Words of Colour’s Creative Wellbeing Associate Patsy Isles has contributed a digital mindfulness session as part of the Breathe 8:46 campaign, inspired by George Floyd, which will run for a week from 25th June to commemorate one month since his murder at the hands of the police in Minneapolis.
Black men across London will be invited to take time out to heal from the impact of racism to participate in Breathe 8:46 to support each other, to start the healing in memory of George Floyd. Participants will have a visual prompt of a countdown clock.
When ready, the user can start the clock, initiating a process that starts with George Floyd’s final words at 8:46 – “I can’t breathe.” They can then select an option for how they would like to engage during the countdown process, from a guided meditation to creative writing to spoken word. The clock will countdown to zero when the user will be left with George Floyd’s hopeful words as a 17 year old on the verge of leaving school: “I want to touch the world.”
Led by BlackOut UK and Survivors UK – the project seeks to build deeper and stronger connections with Black men, by engaging with services across London. Other project partners participating in this important initiative are dramatist Tony Cealy, Words of Colour, the National Gallery, Thrive LDN, youth charity The Mix and Ash Alves, Lambeth’s Black Thrive, filmmaker Seye Isikalu, actor Colin Salmon and other artists who are offering digital support for mental health and wellbeing.
This ‘healing justice’ the day will allow men to experience different ways to take care of their own healing, discover support from a range of organisations concerned with Black men’s mental health and have the opportunity to mourn George Floyd and others lost to racism – “whether by the malign neglect that drove disproportionate deaths as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, state violence, or the additional stressors that fear/expectation of racist persecution create. The goal is to build our resilience and and networks for the necessary, ongoing struggle for justice,” says the project.
Patsy’s session, Breathe and Be, will reflect on the transformational power of your breath with a dynamic breath meditation to ground and centre participants while simultaneously developing their respiratory health. And through creative journaling, participants will be able to connect to and honour how they are feeling in the moment.