& Journeys
These offerings are an embodiment of what I sense is some of my deepest work – to open up new places of power and responsivity; to make space for the otherwise; to help in the partial recuperation of our vital connections with land, place and people; and, to live a small, intimate life.
What would change if we took seriously the consideration that the world is alive, that we derive our being from a never-static, ever-changing field of entanglements, and that we are not the center of the universe?
Index of
11: Our Journeys
in Place
Offerings –
11: Our Journeys
in Place
This section is for Kyah Jayden, Alethea Aanya, Ej and me, and is an archive of our un/learning adventures around in smallness, around the world, in enacting community and place, in building a ravishing home – complete with pictures, journal notes and new questions we encounter along the way. Please stay tuned.
Offerings –
We Will Dance
with Mountains

A Reframe
What if the ways we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis?In what ways do our strivings for recognition reinscribe the legitimacy of statehood and its undercurrents of violence?In this age of the hyposubject – how might we conceive of, and practice, a ‘weird politics’?

& Summary
It seems to me that in this time of catastrophes followed by catastrophes, as novel viruses prowl the streets, as heat domes and heat waves short circuit air conditioning units, as nation-states struggle to remain relevant political units in the face of geological and technological shifts, and as old rituals no longer ignite the warming fires by which our modern experiments have kept the cold at bay, an unearthly tune might be heard – wafting through the ruins of proud but anxious civilization, unsettling the browning leaves of disillusionment, whispering through traumascapes of exhausted activisms, braiding itself with the sinews of the migrant winds that once powered the sails of humanist progress and confidence.
This arhythmic howl is by turns soft and bodacious, barely perceptible at times and then impossible to ignore. This ‘tune’ is not music, and yet it is the irresistible stuff music is made of. If we listened, we might hear no discernible lyrics, no convenient message – and yet that is the point: this tune is our permission to fail, an invitation to new reformulations of citizenry. The undoing of an acoustic order. A call to delirious depths. What might failure look like? Where might this generative incapacitation lead us? Who are we and who is here with us? I do not know yet. But I suspect that as I try my feet and hips to these seditious sounds and throw my limbs in trust of the abundance of this place, I will be caught by the surprise of the many already dancing with me – for failure is rich, and where there is ‘nothing’ there is much to go around.

— Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, Teacher / Host

We Will Dance with Mountains is a series of courses in postactivism offered and hosted by Dr. Bayo Akomolafe every year (or two/three years in a row followed by a course-free year). It is an invitation to inquiry and a gathering of hundreds of people from around the world desirous of the new.

About the
We Will Dance with Mountains is a carnivalesque course in postactivism (a formulation of Bayo Akomolafe), a matter of fissures, fault lines, cracks, openings, seismic shifts, endings, and fugitive marronage. The course (often described as an expedition or a wild adventure by previous participants) is about recuperating our connections with a ‘world’ that can no longer be seen as dormant, mute and passive. It is about coming to new senses, and co-generating new practices of place-making in partnership with the more-than-human world. In short, the course is about becoming with-nesses. About what we do when hope gets in the way, when forward movement no longer leads to interesting places, when justice obstructs transformation, and when victory keeps us tethered in carceral dynamics.

Each iteration of the course (offered since 2015) does something different, and organizes differently. The present (2021) version of the course, subtitled “Into the Cracks!” is an animist festival, a subterranean convergence of disarticulated bodies desirous of a new politics, and a cartography project set upon exploring vast terrains of failure as a gesture of refusal in a time when resistance not only feels inadequate to the task of decoloniality but programmatically linked to the continuity of the status quo. Into the Cracks!, following 2020’s iteration of the project, Let Us Make Sanctuary, is a carnival of departure in teaching, in creating together, in leaning into the exquisite, in texturing exile, in re-membering with the places that hold us, in making sanctuary. Hundreds of people from across the world, with different cosmovisions and persuasions, gather to lean into the cracks, to try new moves, to revisit the ordinary, to stray generously from the assured. The course emerges as a post-nationalist invitation to fugitive inquiry, local practice, and celebration beneath the surveillance of modern anxieties, motivations, and ethical contrivances.

This project - should you find your way to it - is your permission to fail.Inspired by Bayo Akomolafe’s construction of ‘blackness’ as a magical counterhegemonic quest for cracks in the Anthropos, instigated by the African Anthropocene, situated at Afro-diasporic sites of loss and queer power, and conceived as a deepening commitment to a politics beyond state recognition, this course-festival is an effort to spark an end-of-time emancipatory, decolonial, trans-local vocation of making sanctuary that is heavily indebted to the story and emergence of Candomblé spiritualities in Bahia, Brazil.

Like the most previous version of the course, through curated sessions, shared explorations, emergent rituals, lectures, and side events, Into the Cracks! longs to push toward the unthought, the yet-to-be-tried, and the surprising, by exploring new nuances and complexities in the postactivism field summoned by Bayo Akomolafe. As before, the longing of the course is to construct an approach/aesthetic that might help us move beyond the stuckness of our justice paradigms, move beyond critique, the exhaustion of leftist politics and electoral dynamics, the self-referentiality of cancel culture, the limitations of intersectional theory and representationalism, the failure of catch-up imperatives that the so-called Global South depends on, our unyielding dependence on nation-states, and our imaginations coterminous with the status quo. Additionally, the course weaves into the fabric of this iteration a post-nationalist ethos – a studied look at the failure of nation-states and the need for new political units that do not depend on the violence of statehood.

Unlike the previous course, this iteration is about practice and cultivation, about not just talking about making sanctuary, but ‘doing’ it – about materializing a practical and modest politics of mutation, of responding differently, and of new cosmoperceptions.

For more about the latest iteration of the course, visit the course website.

I have offered this course every year since 2015, with previous iterations focusing on writing as a spiritual ally. It is an embodiment of what I sense is some of my deepest work – to open up new places of power and responsivity; to make space for the otherwise; to help in the partial recuperation of our vital connections with land, place and people; and, to live a small, intimate life.

"This is the most transformational community with whom I have had the honour of communing. If you are seeking connection, new ways of looking with the world, if you have any interest in exploring yourself and discovering things that are gorgeous, delightful, discombobulating and new, consider joining the wonderful Adebayo C. Akomolafe, me and a host of other wild-eyed travellers, dancing with mountains… It helps if you believe stones can sing…"

— Lea Ann Mallett
(two-time participant, 2015-2016)
Offerings –
Making Sanctuary:
An Online Journey
A Reframe
What does activism look like at the end of hope?How are we being invited into the work of making sanctuary? Who/what is called here? Who are the actors? And what are the promises of these seditious engagements?Becoming-black is not taking on black skin; it is the often pre-intentional/local flow of processes that enlists bodies of all kinds into the undoing of hegemonic stability. It is the choreography of matter in the unfurling of colonial coherence. Is there a different politics here – something to consider, to contest, to practice, to sit with?

Making Sanctuary is a new series of limited-run week-long courses, smaller in scope than We Will Dance with Mountains, but focused on thinking with some specificity about singular issues haunting contemporary politics and discourse. This course, led by Bayo Akomolafe, is a collaborative effort with a group of friends (Abayomi) he has convened to embroider the concept of postactivism and to invite situated practices of “making sanctuary” as material modes of becoming response-able to the more-than-human complexities of these “end-times.” Join poet, philosopher, psychologist and professor Bayo Akomolafe and his friends, as he invites you to ‘stay with the trouble’ during an immersive exploration of what it means to be on the planet today.
Shake the plots and narratives that you’ve become so used to; trouble your problems by questioning the questions you ask.

As our world leans dangerously on the brink of catastrophe, there is a renewed urgency for answers to lingering crises. However, maybe it is the case that we do not yet have the ‘right’ questions. Maybe we do not yet know how or what to ask.

There is wisdom in slowing down because that shift in motion might allow us to notice a different path hiding in the obviousness of the familiar. What could it mean to slow down in times of urgency? And what are the conditions that make ‘slowing down’ a sensible (or sensuous) response to the many recalcitrant crisis events that are proving resistant to resolution?

We are learning that we are not only fully in Nature, but that Nature is fully in us; we are learning to see that humans are not discrete or solitary actors in the world, but immersed in, instigated by, and in touch with the environment. We are recognizing just how animal-like the mind is, and just how human-like Nature is. This realization constitutes a burden on neo-liberal and humanist figures of the activist, and calls to question the confidence that we can unilaterally respond to our collective troubles or “save the day.”

Bayo Akomolafe asks: “What if the way we respond to our problems is part of the problem?” What questions are possible today? What if the way we act actually serves to reproduce the same conditions we are striving to escape?

This course is about what Bayo calls ‘post-activism’ which invites new practices of co-inquiry by reconfiguring specific situations in post-human(ist) senses, thereby cleaving open new arrangements of power. Most especially, this course is about “making sanctuary”, “pouring libations”, “making kin with the world” and nurturing new capacities in the texture of a deep acquaintance with the manifold others that make us and with our porosity.
Who is likely
to benefit
from this course?
→ Individuals interested in understanding how they could approach the world and their own relationship with Nature differently.

→ Anyone who feels troubled in the current world, and who is seeking a sense of home, sacredness, deeper connection and purpose.

→ Anyone interested in making a difference or becoming activists in a troubled world.

→ Anyone practicing, researching or generally interested in eco-psychology and the Anthropocene phenomenon.

→ Individuals who are environmentally conscious or who already regard themselves as activists, but who may feel overwhelmed by the challenges they see in the world.

→ Mental health professionals and anyone in the healing professions who would be interested in an understanding of how the collective unconscious surrounding the world’s current crises affects the ‘individual psyche’, and vice versa.
Are you
This course is being developed at the moment by Bayo Akomolafe and the Abayomi cohort. The first of the series will likely be launched in March 2022. If you’d like to be informed about how to participate, sign up to Bayo Akomolafe’s newsletter.
Offerings –
This project is in development.