The project emerges from an ethics of exposure, of “dwelling in the dissolve” and opening up other spaces of power. This is an alumni network of practitioners, edge-walkers and explorers. The site will be facilitated by a curatorial team of alumni, and will have features that support ongoing un/learning.
Access to the site will only be available for previous participants, who will be required to provide pre-set usernames and passwords to enroll. Each member will have a profile that enables them start/join conversations, post their writings, access writings and archived videos of course sessions, book one-on-one sessions with Bayo and other teachers, and be part of special alumni events (such as video conferences or even, physical events).
The idea of Humusities is not to drag participants into endless hours on the internet, but to privilege local conversations – the kinds supported by current tools of connectivity or held in physical locations. This is also not another instance of Facebook – as participation is not anonymous but intimate, not programmed but self-determining, playful and slow.
Humusities is not payment-based, but centered on gift. Our hope is that this can be some way to also invite gift circles for participating alumni, using the thresholds of modern connectivity to serve others seemingly distant but pressingly close.
Features of Humusities
- Landing page
The Humusities landing page is a beautiful testament to posthumanist sensibilities, featuring wide, full-frame pictures of ‘nature’ or mycelial phenomena.
- Welcome | Start a conversation [main page after landing page]
This is the main feature of the site, and the first thing you see after successfully entering the site. The site is primarily a space for ongoing group conversations which members can freely initiate or join. Creating a conversation populates this main page, which displays the various ongoing circles of conversation. Each ‘circle’ will have a short descriptor (for example, this circle is about free will and determinism). On clicking these individual circles (or boxes), you see a deeper description of what the conversation is about, the alumni members that are part of it, when and where they meet online, and recurrent themes in the conversation. One can have an option of joining or starting a conversation.
- Library: The Library will feature a wealth of multimedia resources, such as past video sessions of courses, follow-up notes by Bayo, meeting chats, recommended readings, exercises, previous landing pages of the courses.
- A critically important sub-page in the Library is the ‘Com-post-humusities’ section. This sub-page is very dear to our aspirations to provide generative spaces for the exploration of new collective practices and rituals that attune us to an entangling world. The sub-page begins with a prompt: “What decolonial practices and rituals are you in touch with? How are you learning to slow down?” Below this prompt are boxes or circles (just like the main page) which – when clicked – open up into descriptions of the practice and inspiration for it. For instance, one ‘box’ could say ‘Sitting with streams’ (with a picture of a stream) – and then have a description around that. Members are free to post new ‘practices’. There is no ‘joining’, just a posting of new practices.
- In the “Com-post humusities” sub-section, there will be a full description of a featured practice called Sanktuaree, which was formulated by The Emergence Network. The description will end with a link to the Sanktuaree page on the website of The Emergence Network, where members can initiate their own Sanktuaree projects.
- Share your writings (Invited essays, community pieces, journals): Think of this as a writing blog. We would like to see alumni continue to submit their essays and articles in a public space, allowing for comments and gentle feedback from other members.
- Book one-on-one with Bayo and other elders: Members will be able to book one-on-one conversations with Bayo Akomolafe. Bayo working with the Humusities curator will also invite teachers and other persons to make themselves available periodically for the membership to speak with.
- Elders: Unlike most virtual spaces, Humusities will have a group of elders called into the community to hold space for the course, to keep telling stories, to bring memory and invite weirdness to the group.
Humusities.online (now in development) will launch February 2018 with an online free-to-attend-for-past-participants conference. If you’d like to be part of this possibility, or have ideas of how to