WE CONTAIN MULTITUDES
Folks have been asking me: Why are you making The Multiverse? What's the sudden interest in tribalism? What IS tribalism???
To start with that: We're seeing tribalism as the human tendency to self-organize into groups: for survival, for growth, for comfort. And the tendency of these groups to generate.... well, tension. Given that, I think it's more obvious why my co-creator Katie Wilson jumped into this project: her run for Congress, her witnessing of political and cultural tribalism along the campaign trail, so on and so forth.
But me? Maybe my connection to this project isn't quite so obvious. And perhaps this is because my interest in it is a bit more inward.
I think this project is all about ... Identity. And my old flame Walt Whitman perhaps said it best: 🌀 "Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." 🌀
When we align with a tribe, we are trying to figure out who we really are. And it's complicated. We indeed contain multitudes. There are the tribes we don't choose, that we're born into, and that others assume we are a part of based on how we look, or what we do, or the space we take up in this world. There are also the tribes we seek out, that we want to personally and publicly align with... the tribes that we feel are a reflection of who we really are, and what we value.
We all belong to multiple tribes, and beginning to unpack this, to embrace our multiplicity, our ability to be one thing and also another, our right to evolve, is, to me, quite simply fascinating. A look at tribalism is not only a look at how we self organize on a communal level, but a look at what it is to simply BE.
What does this have to do with the images I've shared? To be honest, I often have a hard time reconciling the two MEs they present. One aligns with a tribe that disrupts; the other with a tribe that values - and preserves - security. I find comfort in both, and yet these tribes challenge each other in their core values. What I get from this project is a chance to look at different and even opposing tribes (mine and others') and embrace the tensions. For our multiplicity is what makes us human, and ultimately unites us all.