Martha Street Quarant-Zine #3: Metamorphosis

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Martha Street Art Night, based in San José, cultivates space for artistic exchange, community co-creation, and authentic connection. As a creative community, it is vital for us to develop more reciprical, interpersonal relationships with one another--particularly those with different experiences than our own. We celebrate creative collaboration and collective abundance in a culture deeply imbued with competition and scarcity mindset. Martha Street aims to be an inclusive and opportunistic space for the folx that are often marginalized in the “art world” (e.g. BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+ folx, and those who have not had access to a formal art education). As a community, we must listen to the needs of the folx most violently impacted by our oppressive systems, and we must hold space for those folx to share their stories through various expressive outlets. The voices of Black and Indigenous Artists and Artists of Color are centralized and amplified in this zine. It is vital to acknowledge that we are on Ohlone land. If you are not based in San José, you can identify the native land you are at

When we think of metamorphosis, we often think of the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Like a butterfly, we are emerging into new forms--into new ways of being both individually and collectively. Amidst the ongoing destruction, suffering, devastation, there is space for transformation and building the world anew. Through the process of inner and outer examination, we can begin to acknowledge and shed the oppressive paradigms that never served us and build new systems that are rooted in collective abundance, indigenous wisdom, justice and equity, connection to the land and all living beings, and the liberation of marginalized peoples. As we witness the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prioritization of profit over people; as we witness the way our systems continue to murder, brutalize, and criminalize Black people and other marginalized communities; as we witness the ways that white supremacy kicks and screams in its dying breaths; as we witness California ablaze due to colonization and western land practice; as we witness a presidential election where we are forced to vote for the “lesser of two evils”… We MUST shift our ways of being, our ways of connecting with one another and the earth. We must ask ourselves: How can we break away from our existing systems that are rooted in dominance, fear, exploitation and separation and shift into systems of collectivity, love, shared knowledge, and abundance? Individually and collectively, we are constantly evolving, constantly shifting, constantly becoming, yet we hold the truth that transformation is non-linear and complex. We can return to old lessons and still move upward. We can learn and relearn and unlearn. Death and Rebirth. Grieve the passing of the old and honor the process into the new. Transformation, rebirth, realization, release. Repeat.

Have you ever felt new growth? And that’s such a weird question right? Like, who feels growth? But I’m telling you as I was standing here in my room that, I took one pair of pants that I just knew I had to give And I tossed in the pile, where, everything else is, going to leave me for good And in that moment, I just, felt this feeling in my body The feeling that is just so light and easy You can feel it flow from your feet to your knees To your shoulders To the highest trees I can feel the warmth of the sun upon my face And in that moment I just I just know I’m going to be okay Eventually, I’m going to be alright And, at some point I’m going to be great I can feel it I can taste it Taste it just as much as I have the urge to eat chocolate But that’s pretty much all the time So maybe that urge will be just the same That lets me know I have brighter days Amazing how you can just feel something in one moment And it changes a lot for you Something you thought you couldn’t do I literally have a pile of empty shoeboxes and a bag full clothes that I’m actually going to get rid of And if you know me, it’s hard for me to throw anything away

Cause I attach my heart onto everything that I own I do everything with my heart and everything with my soul And I’m still learning me, which is pretty great I’m able to see it, I’m able to feel it, I’m able to say it And not most can do that Not most can share with you their skeletons, their emotions What keeps them up late at night Too embarrassed to share with the world what everyone else is thinking But I’m not I, I expose my flaws because it’s who I am We’re not all, perfect And if you ever do wrong, I hope you make up for your mistakes Or at least try to Effort goes a long way And you’ll see if someone doesn’t even want to So you say your sorry’s But make the effort Take the time, to do, anything, and everything you can No excuses It’s like I said You stand in one place, one moment, and feel one thing And it’ll make you realize so much I’m ready for this new growth I want it Cause no one likes to stay in the dark for too long

photo credits to Rosario Llamas @visually.vanessa

What does “metamorphosis” mean to you?

What is your relationship with change?

Up until now I have not thought about the word ‘metamorphosis’. I guess this may be a reflection of my public-school experience where I find the terminology / jargon of the sciences repulsive and uninteresting. But, with respect to those fields, now the word metamorphosis humbles me. What I mean by this is, at the hands of colonialism humxns have developed a very self-centered ego that convinces us that we are separate from the natural world around us. When in reality the paradise that surrounds us, nurturing us, is very much a relative no different than a family member. We are all in a constant state of evolution experiencing our own stages of metamorphosis trying to peacefully coexist and honor each other.

My relationship with change has never been negative. Truthfully, I am not a very complacent person so I actually welcome change because I have always looked at it as an opportunity or an advantage for something much more fulfilling, whatever that may be. Change, growth, metamorphosis, are some of the most natural occurrences in life, so much so that I will not be the same person by the time I finish writing this sentence. Do you think that the events of this year have transformed your creative practice?

The events this year, although familiar, have definitely transformed my creative practice. Unfortunately for the better, having to shelter in place has given me the time and energy to truly be present in my creative process and identify what truly matters in life. Especially considering this tremendous rupture in consciousness happening in

response to colonialism and white supremacy, I am beginning to take action on how I wish to be remembered and what legacy I will pass on to my children so that we continue to resist and formulate a world absent of oppressive systems. Between the videos, cypher series and singles I will be releasing, what little control I have over my own intellectual property will I use to make an everlasting impact on the folks who interact with my music or myself in general that keeps this wave of empowerment going. How does your art reflect the way you see the world and what you imagine what the future could be?

Not to be that foo but my art honestly reflects the world I have always been unable to see. I have a clear understanding that representation doesn’t equal liberation but knowledge of self is the stepping stone to reclaiming our identities that have been hijacked by colonial-

photo credits to Mario Babasa @that1lonermarz

We must act as if we answer to, and only answer to, our Ancestors, our children, and the unborn

To make a revolution, people must not only struggle against existing institutions. They must make a philosophical/ spiritual leap and become more 'human' human beings. In order to change/ transform the world, they must change/ transform themselves.


San José Strong is a grassroots organization to reinvent San José for and by the community. Where vacation and visit platforms, like Visit San José, serve as sparknotes for tourists. We are the whole book for residents. Imagine you’ve just moved to San José and want to get involved in the culture and community. You come to our platform and have the tools to do so, whether by getting connected to the awesome organizations and businesses of South Bay, finding accessible


resources to understand the landscape of San José, or joining San José Strong’s in house efforts. Follow them at @sanjose_strong // @sanjosepoliticaled // @walk4solidarity // @sj.strongmentor // @sjstrong_swag

African American Community Service Agency Amigos de Guadalupe Archive408 Billy De Frank Center B.L.A.C.K. Outreach H.E.R.O. Tent LGBTQ Youth Space Maiz San José P.A.C.T. San José Brown Berets SJ Peace & Justice Center San José Strong

African American Community center providing services in education, wellness, economic development, and social service Community organizing and advocacy, education, and direct social service Archival of Past and Present SJ History, currently providing financial support for BIPOC folx through their Financial Solidarity Project LGBTQ+ community resource center and activist organization Platform for Black liberation and collective knowledge outreach Food, water and aid services for activists Community drop-in center and mental health program for LGBTQ youth Grassroots Latinx community organization that advocates for social change in marginalized communities Multi-faith, grassroots organization that provides leadership training and experience to community members Brown Rights / Brown Power Activism Resource center for local grassroots activism and global concerns A grassroots platform designed to reinvest San José for and by community

Silently Loud Collective

Free sexual assault Survivors Support Group


Services for immigrant rights and education

SURJ Sacred Heart

Group mobilizing white people to be in solidarity with BIPOC

VietUnity South Bay

Grassroots organization bringing Vietnamese people together

Young Women’s Freedom Center

Leadership and advocacy org led by systems involved young and adult women and TGNC people of color

Veggielution x Spade & Plow: East Side Connect

School of Art & Culture @ MHP

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

Partnering with other local urban agriculture organizations and small farms to get fresh produce to the most food-insecure program participants via a weekly home delivery. They’re also preparing hot meals to deliver in a food truck tot eh isolated residents of East San José. School of Art and Culture @ MHP is partnering with Second Harvest Silicon Valley to serve as a Drive-Thru Food Distribution Site in East San José. Every first and third Monday of the month from 10AM to 12PM. Registration in the King Road parking lot at Mexican Heritage Plaza. One of the largest food banks in the nation providing food to more than a quarter of a million people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties every month. They have food pantries and mobile food programs across San José.

Jerry Larson FOODBasket

Provides nutritious grocery pickup services for AIDS Services clients. For more info call 408-961-9850 or email

Meals on Wheels

The program provides meal service to homebound, older adults 60 years of age and older in Santa Clara County. Call 408-350-3246 for a confidential eligibility assessment.

CalFresh Food

A nutrition program for California residents with low income that increases your food budget. It allows you to buy healthy food at most stores, such as food outlets, grocery stores, farmers markets and some restaurants.

Other Resources

Learn about the City of San Jose’s Community Garden Program at Check out @sharkcityfarms @change.gardenproject @cngfgarden @valleyverde @communitygotus

Search for food and helpful resources near you at

photo credits to Jasmine Dator

All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth Is Change. God Is Change.

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