Separating the Wheat from the Chaff # 6

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Allyship, empathy, divination and other forms of collaboration

A political act of listening back.

Another friend,
another conversation.
this time on zoom,
he's in Brussels,
I'm in London.

He uses his crisp mind to critique a hip, slack keynote speech by an artist at a festival attempting to propose listening as a political strategy. My friend argues that this is a trite and shallow strategy, that we have spent generations trying to listen, and that this has not improved humanity.

But I had, a day or two before, been dreaming into a new/old/new project with current collaborators Carolina Borghi & Marialuisa Carpuso about sailing the Atlantic. A boat where Marialuisa would bring her audio anti-patriarchal practice (see Blog #1) on board. I had proposed the idea that heading from Europe to the Americas is weighted with colonial implications and that maybe a strategy for subverting this is to nurture the ability to listen rather than impose, that this could be one frame within which to act.

It seems that more and more I am interested, excited by, and pay attention to elements that the scientific, rationalist world refuses to listen to and actively looks down on: Tarot, star signs, symbolic meaning in coincidence, the health-giving properties found within folk, natural remedies and processes of food transformation. More and more I am interested in slowing to listen, to feel, and experience rather than impose. But I don’t see it as a rejection of science, more a ‘yes and…’

What feels important to state and state again is the political nature of all of these practices, attempting at integrating understanding from alternative knowledge sources. To me they are part of a conscious daily deconditioning from a system that diminishes the value of any health, care and council practices that rely on our own knowledge of self, or (from the middle ages to the present day) were either offered by indigenous peoples of invaded lands or by downtrodden or outcasts (independent free-thinking women, migrants, queer folk, any othered people) within the invaders land.

Therefore I see the unconscious, conditioned derision of older and often more indigenous forms of council and divination as part of the western patriarchal, reductionist, rationalist system that we suffer under. Grandios statement right... but I believe it.

I choose to listen and embrace the necessity of understanding in alternative ways. But like I said it is not a rejection of scientific advancement and technology, but an awareness that along with the incredible advancements that science has given, it has also been used to enforce a hierarchy of worth that I refuse to buy into. And with the idea of ‘progress’ celebrated by science and modernism, we have been jumping from one ever-heating frying pan into ever larger fires…

This post is in support of that which can help us to cool. 

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