We Will Dance With Mountains - Into the Cracks!
INVITATIONS & EXERCISES
Session I | 12 September
SAMBA! An Invitation. Before the next session, explore with your oddkin groups the story of Aunt Ciata, how in hiding she provided the conditions for the Samba phenomenon to germinate and sprout. I love the idea that their failure to rise to the occasion of citizenship was a shared one, atmospheric in quality, pleasing to the ears eventually. If we were to think of failure as flow, instead of as personal shortcoming, what might that look like? Explore this idea of failure as flow as a way of making connections within oddkin groups or other groups in formation.
In our next sessions, we will begin to enact “cartographies of failure” together. This is not something anyone can teach you. It is always a rehearsal, a local performance of errancy, a listening-to-the-world. Working with Vunja as a holding politics of radical hospitality, ritualizing our work with the making of Abayomi, we will begin this carnivalesque vocation of making sanctuary.
You might not think much of the term “failure” because of its negative connotations. Remember, however, that this failure is always contextualized – that is, failure in relation to something. Who doesn’t want to be a failed slave (also known as a fugitive), after all?
Session II | 26 September
A. Arrange to meet with your Oddkin Groups and/or preferred cohorts.
B. Create an experimental map/web of failure and errancy: that is, from your works, your professional life, your experiences, and from accounts you are aware of, tell the story (with as much specificity as you can invite) of an effort to address an issue in your community/practice that strayed away from your expectations:
- You could do this by exploring an event (one your group agrees to look at), talking about the solution, listing out all the things the solution ‘did’ that was unanticipated, or exploring all the things that the solution was indebted to or the agencies that needed to be in place before your efforts could materialize (for instance, you might list out Facebook and Microsoft as necessary conditions for the online event you created recently to virtually honour ancestors in an indigenous ceremony).
- Keep composing your web of errancy by listing out all the entanglements – linking up items with other items. You are free to design, create, or experiment with ways to do this that go beyond pen and paper.
C. Share what you are doing with others in the course.
Session III | 10 October
Read Bayo's story from the follow-up email to the third live session.
Within your groups, discuss this short story: what stands out for you? What wants to be noticed? What does this story want to say about freedom, about colonialism, about activism, about agency, and about responsibility? What feels ironic, upsetting, disturbing, revealing, curious or instructive about the characters and the worlding projects? Can you feel into where the cracks might be in this account of things?
Please share your discussions and explorations in the Mighty Networks space. Compose your responses in ways that are multi-sensorial, textual, poetic, aesthetic, loamy, dreamy, whatever. Your recipes will create an altar of study as we move along our work of meeting cracks.
In a second email I will send this time next week, I will lean into your explorations and observations to compose a richer exploration of the Afrocene, Vunja, what it might mean to make sanctuary, methodologies we can start with, and how cracks cradle practical political projects we can co-create today.