The path, lawn and beach near the Naval Memorial offer a clear view of the Atlantic Ocean (provided the fog hasn’t rolled in). View Liliona’s film on the path or head down to the shoreline. Point Pleasant Park is one of downtown Halifax’s greatest assets: 75-hectares of wooded park bordered by coastal ecosystems and crisscrossed with 39 km of easily traversed, winding trails and wide paths, many wheelchair-accessible.
I stood on the beach 79 years ago, in 2021. I remember that my bare toes just caught the surf as it raced up to meet them. I felt the space open wide both behind and in front of me. I turned my back to the water and looked at the sand. I closed my eyes and felt its cool solidity.
I imagined the two-metre sea rise they said would come. I imagined the giving way of land to water. I imagined my feet resting in the same spot and yet submerged.
It was frightening and strangely beautiful. I stood on the solid beach of that sand and wondered if I was drowning.
My body is a conduit, a link to past and to future generations.
It takes me back, it takes me forward, it carries the present. My body is story.
Based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), on the powerful, unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi'kmaq people, Liliona Quarmyne is a dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, community organizer, and activist. Originally from Ghana and the Philippines, she has an eclectic background that has taken her through many performance styles on four different continents. Liliona performs across the country and internationally, creates original works as an independent artist, facilitates community programming, and is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio. The scope of Liliona’s artistic work is broad, but is particularly focused on the relationship between art and social justice, on the body’s ability to carry ancestral memory, and on the role the performing arts can play in creating change. Liliona loves to work in collaboration and community, and is mom to two wonderful kids.
Photo Credit: James Maclean
70% of Nova Scotians live in coastal communities, and the province is likely to experience the greatest amount of sea-level rise in Atlantic Canada. Since the early 2000s, EAC has been campaigning for coherent coastal protection policy, while also educating Nova Scotians about the risks of sea level rise, climate change, and the preventative measures they can take to help manage and adapt to these issues. In 2019, after many years of advocacy, good news washed ashore: the Coastal Protection Act was finally proclaimed. Regulations are currently being developed, and there’s still much more work to do to support communities in adapting to climate change, and to prevent inappropriate developments on the coast.
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