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Postcard project highlights precariousness of life in Maple Ridge and Mission

Postcards From Precarious Places is an art dialogue that is being turned into a play
Participants with their artwork for Postcards From Precarious Places. (Screen grab)

Precarious, a word meaning not securely held in position or likely to fall, is the theme of a postcard project for people who have been touched by the ongoing opioid crisis in the community.

About 20 participants from the Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society and SAFE Missions – networking, support and, advocacy groups for people who use drugs – came together to create postcards based on the theme.

Kat Wahamaa is the arts facilitator at both organizations. She said the project, called Postcards From Precarious Places, is one that all people can relate to.

“There’s a lot of precarious things going on in the world these days in terms of precarious employment, precarious housing, and, for people who use substances, it’s always a precarious situation because of the toxic drug supply, to not know what is in the substance that you are taking,” said Wahamaa.

“The whole issue of appropriate housing for all kinds of people, not just people who use substances, single parents, seniors all find themselves in precarious situations where housing can evaporate at any moment given somebody’s health, work situation,” she said.

One postcard says, “A House Does Not Make A Home,” another, “Home is where the heart is,” with an image of a person pointing to a heart over a cliff. Yet another cart says, “Maybe you’re focusing on the wrong part of your mind’s window if everything seems like a blur.” And another, “Even the broken-hearted can grow wings and fly above the precipice.”

READ MORE: Lives lost too soon to fentanyl

ALSO: What about pop-up detox and treatment? Maple Ridge addictions expert asks

Now both groups are coordinating a play based on the same theme. The first version of it will be performed on Friday, April 14 at the Copper Hall Community Kitchen, at 33129 Railway Ave., in Mission, on the seventh anniversary of the declared overdose health emergency by the province.

Wahamaa describes the play as a collage, or a series of vignettes, that are all tied together by the same theme.

A full production will be put on at the Clarke Theatre in Mission in November.

The postcards, though is a virtual display only and can be viewed on the Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society’s Facebook page.

A micro-grant from Urban Matters through the Community Action Initiative made the postcard project possible.

Wahamaa is hoping those who see is will think about the precariousness of their own lives, and recognize that uncertainty is a real-life situation for a lot of people, “especially with the fentanyl poisoning crisis that we are still immersed in,” she noted.

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A postcard in the virtual show Postcards From Precarious Places. (Screen grab)
Participants work on their artwork for Postcards From Precarious Places. (Screen grab)
A postcard in the virtual show Postcards From Precarious Places. (Screen grab)

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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