seeks to cross a bridge to understanding and creative, positive-forward, collaborations.

Yet, in its mission, Audible Observatories states specifically that it respects cultural boundaries  – by explaining its goal is not to ‘become’ Indians – if you will – but rather, respecting everyone’s unique experiences – all peoples – we can respect each other culturally, and begin crossing bridges to each other.

It was Audible Observatories approach, and respectful vision, that really made me so happy to be selected to participate, and throughout the entire process, for ‘hearing’ me and collaborating to create something better together – I am grateful.

Unlike the silent archives of times past, the Ohlone are sharing their experience – it may be hard to hear at times – yet, other moments, you’ll be quite surprised.

This installation includes non-native voices as a means of, specifically:

1) Asking non-native people to join in efforts to break down stereotypes (think the recent scandals of The GAP – with its Manifest Destiny t-shirt and the creator earnestly believing the term only meant ‘survival of the fittest,’ instead of, the traumatic history that was brought to mind for millions here and around the world – which, if we are going to talk about how to move on – we might want to face earnestly that such incidents impact us again today, reopen, rather than heal wounds, and, damage the bridge to better understanding – so maybe we find a better way than reviving trauma today, and, the very recent, Victoria Secret scandalous Headdress fashion thrust on a model, pushed down a runway, prompting an apology and further public conversation about how Native Peoples are portrayed in the media);

2) Moving beyond guilt to healing – for all – by educating today about that past history, and, contemporary challenges Native peoples face today due to old ideas and policies, How are you a part of something different today? Do Native Americans have equal right to participate as full U.S. citizens in basic freedom of religion, speech and other basic rights afforded citizens in our country today?

How can you support the healing today?


Myself, and my family, have been here in San Francisco a long time.

My elders have taught me how to move beyond the pain – yes, after facing it – and to vision something better and work hard to get there.

We are all so similar in our hearts.

I believe in good-heart people everywhere. Regardless of race, religion and creed – I believe, that is a value for which I can be proud to call myself American. Proud to call myself a member of the World.  I know we haven’t arrived completely, it’s always a challenge – hate that has tried so hard to dissuade love – but, the world has shifted and the time of people of many cultures learning to live in harmony has arrived. Love did win out. Race didn’t stop Love. I am not some symbol, I am simply like the rest.

I believe in a healing for all – for really, no culture has escaped trauma. That’s why ‘Open Doors‘ focuses on healing from cultural trauma for native and non-native people – to inspire greater connection to one’s culture, family history, and the ‘medicine’ that can heal the trauma – regardless of race.

Open Doors‘ is designed for healing. Not beating up or blaming. Guilt helps no one’s healing. Not mine, not yours.

Learn more on the preview version of ‘Open Doors‘ at

Open Doors‘ is the third of a trilogy in my work that looks at the healing process from inter-generational cultural trauma, and reflects contemporary Ohlone Culture and Community’s own healing efforts, and includes, ‘Witness the Healing,’ and ‘Bridge Walkers.’

'Open Doors' Project Audible Observatories 2012 C. Herrera Flor de Miel Fotos 20121113smweb

Check out this schedule of Audible Observatories – audible installations placed around the city of San Francisco – I am curious to see so many of them – Fun Friday night Tour of Audible Observatories events!

Stop in to join ‘Open Doors‘ by adding your voice –  SOMA in San Francisco 5-9 p.m.

Look over the entire schedule – there are some really amazing audio artists sharing their work over the next 3 days.

Check it out

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