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.SIGN UP FOR THE COURSE
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.