We Will Dance With Mountains: Let Us Make Sanctuary with Bayo Akomolafe

 

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Call Recordings

Session 1 | 18 October:
View video recording here. (About 10 minutes)

Invitation:

Before listening to the recording, we invite everyone to move in the immediacy of their environments, in the moment of where they are, and toward the direction of an “object that calls you” - something precious, a gift, an item. It should be something that holds some meaning to you but that you are willing to let go of as you will be asked to give it away. Listen. When you find (and are found) by this specific item, be with this object as you watch the recording. 

After the recording, we everyone to hold their items, and story it (almost like layering it) with their most pressing and abiding convictions and expectations. Hold it close and speak to it for the first ten minutes. Then give it away, dispense with it, sacrifice this gift, let it go - in a way that the land wants you to.  

Post-Session Invitation (to be done in a group):

1. Write what is emerging for you after watching the recording: Questions? Insights? Ideas?

2. In your emerging text, notice what is present as you write: tables, pens, a cup of coffee perhaps, a purring cat, etc. Account for them in your text – not simply as backgrounded objects but active co-creators of the thick now you all are doing together. 

3. Meet with your group and experiment with reading these insights into each other. Notice the places of breaks and
discontinuities in your shared readings, the places of divergence – and the sites of resonance. Don’t try to reduce them to each other – just note them and account for them.

4. Take your text in your private reading: what emerges from it that wasn’t there prior to the kinship diffraction process?

If you don’t understand this process, it’s okay. I would like you to try something even if you haven’t figured it out completely. I would like you to linger at the “edges of incompetence” long enough for you to be met by surprise. Try it.

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Session 2 | 1 November:
View video recording here.

Journaling prompts:
1. Remember an ancestor (human or otherwise) who supports you to be in the not-knowing
2. What is something about yourself that cannot be tracked? What about your lineage cannot be archived?
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1. Where in your own life are you encountering the gap between where you are, and where you want to be?
2. How might you cultivate intimacy with that distance, if you can’t transcend it?

Post-Session Invitation

When we navigate the world, we typically depend on sight as the predominant means of obtaining information about the world. This is of course different for those who do not use the eyes but use other senses to meet the world. Without prejudice to those who might be hard of hearing or have some form of hearing loss, I want to invite a listening exercise. For a few hours a day – for as many days as you can manage it – conspire with those in close proximity to you to have yourself blindfolded in a location of your choosing. During the time of being blindfolded, listen. Listen to the world around you. Listen to how things rub off on one another, to textures, sounds, colours. Yes, listen to colours. How does angry sound? Use listening to re-enter the world often lost behind the dominance of sight-as-data-as-truth. At the end of your exercise of becoming-animal, write down what you have listened to or are listening to. When you meet with your group, share what emerged for you and co-create a similar exercise for decoupling our sensorial apparatuses.

Session 3 | 15 November:
View video recording here.

Journaling prompts:
What are all the ways that you are not you, that you are outside yourself?
What are moments when you haven't behaved like yourself?

Session 4 | 29 November:
View video recording here.

Session 5 | 6 December:
View video recording here.

Session 6 | 13 December:
View video recording here.

Session 7 | 10 January:
View video recording here.

Session 8 | 24 January:
View video recording here.

Session 9 | 31 January:
View video recording here.