Monday, February 18, 2008

What the Dream House was/is for: building dreams and a real house

Where it all began.
Some time early this week I will receive the photos of Dream House launch night from the photographer. Rather than wait until then to explain what the making of this lamp was all about, I will do so now (and post photos later).

As described early on, the lamp is a three dimensional prayer. "For what?" you must be asking.

In order to explain, let me take you through basic steps of what happened on the night of the Dream House launch.

Prior to the launch, I asked those from abroad who had signed up for the Dream House International list to write their dreams (waking dreams, not sleeping ones) and e-mail them to me so that I could act on their behalf on the night.
REMEMBER THE LINE I HAD ON THE INVITATION: When dreams come true, lives change. Mine. Yours. Theirs.
On the night, I unveiled the lit Dream House to an appreciative, applausive (if there's such a word) crowd. You will see the photos eventually, but basically the lamp itself is like a small house. To the side of the 'house' there is a slit in the wall into which everyone's dreams, written on squares of paper (all colours of the rainbow) were 'posted'. The international dreams went in first (I slipped them in for those who could not be there); then I wrote mine and slipped it in; then, for the rest of the night, people from the crowd came, sat in front of the lamplight, thought about what they wanted to say, wrote their dreams, posted them, etc. It was a great vibe. It was even possible to see some of the dream paper fluttering past the window (behind the artwork) to join the other dreams ... all of them now in the Light.

Later in the night (after the unveiling), I turned the lamp around so that its back was facing the crowd. The back is flat and white, about 4 ft x 3 ft. This surface I used as a screen to project the mini documentary I had worked on late last year (INVISIBLE: Children living with HIV/AIDS) - which I did as a job for TTCRC (TT Coalition for the Convention on the Rights of the Child). The film, which turned out to be extremely moving and powerful, had the audience silenced ... especially at the end when one learns what happened to Veronica and her children subsequent to the interview/filming. Stigma and discrimination are a disease in their own right.

The following is a blurb from a letter Katie, my production assistant on the film (who is now back in Toronto as of Sunday) and I have been using to gather support:

This mini-documentary aims to raise awareness of children living with HIV/AIDS through the story of one mother, Veronica, and her two children. As a result of HIV/AIDS-related stigma, Veronica and her children are presently homeless. This critical situation is taking a heavy toll on the health of Veronica and her young daughter, who are both living with HIV. The film is being screened in order to gather support for the construction of ‘Veronica’s House’ – a new home and new hope for this family.

The film being projected onto the Dream House (lamp) is a projection of the dream of Veronica and her children - to have a home for themselves. It is supported by the energy of everyone else's dreams within the lamp. Similarly, the collective dreams within represent the collective energy of those people who come together to make this real house possible. Hence Dream House has two meanings - a house full of dreams (many people's dreams) and a dream house for a family in need.

The Dream House lamp will move around to different places and people will continue to place their dreams into it ... until the day that Veronica and her children step into their newly constructed home. Then the lamp will be opened (the roof has a lock on it), the dreams removed (unread) and placed in a vessel (time capsule concept). This will be buried deep in the forest and a tree planted over it (exact vessel, forest and kind of tree to be determined).

Things have been unfolding in great ways. So far we have generous donations of materials toward the house and a contractor who is willing to do a lot of work and offer so much for the cause. Much more still has to be acquired and more has to happen, but undoubtedly it will. There is a bank account to which members of the public who are willing to assist can donate whatever is possible. Cash and kind are welcome. If you are moved to assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I will supply this information (account, etc.) in another post to keep it simple and clear. I will also provide updates on the progress of the construction as everything unfolds and takes shape.

So this is what inspired Dream House ... the desire/need to build a house for Veronica and her children. We felt it was impossible to work on the video, to meet this little family and see what happened to them as a result of stigma ... and not do anything more to assist their situation.

And in terms of the lamp, it has a life of its own. So much more has come, is coming and will come from it.

Thank you to all, both seen and unseen, who have been and will be a part of this construction (in whatever ways possible).

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Blogger Kaydee said...

The lamp is lovely and the DVD is fantastic. It is a great thing that you and your friends are going to do for Veronica and her family!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Specky i am so sorry i had to leave...but i am very willing to lend support in any way, to help hammer nails, lay tiles...anything. Just let me know okay.

paula obe.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Kaivalya said...

What an amazing project! I'm looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

10:12 AM  

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