Kairos

Work with The Emergence Network to tend to the thresholds in your community!
Would you like to work closely with curators of The Emergence Network right in your neighbourhood or community? Would you like to host some of us for a period of time, so that we can co-learn with you, conduct inquiries into your circumstances, and perhaps help your community work through some of its challenges?
We will journey to you to learn with you, think with you, live with you, and work with you for a space of time. The Kairos project is about unlearning journeys. It is about seeing with new eyes, creating emancipatory knowledges together, and stitching quilts of solidarity especially with groups in precarious circumstances. It is about fellowship, sharing and siblinghood. It is about listening-together-with. It is making-kin-with in a performance of mutual fragility and radical hospitality.

The Premise

‘Kairos’ was the deity of opportunity in the old Greek pantheon and the youngest child of Zeus. Ancient Greek storytellers also used the word ‘kairos’ to describe the ‘opportune’ moment, a breakthrough instant, when a traditional border was queered and unsettled, and a strange relationship emerged.

The word ‘kairos’ emerged from the material practices of that civilization: for instance, when an archer’s arrow pierced its target, this was ‘kairos’. Or in speaking and statecraft, when the right words were said, that was ‘kairos’. Or in textile production, specifically weaving (which was a socially respected female-gendered labour activity), when an opening allowed for the crosshatching weft to intercept the warp in the emerging tapestry, philosophers saw this as ‘kairos’. ‘Kairos’ notices the divine in the transversality of the weft. The intersectionality of the ordinary. The nonlinearity of time. ‘Kairos’ undercuts ‘chronos’, quantitative time, dancing through it, without dismissing it. Queering it. Like eternity waltzing with temporality, neither of them transcendent nor separable.

In the concept of ‘kairos’ we find an ethical postactivist invitation to “make sanctuary”, to reweave ourselves with telluric kin, to develop new posthumanist sensibilities, to decenter the human figure, to break open the exclusivity and racism of clock time, to nurture our collective capacities to ask new questions, to frame new fields of expertise, to notice our collective fragility in terms of how we often respond to complicated dilemmas, and (especially resonant in these times of immigration sagas and walls) to find other ways of crossing borders.

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

― Lilla Watson

Let’s Meet! More About Kairos

Kairos is not a missionary project to evangelize a particular approach or ideology. Neither is this a holiday or a tourism project. It is a braiding of lives and an exchange of gifts between parties, honouring an old cross-cultural tradition of receiving the traveller and being generous to one’s host. A learning opportunity for both traveller and host that calls upon a mutual openness to change. It is cooking together, singing together, picking mushrooms together, eating together, and crying together. This visitation offers the potential host an opportunity to see themselves through their hospitality, to notice their own lives, as if for the first time. The visiting team will also seek to serve in ways that are critical that are helpful and useful to our hosts.

If you’d like to initiate a conversation about a visit, talk about what we can do together, explore questions about the ethics of conducting carbon-heavy travel in dire times, or think together about other ways we can work together, do write us at info@emergencenetwork.org.

To learn about previous Kairos events our hosts have permitted us to publish, you can sign up to the MUSHROOM newsletter to receive monthly updates about Kairos and other things we are up to.

Facilitator:

Bayo Akomolafe

Facilitator, Kairos