Kelly Tatham is a storyteller and performance artist whose work includes film, prose, spoken word, frontline journalism, politics, philosophy, climate activism, and witchcraft.
In troubling times we must be radical in our search for the truth.
“You can pretend the world is magic or you can fall in love with math. They’re different perspectives, two sides of the same coin.”
The Human Cost of Defending Forests at Fairy Creek
Rabble, September 2021
It’s another world out here. Closer to a video game than any semblance of regular reality. There are rules, directives, and consequences — punishments and penalties — and the players know their roles. My first night here, around 9:30 p.m., as I ran up a gravel road and scrambled into the brush to hide from the cops, adrenaline pumped through my body and exhilaration overtook the fear. I figured worst case scenario I’d be arrested, maybe roughed up a little. But I had my camera with me and was on the mission with two white, blonde friends. I knew our privilege would protect us.
Being Single is the Default
Medium, December 2018
I spent years believing my lack of success in relationships meant there was something wrong with me because I’d never seen my experiences reflected back to me. Everywhere I looked, it was partnership and marriage and men on screen who loved quirky, lively women who they didn’t ditch once their dream girls turned into complex, needy, neurotic humans — because they never turned into complex, authentic humans. The story ended there.
Dating in the Multiverse
Human Parts, March 2019
“Ignore the comments,” DUST’s programming director warned me a few days before the film’s release. “People can get really nasty behind avatars.”
I didn’t listen. My film, Multiverse Dating for Beginners, is about a woman who suffers many broken hearts while struggling to secure a date with the guy she likes. She jumps through several parallel universes in attempts to get it right. In doing so, she notices how differently he responds in each situation. Indeed, she notices that he responds positively if she “plays it cool” and negatively if she shows him interest.
Photo by Livio Maynard
The Homelessness Crisis is Not ‘Complicated’
The Tyee, October 2020
I stepped into politics when this snap election was called because I was fed up with the status quo, fed up with incremental change and the ongoing prioritization of capital over community. Like every other concerned citizen, I haven’t been able to understand why we haven’t done more to solve the homelessness and overdose crises when we have evidence-based research, city-wide motivation and ample resources at our disposal. How can politicians—presumably good-hearted, good-natured people—continue to fail us? Why is it only getting worse?
There is No World
Medium, April 2020
Lately I have been so distracted by burning forests and drowning streets that I forgot. I forgot Cosby and Weinstein and all the men who touched me inappropriately. I forgot how I was all at once much too much and not nearly enough. I forgot every man who took with his eyes and muttered sexual asides. I forgot that capitalism is the an arm of the patriarchy and that Mother Earth is burning because we stopped respecting the feminine.
The symptoms are not the cause. We have forgotten the root. We have forgotten the truth. This is an emergency. This is a crisis of imagination.