Movement for beauty and justice

I was one of those upperclassmen who went to the Freshman Bazaar even though I wasn’t representing any organization. You know, to check it out.

Pretty similar to what I had seen last year, the Bazaar seemed to offer the same opportunities. Perhaps there was a new dance group? A new magazine?

It was all been-there-done-that until I saw Justine Kolata ’12 wearing (or wrapped in) one of her very short dresses and holding a bunny.

Never mind the length of her dress, the woman was walking around Beinecke Plaza holding a rabbit and handing out small pieces of paper to unsuspecting freshmen. And people like me.

“You should join the Movement!” Kolata said. “The Movement for Beauty and Justice!”

I’ve known Kolata for a while, so I’m a little acquainted with the kind of thoughts that cross her mind. Sort of. Like, not really. But this whole Movement thing didn’t surprise me.

I asked her what it was about, and she said the world was full of individualism, social injustice and conflict. She said we should “open ourselves to the realization of beauty.”

The Movement for Beauty and Justice was co-founded this fall by Kolata and Ricardo Hernández ’11. As stated in their Web site, they believe that “promoting the proliferation, creation and realization of diverse forms of beauty in the world will unite humanity and lead to a more just society.”

I couldn’t decide whether this mission was romantic or sadly utopian. But at first, it was definitely like ’70s hippie culture meets the 21st century in the hands of Kolata and Hernández.

All in all, it seemed interesting, so I decided to go to the first of their Sunday meetings, which, as described on their Web site, was an event of: “stargazing, dancing to jazz music, tea and pastries.”

Among the pastries was an amazing cake baked by Kolata herself, decorated, of course, with hand-picked flowers. And though there wasn’t much stargazing due to weather conditions, Cross Campus was most definitely the place to be on Sunday at 9:30 pm.

Inside a circle of candles, a total of 50 people throughout the evening sipped from their Victorian-looking tea cups and petted Beauty and Justice — the bunnies, because there are two of them.

Kolata was dancing around most of the time, recalling ancient times, when people used to dance around wearing white, loose clothes. Hernández, on the other hand, was busy immortalizing the gathering by taking numerous pictures.

Both talked to the attendees about the movement and invited them to join the dancing — and to come back for next Sunday’s activity. The majority were freshmen.

Future events include an “East Rock Trek” this coming Sunday, where attendees will gather at the top for a poetry reading; a “Beauty Sharing Picnic,” as described on their Web site, with “members of the New Haven homeless community;” and “Notes of Kindness,” in which members of The Movement for Beauty and Justice will write “notes of appreciation for other human beings.”

I mean, it’s not for everybody. But the bunnies don’t bite.

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