The Curious Case Of Dualities At Bass Coast 2019
PHOTOS: XAVIER WALKER
COVER PHOTO: MARTY MATHESON
- the quality or condition of being dual.
2. an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.
I have to admit that Bass Coast’s 2019 theme excited me from the moment the organizers announced it. The idea of ‘duality’ permeates who we are as individuals – and my sociology brain went a bit bananas with how to approach exploring both the collective and individual experience or representation of duality. I wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of the ways in which people that I met along my way experienced duality in their life – whether that be a profound exploration of who they are and identify as, or more surface-level concepts of dualism, like enjoying salt on meals but not pepper. Ya feel?
Anyway, I’m going to let all of the wonderful people speak for themselves on this topic, while I type out their responses spliced together from nearly eligible notes and voice recordings that I captured over the weekend. I have to admit, people really surprised me with their answers. What was beautiful about the theme this year was that everyone I spoke to seemed to have their answer already poised for me – as if they knew someone would ask them about it. I’d like to subsequently extend a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who was open to speaking with me this year (which was everyone). You are all wonderful.
Politics: Liberal vs Conservative, Toby & Maya
Toby and Maya are a couple, yet they have polarizing political views. They assured me that they have a strict ‘no politics policy’ when it comes to partying, but I was pretty blown away that both actively volunteer for the Liberal and Conservative Parties of Canada, and remain very much in love. A romantic relationship duality indeed. They keep politics out of the bedroom but often have ‘healthy’ debates throughout the week.
Not engaged to engaged, Neil & Ellie
Two of my besties got engaged at Bass Coast this year and it was wonderful. They rolled into Bass Coast without rings and rolled out with them on. I should note that Ellie proposed, which I am a HUGE fan of. Congrats to the happy couple – love your guts.
Two-Spirited, Bisexual, Max
Max is a two-spirited person, meaning that he (Max asked that I use ‘he’) strongly experiences both the masculine and feminine characteristics of both genders. He physically presents as male, but he feels an incredibly strong connection to women. He let me know that he is happy presenting as a man but often feels like a woman internally. Max also swings both ways and is equally attracted to men, women, trans and gender diverse people.
Social Introvert, Jasmine
While she loves a good party and being social, Jasmine admits that she constantly feels the pull of her stong introverted personality. She likes to be in the mix but enjoys being on the fringe of it. She never feels like an outsider looking in rather enjoys being the strong silent type in her group of friends. She admits that it does take her a long time to recover from multi-day events and she enjoys being solitary to fill her cup back up, but once it’s full, she’s right back out there.
Mother of 2, currently pregnant, at the party, Sarah
Sarah loves role play and a good costume and she was very clear that even though people give her weird looks with her 7.5-month belly dancing around at Bass Coast, she is there to have sober fun. “By the third trimester, you’re ready to focus on things other than feeling huge and uncomfortable. It’s really nice to put a costume on, dance with friends and be the camp Mom, instead of missing out.”
Vegan 98% of the time
I am keeping this person anonymous because she asked to be kept as much, but this girl is vegan all of the time – stocks her kitchen with all things plant-based BUT while at Bass Coast, and sometimes at special events, she will eat dairy. She made it clear that she loves dairy, but on principle won’t eat it – except after a few have gone by with too many cocktails.
Loves jam, hates peanut butter, Kyle
Kyle loves jam. Actually, Kyle loves jam more than anyone I have ever met. He makes all of his own jams, and he let me know that his favorite is strawberry rhubarb, which sounds delicious. But, get Kyle on the topic of nut butter – you will need to dedicate 15 minutes to a long-winded rant about how nut butter sucks. Kyle’s a jam man, but don’t get near him with nuts in a jar.
Enjoys the moon, not the sun, Jon, Moshie, Allen
“When you are the moon, the best form you can be is a full moon. And then the half-moon… he’s all right. But the full moon is the famous moon. And then three-quarters, eh, no one gives a shit about him. When does he come, two days in, to the calendar month? He’s useless. Full moon. The moon. The main moon.” – This is a line from the British Comedy The Mighty Boosh. I had it recited to me by 3 different people when they expressed how much they love the moon.
Side note: watch The Mighty Boosh. It’s weird AF but one of the funniest shows ever
Shorts not pants, Steven
Steven is one of those men who wear shorts all year round, regardless of the weather. He refuses to wear full pants, just half pants. I assured him that this has been a source of personal bamboozlement for me since I was a child, and he told me to try it. I declined.
Dual Citizen, Angie, Mo, Ivan, Kirk
I met MANY dual citizens who have actively chosen to stay in Canada while maintaining their citizenship in their country of origin or to ones in which they were grandfathered in. I met people from both the USA and the EU who retained dual citizenship.
As I write this, I’m in a constant flux of dualities: writing about the past in the present, wearing a robe while working in my home office, listening to music than sitting in silence. Duality is a constant, and I never really thought much about it until Bass Coast. Dualities can bring things closer together or break things apart. They co-exist everywhere and it was a real treat to explore how individuals experienced these in their own lives.
How do you experience duality? Leave a comment on this blog post or on our socials. We’d love to hear from you!
Love Betty xo
This year at Bass Coast was special for me. After applying and receiving confirmation that my art grant application was accepted and that this years theme was Duality, I began to conjure up ways to incorporate the theme into my somewhat already duality based sculpture of glass and metal. Some attendees may have seen the subtle hints of fire and water that I used on the Joyous Globe when the sun went down. One night I’d put aqua blue lights with the sounds of a crackling fire in the center. And on another night, an orange glow like fire with the sounds of a babbling brook.
As I went about the festival, I tried to come up with duality themed outfits from the tickle trunk. One night I wore most of a sailors outfit with just a fighter pilot hat, and another just a fighter pilot suit with a sailor hat.
My joke for the festival –
“Did you know that there are more airplanes in the oceans than there are submarines in the sky?”