You Are Here: Home » ARTS & CULTURE » Climbing PoeTree: A Creative Uprising

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El Observador

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 Bilingual, brilliant, and eloquent were the words that came to mind when I first saw one of their performances. Using music, poetry and multimedia theater, Alixa & Naima use art as a tool to expose injustice, heal from trauma, and elevate our consciousness. Representing two powerful ancestral backgrounds- Naima’s family roots are from Haiti and Alixa is from Colombia these ladies know how to rock a crowd while unifying diverse people from all walks of life towards a higher purpose.

It is difficult to balance entertainment with education, but Climbing PoeTree’s authentic down-to-earth vibe has enabled them to do their art & activism for more than 10 years. Based out of New York, they have traveled nationally and internationally not only performing shows but also facilitating inspirational workshops on interrelated issues, such as environmental justice, women’s empowerment, the prison industrial complex, and migration. Synergy sparked between them while both women were doing crucial work in their communities: Naima, doing poetry workshops with incarcerated women (most of whom were there for nonviolent drug offences) and Alixa, involved in organizing efforts to resist the fumigations that were poisoning much of southern Colombia and its people as part of Plan Colombia, a US foreign policy calling for eradication of coca and poppy plants. They teamed up to create a multimedia theater production-which gained national success- exposing the often yet unknown disastrous effects of the war on drugs.

Most recently, after touring for 3 weeks in Hawaii, they spent a week in the Arizona desert presenting and participating in a spiritual ceremony with the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, in a call to honor our environment—specifically water. This past week, they presented at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. All the while, they’ve been working on a new album, a soon-to-be released curriculum inspired by their latest theater production, “Hurricane Season: the hidden messages in water,” and their 1st book—a collection of poems reflecting their last decade of collaboration.

Climbing PoeTree’s motto: “Art is our weapon, our medicine, our voice, and our vision.” They understand that the sharing of stories is a vehicle towards healing, breaking down barriers, and promoting justice. What they hope you will absorb most from their art is inspiration towards action. Alixa elaborates, “We hope that people will wake up to these urgent times we have inherited and find within themselves the creative drive and the passionate fuel that will ignite a process of self-discovery. We hope that this work will inspire people to collectively recreate the world into the one they want their children to walk into, and that they will do so from a place of self-love, love for their communities, and love for this incredible planet we have inherited.”

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