**The Lotus** The Omi Collective

the lotus sits on a 7 foot circular base with 8 surrounding petals, each one hand painted and embellished by womxn/femme/non-binary artists from the DMV area.

**Inside The Womb**
once inside the flower, you will be surrounded by imaginative murals created by 8 womxn artists of color. The lotus will inspire cocreation of performance and art activating participants from the center, and amplifying the offering across the lotus’ sphere of influence. The petals will be able to open and close to accommodate various forms of interactive performance and activity, i.e yoga class, sound meditation, DJ set, performance, ceremony, and/or cosmic nap.

*Inclusive Art**
We especially wanted to make space for people whose identities are marginalized within mainstream society.
We believe this space for inclusive imaginative art is vital for any process of decolonization, because the decolonization of the imagination is the most dangerous and subversive form there is; for it is where all other forms of decolonization are born.
“art and culture themselves are time traveling, planes of existence where the past, present and future shift seamlessly in and out. And for those of us from communities with historic collective trauma, we must understand that each of us [are imaginative art] walking around on two legs. Our ancestors dreamed us up and then bent reality to create us… "--artist, doula, futurist adrienne maree brown--- Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless.

The first petal we installed at the Lotus Super Bloom was of womxn intertwined with pomegranate branches and a flowing poem by Forough Farogahzad. This petal was created by @maryamrassapour, a Iranian/American contemporary fine artist that weaves old world Persian art with modern, mixed media techniques. She visualizes her experience battling culture and societal norms growing up in Iran at the time war. 
Similarly, 30 years prior the Iranian feminist poet and filmmaker Forough Farrokhzad struggled with how her gender inhibited her work in a culture where her only role was a homemaker. Forough Farrokhzad’s reflections in “Those Days” speaks words to the visual experience of Maryam’s work:

Those days are gone
Those fine days
Those sound, abundant days
Those skies filled with spangles
Those cherry-laden branches
Those leaning upon each other within green fences of ivy
Those rooftops of frolicking kites
Those alley’s giddy with the acacia’s perfume
Those days are gone
The days when my songs burst forth
From between my open eyelids
Like bubbles filled with air
Whatever my eyes would glide open
Like fresh milk they would drink
It was though within the pupils of my eyes
Those lived a restless rabbit of joy
Who every morning with the ancient sun
Would go in search of an ancient sun
Would go in search of unknown fields
And disappear each night into the woods of darkness
Those days are gone
Those days of silent snow
When every moment in the warm room
I gazed out through the window’s pane
My pure snow like soft fluff would quietly drink down
On the old wooden ladder
On the slack clothe’s line
On the trees of the aged pines
And I’d be thinking of tomorrow
Tomorrow, ah
A slick white mass