Phenomenal Photos of “Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War”

by Prince Of Petworth November 23, 2015 at 10:10 am 8 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Paul Sirajuddin

Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War:

“On Friday, November 20, 2015 at 7pm on the NW-side of the Washington Monument, a vigil for healing the chasms and scars of the drug war will begin. We invite you to join us for a multi-day Vigil on the National Mall.

This Vigil will offer space for community building, information sharing, art, music, healing, and celebration.

During the event, we will feature information sharing from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Students for Sensible Drug Policy, DCMJ, and more.

An art installation, The Temple of Essence, will stand as a monument to honor the victims of the drug war. It is a peace-building structure focused on the communities impacted by this conflict and the mass incarceration of our citizens. This Temple will bring people together and create a space for reflection and healing.

For 24 hours, you are invited to share your stories of struggle, honor, remembrance, and hope within its walls.

On the evening of November 21, 2015, the event will culminate in a burning ceremony of the Temple of Essence transforming our individual stories into collective memory (burn permit pending). Then, we celebrate until the sun rises.

• The Temple will be installed on November 20, 2015 and can be interacted with until 6pm on November 21, 2015 (when we begin burn performance preparations).

• Participants are encouraged to share their stories on the structure using chalk.

• You are invited to bring small mementos (photos, letters, etc) of those impacted by the drug war to be burned together.

• The Burn Ceremony is scheduled to start at 10:30pm on November 21, 2015.

• The event is free and open to the public.

• This event is on federal land. Catharsis does not condone the use of any federally illegal substances at this event.

• This is a leave no trace event. Please help keep our National Mall clean after the event.

Thank you!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

Photo by PoPville flickr user Paul Sirajuddin

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

  • Hory clap, cheers to DC for supporting this.

  • SF

    I was there for a bit. I have no idea how they got a permit for this event, but it was totally awesome and there should be more like it.

    • That Man A


      Dc has a pretty active burner scene fyi

    • Up,Sure!

      The organizing group is actually extremely accomplished, professional, and diligent. This is the same crew that organized the overwhelmingly successful Initiative 71 (marijuana legalization >> Writing a bill, 57K signatures, over 70% of voters in favor). They’re pretty serious about the change they want to enact and very capable.

  • stano

    Yeah, this was pretty great. Like a mini Burning Man… On federal property… Right next to the Washington Monument. Thr burn was a midnight and then an all night electronic dance party right there, music bouncing off the White House. Pretty awesome they got permits for this.

    Not sure what message it was sending about drugs but a spectacle to behold. Pretty diverse age mix, too.

    • Anonoline

      That sounds amazing. Why wasn’t it better advertised?

      • Probably to avoid protesters.

        • Anonoline

          Good point. And I guess big crowds would be a bad idea in this situation, in case the fire got out of hand.


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