For the year 2018/2019, the theme guiding our collective research and inspiring our projects is “Hope in a Time of Hopelessness”. There is a sense in which hope reproduces the familiar, and locks us into the expected. But in a time when it feels we’ve run out of time, the air is electrified by a different proposal: perhaps in confronting our hopelessness, new questions present themselves. During this cycle, we create projects that ask: what is worth doing when we accept that there is no more hope? And what emerges when we sit with our demise long enough to be met, perhaps, by that which exceeds us?
What happens in the space between here and there, now and then? What bridges the seemingly impenetrable veil between black and white, nature and human? In a world of global hegemonies and hyperlocal speciation, of rising feminine power and patriarchal elitism how do we negotiate an ordinary life without losing touch—with the Other, and with Self? Our current problem/solution model of approach traps us in an ontological landscape of wildly incompatible opposites in place of the correlative intelligence which drive ecologies and cultures in good health. When the severance of walls traps the movement of bodies and landscapes along every border with laws, bricks, ideologies, and prejudices the recourse is to become radically transgressive: to replace a stymied uni-versal monoculture, we must con-verse at the borderlands.
We need new ways of knowing and being with the world. Our attempts at leadership, change and activism, while well intended are often too embedded in the very systems we wish to liberate ach other from. We need spaces to listen in for what might be wanting to emerge if only we had the courage to slow down in urgent times.
The journey of ‘Vulture’ offers a different shape of hope: hope not in saviours or solutions but in the smell of soil, the migration of birds, and the intense beauty of seeing each other dance at the edge of things.
Imagine other possibilities of being alive. Imagine ruptures and openings in spaces of suffering. Imagine other shapes and genres of being human. Imagine other futures and temporalities. Imagine the im/possible.
Vunja is a research/art/social justice/carnival project that celebrates black, invisible and marginalized bodies by attending to startling potentials for wiser worlds in their very conditions of exception. Going beyond the perennial fight for inclusion or concerns about exclusion, and noticing that there are other places of power, Vunja is a radical site for approaching the emancipatory possibilities alive at the edges of white modernity, of conventional hope, and of racial identity.
Through Kairos, select curators of The Emergence Network, led by its Chief Curator, will embark on journeys to learn with, think with, live with, and work with specific communities or groups around the world for a space of time. The Kairos project is about unlearning journeys towards the edges where the Otherwise shimmers. 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.