‎”The dandelions at the base of the telephone pole. Why, she wonders, do people call them weeds? She thought they were pretty. But grown-ups say, “Miss Dunion keeps her yard so nice. Not a dandelion anywhere.” Hunkie women in black babushkas go into the fields with baskets to pull them up. But they do not want the yellow heads–only the jagged leaves. They make dandelion soup. Maybe because they are so many, strong, and soon.” -Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)

Style is all encompassing.   When I saw Eden post her latest mash up “Rise of the Dandelions” on Facebook I had to reach out to her.  Eden as well as her art is emblematic of what “Idiosyncracie” is about. Creative, fearless, individual style.  In the past I had watched and shared her beautiful work, but had little context.  Eden was gracious enough to answer a lot of my questions about what her work is about and how she came to it.  “Rise of the Dandelions” features filmmaker Cinque Northern and Brooklyn born, street dance battle champion Storyboard P to the tune of Bon Iver’s “Wolves.” It speaks loudly, it is overflowing, and mesmerizing.  It is indeed hard to watch just once. The video was  a collaborative effort with a grassroots organization ( of which it is named after)  seeking to give voices back to communities of color, disproportionately affected by violence.  Famous footage from an Angela Davis interview opens the dance mashup, and her words are the only ones spoken throughout. They’re really the only words that need to be spoken.  Everything else, does for itself.   Thank you Eden!

M: What prompted you to start video mashups?

Eden: I started creating the mashups fairly recently (a few months ago) because of this thought I had one day about pairing up a hip-hop song I was listening to with a radiohead video in which Thom Yorke is doing some seemingly strange, interpretive, fun, dance moves. I was really excited about the juxtaposition of the two different vibes/emotions of the songs and video and also the idea of what might be a rare or surprising collaboration. So I took off with it and decided to continue creating unexpected collaborations.

M: You’re a poet and clearly a very creatively expressive person, where does a majority of your inspiration lie within your work?

Eden: In my own art and a lot of the art I love, I’m really drawn to juxtaposition of images and collage. I like the idea of sampling or piecing together various sources and creating something new, exciting, and/or surprising. Also, I try to challenge expectations, whether it’s the way we see, hear, or think about things, by recreating/reimagining, and recommunicating an idea or image. Once I thought about fleshed this out, it really made sense why I was compelled to create the mashups.

M: This lastest mashup (featured above) particularly stood out to me, what was your message behind it?

Eden: This last mashup ‘Rise of the Dandelions‘ was created for a specific collaborative project and theme. There is a group of artists and activists (Freedom Harvest: Rise of the Dandelions) based here in LA that are creating work, spaces, and opportunities for healing around freedom, justice and an end to violence in communities of color. With this mashup I really wanted to evoke an emotional journey, process, conversation and physical expression in regards to those themes.  

||”We are the dandelions rising up, reclaiming our stories, fighting for our freedom and healing our bodies, our communities, and our spirit.”|| 

For more on how to help the Rise of the Dandelion Movement, visit affiliate organization Nation Inside on how to help stop the cycle of violence as it is perpetuated  in LA jails.