Introduction from the Journal Editors
by Gabe Dayley and shah noor hussein
LaDawn Haglund and Adam Lobel
Unfolding Universe | L’univers desplegant-se
Recreating Our Communities to Respond to the Climate Emergency
Keri E. Iyall Smith
The climate is changing and causing calamities that we will need to respond to as communities in order to survive and thrive. Indigenous approaches to the natural world, equality, sustainability, economic exchange, prioritizing the collective, and participatory decision-making offer a path to recuperation of the natural environment and community-building to improve the welfare for us all together. Keywords: Environment, Climate Change, Participatory Decision-Making, Indigenous People, Capitalism, Community
The Turtle and the Falling Sky: Yanomami Mimesis, F(r)iction, and Performance
John C. Dawsey
This essay compares the thought, practices, and performance of Yanomami peoples of the Amazon with those of napë (non-indigenous, non-Yanomami, modernized people), drawing on Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s interpretation of native Amazonian conceptual imagination. The consequences of these different approaches for harm and healing are notable. On one side, napë thought views all things and living beings as sharing bodies, yet there is a separation: some bodies have souls and are human, others not. On the other side, Yanomami thought views common humanity in all things. Bodies are physical dressing that create difference. In this sense, for the Yanomami—a term which means human—we are all Yanomami. In the forest, napë incapacity to recognize shared humanity and essence among all things leads to destruction. By contrast, Yanomami performance (as seen in narratives of rituals involving forest spirits) creatively brings things to life, and reveals the human in things, while reimagining bodies. In napë thinking, bodies are a given; in Yanomami thought, bodies are made—created, like masks. In napë performance, healing may occur when masks are removed and bodies revealed; in Yanomami performance, healing occurs when, in the making or remaking of bodies, or masks, deep-seated common humanity comes to life. The consequences of these different ways of seeing/being are discussed.
Touch as Passage: Inhabiting the Colonial Wound
Colonial consciousness is the water in which we swim. It can’t always be seen, but can be felt through the persistent trauma of anxiety and separation. It’s possible the water has become too toxic to sustain life. If we survive as a species, it may be because enough of us have stopped colluding with terms limiting what it means to be a human being, and started pulling up the roots choking collective flourishing. In this essay, I unpack the term “colonial consciousness” by tracking where it originates and how it moves, and show how the sense of touch, when conditioned by this consciousness, limits possibilities for sensory connection and solidarity. By redefining the act of touch as a revitalizing and humanizing force, my hope is to reclaim the space between self and other as an act that is as political as it is healing.
Reciprocity: An Antidote to our Global Crises
This article presents a reciprocity-building wheel consisting of three existential moves to guide modernized individuals, in the context of the compounded global crises we are causing, towards restoring reciprocity in our relationships. The first move, Facing the Other, is a generative process towards pluriversality; where multiple realities and truths can unfold and thrive in their own terms and in dialogue with each other. The second move, Facing Ourselves, is regenerative. It promotes being present to examine the dominant cultural boundaries and divisions that are routinely, often unconsciously, internalized through socialization. In particular, the boundaries and divisions derived from individualism and intellectualism. Re-enchanting the World is a magical move to heal the deep wounds inflicted by centuries of viewing nature as inert and purposeless. Jumping in this existential wheel requires what Chögyam Trungpa might have called fearless attitude of the warrior. This essay maps these three moves to Indigenous and Buddhist practices in order to initiate a conversation about the role of reciprocity as an antidote to the existential crises brought about by the primacy of colonialism, modernity, capitalism, and techno-science.
Relationshift: The CourageRISE Model for Building Relational Cultures of Practice
Brooke Lavelle, Abra Vigna, Zack Walsh, and Ed Porter
Today’s converging social and ecological crises are the result of centuries of broken relationships produced by systems of oppression that prized some lives over others. The fundamental sense of separation and “othering” endemic to the old dualistic paradigm and the society which it constructed is collapsing under the weight of its dysfunction. The only way to address our ongoing crises and build an alternative of thriving is through restoring the sanctity of our relationships to all life and constructing a society on that basis. Amidst such times of crisis, we can practice caring and healing, while moving toward the relational paradigm and the life-affirming and sustainable society constructed in its image. To do that, we offer a relational model for building cultures and communities of liberatory practice. The model, called CourageRISE, leverages somatic, trauma-informed, relational and restorative practices to help cultivate the shift toward a relational paradigm.
Illustrations by Rae Minji Lee and Chetna Mehta