• Nadia Ross

My personal mission

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

STOre is about a life lived in the performance arts, on the cusp of the end of patriarchy and the advent of the digital age.

We shape the world we live in with the stories we tell ourselves about it. Stories shape us.

We believe inaccurate stories (because stories are not facts) that, when they shape our world, shape it in forms that are not necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Stories can be used like weapons and act like spells. It was a shock, to me, when someone gave me a pin for International Women’s Year in 1975. I was ten years old and the pin told me that women were second class citizens all around the world. I hated being a second class citizen. I hated that pin. It put me in all kinds of boxes that I just wanted to lash out at. Don’t get me wrong, I know the intention was all good and we had to work hard to get women equality, and there was so, so much work to do, but I remember being heartbroken when someone put the pin on my shirt. Not the feeling that it was meant to illicit, I’m sure.

When I was born in 1965, patriarchy’s stories shaped the world into a specific form, but there were just enough of us (women and men, to use the distinctions of that era) that were no longer willing to accept our place in that form. The scales had tipped. I was born right at the perfect time to be on the front lines of the next wave of people challenging the dominant story. At first, it felt like conducting an ‘assault’. But lately, it feels like it is more of an operation to put it out of its misery.

To help the patriarchy go, I was going to understand the stories that sustained it, and through that, I would understand how stories sustain and shape our world, and then I would use some of the same strategies to dismantle parts of it. No small task indeed, but that was the task. What other task could come out of being a white woman born in that era, attuned to the white world around her, who had no female mentors at the time, except for a mother who felt so gutted by her place in the world that it drove her to almost total despair?

That system has been begging to be dismantled for a while, but people do not like change at all, especially if they have something to lose in the change, so it was going to be a battle.

Although I feel like I had to be a fighter, I could only be the fool, as staring straight in the face of people who hate you because you are challenging a system they benefit from, often in those situations, the fool has a better chance of success then the fighter. But I was both. I had to be.

I had to behave like what I imagine a fighter must behave like when fighting a covert war, since the only thing I can compare the world of my young life with, is a kind of war. Among other things, I had to endure psychological pain for extended periods of time.  In retrospect, it was a kind of training at a young age that would benefit me for a long time to come, until it benefited me no more.

These documents will reveal some of what I went through, the battles that I fought and the colleagues that fought them with me. My goal is to share information that I have learned along the way that has been useful to me as an artist and for STO Union.

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