Introduction from the Journal Editors – Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2

This introduction appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 2″ (Volume 8, Number 2). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue

We are thrilled to share the second installment of this year’s double issue, Healing Social and Ecological Rifts. Authors in Part 2 offer unique and provocative insights that both build on and take in new directions the contributions of authors featured in Part 1. Heather Williams’ opening narrative of a road trip through southern California aflame and dehydrated—and the hubristic denial that led to the region’s development—gestures toward discussions of death denial and  “eco-sin” from the first installment.

Adam Lobel’s article also deals with death symbolically and literally, inviting readers to learn as much from the messages of dying animals, plants, and ecosystems as from the vibrant life that persists. Lobel further makes an incisive critique of how modern society has conceptualized and enacted a false binary between humans and nature that efforts to “reconnect with nature” subtly perpetuate.

Keri E. Iyall Smith provides a timely and necessary call to learn from Indigenous wisdom as we face the climate crisis, offering guidance for rejecting colonial mindsets and actions through democratic, participatory community building. In what could be read as an answer to Iyall Smith’s call to learning, John C. Dawsey invites readers into the worldview of the Amazonian Yanomami people both on its own terms and through the lens of the performative power of shamanistic ritual.

Kirsten Mundt’s article draws us into embodied awareness of touch and sensory experience as a means to face fully and heal the wounds of colonialism. Mundt examines how touch is at once intimate, political, vulnerable, and transformative.

Two articles offer specific frameworks for putting into practice the lessons of this issue. David Manuel-Navarrete introduces a three-part practice of reciprocity to help overcome what he refers to as “possessive individualism”. Brooke Lavelle, Abra Vigna, Zack Walsh, and Ed Porter offer a model for transformative change in communities based on methods developed and tested through the organization Courage of Care.

To close, we feature a conversation between guest editor LaDawn Haglund and contributor Adam Lobel examining topics raised by authors in both installments of the issue. Our aim is for these creative insights to stimulate further reflection and contributions from a rich diversity of scholars, activists, and change-makers that can together tackle the social, political, and ecological crises we face. 

Thank you to LaDawn Haglund for her vision and exertion in guest editing this robust two-volume issue, to Chetna Mehta and Rae Minji Lee for their captivating artwork, to our editorial team and peer reviewers for insightful feedback, and to all of the authors for offering wisdom for this time. We hope you enjoy reading!

Gabriel Dayley, Chief Editor
shah noor hussein, Managing Editor
The Arrow Journal

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