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Secret Chakra: Feminist Economics Yoga

Image courtesy of Cassie Thornton

Image courtesy of Cassie Thornton

Secret Chakra: Feminist Economics Yoga, a workshop with Cassie Thornton

Friday, May 12, 6:30 - 8:45 PM

Secret Chakra teaches the practice of feminist economics through the format of a yoga class. As part of the Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time exhibition's Warp and Weft of Care programs, this workshop will be offered privately to groups at Project Row Houses and Angela’s House, and also publically at EFA and in Houston.

Based in the idea that energy, security, and prosperity are the products of social solidarity and interdependence (instead of individualism and competition), this workshop asks participants to embody the idea that “my” health, and “my” liberation is bound up in yours. By partnering visualization and embodiment exercises with radical financial literacy, Thornton aims to help people identify and begin to chip away at the seemingly infinite wall of financialization that transforms humans into financial instruments. Financialization is the process wherein profit becomes the motivation behind healthcare, housing, and education and it forces most people in the US to enter into financial debt in order to live. This ubiquitous social form is not natural, eternal, or personal, and it may be lodged in your body somewhere.

Using a combination of deep breathing, yoga, visualization, writing, demolition, and discussion, participants are invited to explore and transform their relationship to money and to the natural value that lives in each person. In order to remove the wall of financialization and move past symptoms that come with surviving under capitalism—alienation, competition, fear and depression—participants will be guided through a process of collectively breaking through an actual wall. We will use crowbars. In addition to demolition, the workshop will include a playful exercise series that stimulates the nervous system and moves energy through the body, alongside conversations about self worth, work, and the value that exists outside of money.


Registration required. Please email Meghana Karnik at and include information about your experience doing yoga and any physical needs you experience that we should take into account for the somatic exercises. Also, please specify if you have a yoga mat that you can bring. Optional response: What would a feminist form of revenge on the economic system would look like?


Cassie Thornton (Thunderbay, Ontario and Oakland, California)

It is a normal day, everyone is bored, everything good seems impossible. A small white woman has a tantrum in your school’s cafeteria about her for-profit education at a “public institution,” the way her school has colonized the city and her zero-sum future of shallow work, un-payable debt, and constant eviction. It is Cassie Thornton, or one of her agents. Cassie produces perversely hard-hitting social situations that result in unexpected transformations on the streets, in workplaces, and at schools. She stops time to summon up the unknown unknowns that reside in the silences between people, institutions, and economies. Also referred to as the Feminist Economics Department (the FED), Cassie’s work investigates and reveals the impact of governmental and economic systems on public affect, behavior, and unconscious, with a focus on debt and security. She is a feminist economist and artist who uses dance, writing, visual art, hypnosis, experimental research, tours, and radio to reveal debt as a source of solidarity.


A satellite programming series, Warp and Weft of Care, takes place between New York and Houston, Texas during the course of the show. It includes public performances as well as closed-door collaborations between artists from the EFA show and groups focused on the health of communities disproportionately facing violence. This includes Angela House’s Whole and Healthy Program (transitional housing and support for women immediately following incarceration), Project Row Houses Young Mothers Residency Program (a residency for low-income single mothers in the historically black neighborhood of Houston’s Third Ward), and Project Row Houses Young Mothers Employment Placement Program (a job training program for low-income single mothers). The aim is to support creative exchange between communities of care in varying contexts, particularly those in red and purple states where poor institutional support has long synced with a prevailing “maverick” ideology of independence and entrepreneurship.

This event takes place in conjunction with Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying (March 31 – May 13, 2017) at EFA Project Space.