Monday Blues - Decolonial Auntie and Agent of Change
By Holliston Logan
What better way to spend your Monday than joining us in a conversation with the incomparable Monday Blues?! I mean, she shares her name with this day of the week, after all. This week Matriarch Movement's podcast host and founder Shayla Oulette Stonechild shared time with Monday Blues, who is nothing short of phenomenal. We hope you'll join us in getting to know Monday Blues and celebrating her power, hard work, and joy. We feel confident in saying that Monday is the decolonial auntie and agent of change many of us aspire to be.
Monday Blues (she/they), who currently resides on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (otherwise known as Vancouver, BC), is an Afro-Indigenous (Togolese-Secwepemc) burlesque artist, life coach, advocate and activist, to name a few of her involvements. It doesn't take more than a few minutes of listening to Monday's story and journey to realize that this is a powerful woman who is here to make change in the world, and here to make this change in a variety of spaces. Monday had our hearts from the moment we read this statement from her website: "In my free time, I spend a lot of time gleefully watching outdated oppressive systems burn to the ground (Aries)." We are here for this, Monday!
One of Monday's many involvements we wanted to highlight is her career as a burlesque performer. Monday, who now refers to herself as a "semi-retired showgirl", has been a professional burlesque performer since 2011. Her performance career has allowed her to travel globally and be the solo femme adventurer so many of us aspire to be ourselves. Her burlesque performing directly intersects with many of her other pursuits including entreprenurial ventures, both in sex work and coaching capacities, as well as being a voice of change in the burlesque world through serving a two-year term on the board of directors for Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.
In addition to her successful career as a solo burlesque performer, Monday is also part of an all-Indigenous burlesque collective - Virago Nation - who are working hard to rematriate and reclaim Indigenous sexuality which has experienced significant detrimental and toxic effects stemming from colonization. Who are Virago Nation? "We are a collective of Indigenous artists creating performance through burlesque, theatre, song and spoken word as well as workshops, and community networks rematriating Indigenous sexuality. Founded in May 2016, Virago Nation is on a mission to reclaim Indigenous sexuality from the toxic effects of colonization. Through humour, seduction, pop culture and politics they will show that Indigenous women will not be confined to the colonial virgin-whore dichotomy but will design a new dynamic and multi-faceted sexual identity rooted in their own desires. This is our reconciliation." (from Virago Nation website). Virago Nation recently aired their first-ever self-produced show (this past Satruday, June 26th) - but we hear they have plans to re-screen it again one day so be sure to stay connected with their work to catch the rescreening in the future.
Did we mention that in addition to her work as a Secwépemc showgirl that Monday is also a decolonial life coach, model, AND is launching her own jewelry line? A graduate from the Erickson International coaching program, Monday works with both individuals and organizations and does so with a "loving no-nonsense" delivery. Details about her coaching offerings are available on her website, and we highly encourage anyone looking for support in building a decolonial approach to their life / work to get in touch with Monday. Her jewelry line, Monday May Jewelry, is launching this Wednesday, June 30th @ 12:00 pm PST. You won't want to miss this launch as the pieces we have seen on her Instagram are seriously gorgeous! To support this line of Afro-Indigenous beaded earrings created to celebrate culture and joy, you can sign-up for notifications on the Monday May Jewelry website.