Rupture of the Rupture: Vunja

The Emergence Network embarked on a project called ‘Vunja’ this year – hoping to weave together an ambitious project of festivals around the theme of decoloniality and new worlds. Vunja is about opening up other places of power, especially with regards to modernity’s violence towards bodies that deviate from the whiteness it centralizes. Our hope is to inspire events and practices that suggest that those who live on the outskirts of modern subjecthood are not without power – and that we are more powerful than is obvious.

Our first destination is Brazil.

We had put together a consortium of voices to create the festival in Rio de Janeiro in time for November 2019. However a series of events and failures to generate funding for the local organizing community meant we had to rethink the project. We took this failure as indicative of Vunja’s insistence on being held a different way. Our experiments have led us into a different container. We now have a smaller Brazilian team, writing about, thinking about and working with local concepts in order to help Vunja materialize. We now have our sights set on June 2020, with a smaller Vunja Talk happening in Brazil this November. We are learning from our failures as allies.

Bayo Akomolafe and Geci Karuri-Sebina are the curators of Vunja and will continue to lead efforts in creating the project going into 2020.

Bayo Akomolafe

Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.) is Chief Curator and Executive Director of The Emergence Network. Author, lecturer, speaker, father, and rogue planet saved by the gravitational pull of his wife Ej, Bayo hopes to inspire a diffractive network of sharing within an ethos of new responsivity – a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’. Born into a Yoruba family, Bayo graduated summa cum laude in psychology in 2006 at Covenant University (Nigeria), and then was invited to take up a lecturing position. Largely nurtured and trained in a world that increasingly fell short of his deepest desires for justice, Bayo conducted doctoral research into Yoruba indigenous healing systems as part of his inner struggle to regain a sense of rootedness to his community. He has been speaking about his experiences around the world since those moments back in 2011. Bayo understands he is on a shared decolonial journey with his family to live a small, intense life. He often refuses to share pictures of himself that do not include his wife, Ej, who is (everyone can assure you) the more interesting part of their entanglement. He is an ecstatic (and often exhausted, but grateful) father to Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden.
Bayo Akomolafe

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