By Bayo Akomolafe, Nigerian author and “walkout academic,” [re]posted from his blog
Through this year, my explorations into new materialisms possessed me. In talks and text, in teachings and learnings, I dived into the queerness of seriously rethinking the boundaries I had been conditioned to erect between me and nature. I asked the question: what if we really took seriously the idea that the world is alive, that nature is more mind-like, magical and incorporeal than we know how to speak about, and that humans are more animal-like, embodied and carnal than our stories of centrality allow us to see? My book, These Wilds Beyond our Fences, struggled with these ideas and their implications for the ways we understand race, social justice, culture, loss, environmental degradation, and our perennial fascination with scaling heights. Continue reading
By Tommy Airey
Earlier this month, I started Bayo Akomolafe’s recently-released These Wilds Beyond Our Fences seeking spiritual solidarity. Like most, my soul has been squeezed by concentric circles of cacophony. Climate catastrophe rages (globally) while a major political party (led almost exclusively by white men) denies it all and “successfully” utilizes weapons of voter suppression, legalized bribery, gerrymandering and Russian collusion to take full reigns of power (nationally and state-wide). Meanwhile, water shutoffs and home foreclosures pelt a city cloaked by leaders calling it a “comeback” (locally).
These rings of austerity and white supremacy have formed the ice rink of an epic institutional collapse. Families, faith communities, foundations, the “free” market and finance—these fail to offer compelling solutions for any of it. Instead, they drive the Zamboni. These are maddening times and no one, it seems, is really sure what to do about it. Confusion reigns. Continue reading
An excerpt from Bayo Akomolafe’s “Homo Icarus: The Depreciating Value of Whiteness and the Place of Healing.” Dr. Akomalafe is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change. He is the author of the about to be published These Wilds Beyond Our Fences.
To address Charlottesville is to meet the implosion of white order and normativity. It is to go by way of a prevalent distrust in the political order, a coming to terms with the real limits to the power of neoliberalism to cater to our basic needs and yearnings as an ever-emerging co-species. It is to touch upon the silent racialized class war that is still being fought – only under other names and so invisibly as to now be expected. It is to exorcise the demons of fruitless wanderings and search for land. It is to meet those who are broken, who – like the rest of us who might claim some sanity or goodness to ourselves, who might consider ourselves on the right side of history, who might think of ourselves as progressive and welcoming to diversity – are not yet at home. Continue reading