Welcome to Dis-member December! This will hopefully be a recurrent feature each ‘holiday period’ starting this year. As you know for the past 3 years we have been quite low key about Christmas because not everyone is a fan of it and it can be quite hard for lots of people. Plus we reckon you can easily get that stuff elsewhere. So this is a bit of an alternative holiday idea from us, compatible with Christmas if you like it, but equally a separate thing in itself.
What is it though?
It’s based on the idea that a lot of people who are drawn to alternative music communities may have felt excluded or ‘othered’ from other groups. That could be either due to having an ‘alternative’ identity or be the reason why people adopt that (or a bit of both). We’d like to represent a place where people can feel included and ‘re-membered’ into our community, especially if the holidays are a difficult time for that stuff elsewhere, so we are focusing on celebratory ‘re-membering’ activities over this month (and hopefully in future Decembers if it goes well). James who is helping us with this project, goes into a bit more detail about it here:
Dis-membering is a circumstance in which one is ejected, excluded, ostracized, or shunned from a social unit of that people had, up to that point, believed they were a member of; such a circumstance typically involves a traumatic experience like disownment, expulsion, or banishment. To use a forcible amputation analogy, dis-memberment is like being “cut off” from a social unit that, like a body, one had thought of as a biological whole. Re-membering, on the other hand, is not only welcoming dis-membered people as members of a new social unit, but also encouraging and helping other people to recall the proud and self-affirmed sense of self they had when they felt they were members of their previous social unit.
December seems particularly difficult for dis-membered people, as the holidays explicitly and implicitly push a narrative that celebrates the joy of being members of social units (including not only families, but also members of close-knit employment communities, congregations, social clubs, and the like). I see Dis-member December as an opportunity for metalheads to think of people who have been dis-membered, and to welcome them (and their renewed sense of proud, self-affirmed sense of self) into the metalhead community.
How are we celebrating?
We will be launching a couple of new bits this year in terms of resources for the site – such as a story and an APFMH worksheet. We will be doing a few activities over in the mosh pit, some watch parties and having a meet up near to Christmas, over zoom. We’d like people to get involved and interact with us over on the socials too, so we hope to see you throughout December!
Aside: We tried to get the death metal band Dismember to make a comment but sadly nothing 😦