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More Yoko No 1 - Sketches from my notebook / 24 June 2012

Black and White photograph of Jan Pollock attending an ATOS action

Positive Activism. Photo of Jan Pollock by Richard Downes

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The thought of meeting Yoko Ono - as a New Voices Writer excited me. If it came to be - and it did not - what would my interest be?

Positive Activism.
The Tragedy Model
How to commit simple instructions as a way of overcoming personal tragedy
The experience of exclusion
The nature of segregation
Participation and inclusivity 

I will say more about Positive Activism in More Yoko No 2 - Yoko Versus We All Shot Pudsey Bear.

The Tragedy Model. "Depicts disabled people as victims of circumstance who are deserving of pity"

I have lived experiences of the Tragedy Model. So, has Yoko. The death of John being just one circumstance. Living through war, malnutrition, child kidnap, sexism, racism, the burden of believed to have broken up the Beatles (a false belief), miscarriage. Yet Yoko does not come over as pitied, feared, tragic but brave, etc. How did she survive? How did she get by? Was art intrinsic to survival?

Yoko has done many instruction pieces. Here she gives out an instruction. It is up to you if you follow it. It is up to you to experience and create from the instruction. How do you instruct yourself to survive tragedy. This is an example of an instruction piece. It comes from Revelations, part of 100 Acorns.

"Bless you for your fear, For it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear".

The experience of exclusion. The British Press and Media did not welcome Yoko. Neither did fans of the Beatles and it seems the Beatles themselves had to learn to love her. As disabled People we live in a time where the barons of Fleet Street and government minsiters seem only to keen to lay the blame for all that is wrong in our society at our feet.

The nature of segregation. More from 100 Acorns

You are water
I’m water
We’re all water in different containers
that’s why it’s so easy to meet
someday we’ll evaporate together
But even after the water’s gone
we’ll probably point out to the containers
and say, “that’s me there, that one.”
We’re container minders 

Participation and Inclusivity. Just in case you haven't got it yet. You are a part of Yoko's art. You are a part of art. Art cannot work without your participation. the difference is that Yoko seeks to include you and leaves it for you to be included or not.

Given these areas of interest, how could I not be interested in the art of Yoko Ono?

Keywords: exclusion,inclusion,instruction pieces,participation,positive activism,segregation,tragedy model,yoko ono