This past week we began our Wednesday session talking about dreams. The icebreaker was focused on the most memorable dream we’ve ever had and given how gnarly the dream state can be, we heard some pretty interesting stuff. As someone with a pretty bad memory I can’t remember most of my dreams in detail; the most I can remember are feelings from dreams, especially whenever I dream about being back home in Aotearoa. So I loved hearing people with better recollection paint some really vivid pictures of their dreams.
While we had been discussing literal dreams, our awesome leader Vera also reminded us of the importance of long-standing dreams: desires, hopes, and wishes that we carry with us through life and that we hope to bring into reality one day. She reminded us that in addition to dreams and goals that are personal to us, there also exist dreams that we share with the collective, HWIF being one of them. The idea that women and young girls can make films and that they deserve a place where they can achieve that with guidance and support was just a dream at one point but with collective love and work, it became reality. Hawai’i Women In Filmmaking is an organization that continues to provide that space, guidance, and undying support to women, girls, and trans/non-binary folks who want to create and make art that means something to them.
And as I do, I take this and think about everything we are doing now at this moment. This past year's moment. This month's moment. This literal current moment. We are dreaming beyond it. As Vera’s reminder was a natural prompt for us to think about dreams on a larger, more collective scale, I am thinking about how we’ve (re)shaped our collective dreams since the pandemic began. Those of us committed to change on a structural and social level, on a journey towards decolonization on a physical, mental, and spiritual level, knowing that we are the answer to our collective liberation and not any formalized, ineffective pathway given to us by a colonizer power. Many of us had been used to in-person work before all this went down. Meeting up in person to talk, plan, protest, and physically bring our dreams closer and closer to reality. And now many of us have had to take a step back. We’ve had to dream in ways that maybe weren’t familiar to us before. Sure, dreaming beyond the settler apparatus and dreaming beyond the constraints of colonialism, but now dreaming beyond what many of us might have thought was the key to those realizations. In a world where covid runs rampant in addition to every other sickness we’ve been dealing with for what feels like an eternity (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.), we are adapting. We are learning how to continue to achieve these dreams for a better world while also navigating the constant shifts and struggles thrown in our path during a pandemic. We are learning how to maintain a beautiful vision of the future and build it slowly in the midst of new trauma and upheaval. And we are making things happen even now. We are dreaming and achieving even now.
We are still dreaming despite. And we will get there despite.