by Meghan Potter
“They tried to bury us, they did not know we were seeds”
On the morning of our last full day in Tucson we met with a group called Flowers and Bullets. This is an organization that is trying to politicize and organize their community through two very simple things—food and art. The abandoned school that they have turned into a farm is where we met, and we learned about the importance of accessible sustainability for the neighborhood. We got the chance to help work the land, pulling weeds and prepping crop lines. As for the art, Flowers and Bullets designs merchandise and paints murals for the neighborhood. The art serves as an act of resistance to the oppression so many people in Tucson have experienced. So much of this week has been so heavy, and working on the farm was a moment of hope, a moment of peace. Meeting with groups like Flowers and Bullets is so beautiful because it reminds us that no one is alone in this fight. I am so blown away and inspired by the resilience of all the people that we have met with this week, because despite the struggle people are always willing to fight. There are so many people out there doing the work to fix the problems of the world and ultimately what it’s all about is finding community. This organization is using two simple things, food and art, to build up a community.
What stuck with me most from meeting with this group was their name, Flowers and Bullets. When I asked where that name comes from, Jacob—one of the founders of Flowers and Bullets—explained that the name resonated with people for a lot of different reasons. According to Jo-Jo, a community member helping out at the farm, Flowers and Bullets reflects finding the beauty in the struggle. The stark contrast of hope and pain is represented so perfectly in the image of a flower growing out of a bullet. For me, that’s what this whole experience has been about. Flowers and bullets, beauty and pain, hope and heartbreak.