It all began in 2008 under a different name: 19more. Named such because Harriet Tubman, who I call the original backpacker, took 19 trips into the deep south to free the enslaved. When I moved to Seattle in 2010 my visions for decolonizing wild spaces changed and so did my company.
Between 2010 and 2015 I spent my time leading wilderness trips, teaching environmental science in the Hoh Rainforest, paddling a 26 person canoe on Lake Crescent, leading whitewater rafting trips on the Wenatchee River, I also worked as a Service Learning Coordinator with Seattle Public Schools.
From 2016 onward things got, interesting. In this body and the stories it tells with and without my consent and the election of the cesspool of bigotry that is the 45th POTUS, my time in the wilderness had to change. It was no longer safe for me to frolick in the Cascades, or drive solo across the country with my dog, a few maps, and a prayer. I made adjustments to earthseed's work and
In 2019 earthseed was awarded funding from Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture. I hired two young people to write a theatre piece focused on grief. They, Grace and Jennifer, chose to focus on address gentrification. We spent 5 1/2 weeks writing, filming, interviewing, and rehearsing. Eventually our work turned into Grief: A 2019 Wail.
In September of 2019 I went to AADK Spain to be in residency with artists from around the world. During the residency I completed a brand new theatre piece written in three languages (English, Jamaican Patwa, and Spanish). The piece explored intergenerational trauma. I also completed a 50,000 word memoir that I genuinely haven't looked at since I got back in early 2020. My final month there I worked with two bailarinas from Chile to incorporate movement and dance into a new poem.
Upon my return to the states I was handed the keys to earthseed's new brick and mortar location in Beacon Hill. One month after I got the keys a care home in Kirkland registered the first case of Covid 19 in the United States. Governor Inslee issued the Stay Home and Stay Healthy order. That meant that the tour of Yankee Pickney was canceled and my plan to launch earthseed as both a theatre and a workshop wouldn't work. We stayed in the space for another year and then decided to close our doors. There was no telling when the pandemic was over. Now that I'm writing this from 2022 it's clear that this pandemic(s) may never be over. Read my interview with American Theatre magazine to learn more.
In 2023, earthseed will reopen our online store so we can get back to selling the things we make. With social media shifting and changing as it is, it's important to me to have a consistent platform where I can keep people like you apprised of what's going on in my world. Thanks for being here and thanks for caring.
With So Much Love,
Jéhan on a break from presenting at Seattle Interactive Conference