Weaving Together Just Futures
[Some soothing synthesizing tones underscore the speakers]
Weaving, weaving struck me, weaving together what we have, all of our knowledge, all of our resources, weaving something beautiful.
Like I mentioned, the written word is a lot of the creative expression that I do, and thinking about just livelihoods, how I interpreted that related to what I do as a horticultural therapist is food insecure populations to improve the world, there would be less food insecurity, more food security and that we need to be devoted to that. Why is this important? A lot of flowers are actually edible, as long as you don’t spray them with chemicals, and so that’s kind of what I’ve been trying to work on for social change. Incorporating horticulture into health improvements for a variety of people.
So it’s always kind of intuitive, sometimes I have to remind myself to think about what I’m doing. In a sense. I’m just drawn to different pictures, so I kept coming back to the idea of what is just, and what would it especially look like without capitalism. Some of the things that are important is just, like, the idea of home, and plentiful food, beauty, nature, that everybody would have access to all of those things, and a kind of wisdom. I don’t have a lot of words to say about it, it’s more like the feelings that come up for me.
I had an interesting moment of cutting a map, because maps are such a colonial thing, but I realized that as I was about to cut it, it felt so wrong, like the map was some kind of a sacred object, and it was just a really interesting experience. I needed to see what it’s like to cut up a map, and deconstruct it, a little bit about deconstructing my concept of land and what we are even talking about. So I have the map blending in with this landscape that has no lines on it, and to me it’s a little bit about decolonizing thinking, which I think has to be part of our just future as well. And I was thinking about how they had names before, though instead I started hiding the British names that are on top, and [there is some] blacking out happening, and then I was looking at the borders, and wondering if it might change in the future, or not look as rigid, or alter in other ways. So I started putting some sort of organic sticks in on the border, and then I found these buffalo, and I often fantasize about the return of large ungulates, because I think they’re a really good way of CARBON capture if we had grasslands. So they definitely needed to get in there.
I was thinking a lot lately about community gardening, and greenspaces, and how we put divisions and boundaries on water and forests, and how that affects community, and what we can do to break down these boundaries and try and help bring health and vitality back into our green spaces... that’s kind of what I was reflecting on.
I guess my main ideas are kind of around future and food stability and technology and nature and how that’s all kind of going to go forward, how it’s all gonna work. I got a lot of sleepy animals just relaxing eating and stuff, and then I have a server room in the downtown area, just, kind of things that are polar opposites in the world.
Charming lemur looking right at me. I thought I’ll just do a collage of things looking very lovely. Around the cityscape, pretty cityscape, and people consuming food. So, yeah. So here we go from ancient ancestor, around to... and to: there’s a robot.
What’s been a lot on my mind lately, is how much we need each other, and how much we need community in order to make decisions, that will benefit all races, not just one or two other groups of people, so I have some words here: We will mend the Earth, and then that we are agents of change, and how our connectedness to each other is very sacred. And to the Earth of course as well because we’re caring for each other then that also means that the Earth should be cared for as well. When we work together, then there can be a cycle, or balance of being able to rest. And have people who are resisting and that there needs to be that balance of caring for one another so we can continue doing work that doesn’t seem easier in the midst of everything that’s going on.
Ah, we don’t give ourselves enough space often, that’s in care.
Like what is life like not under capitalism? And I was like, I don’t even know what that looks like. So instead I guess what I was thinking about for all of these texts, kind of instances of the effects of capitalism, of just like tidbits from different articles here and how it’s all by the design, like the top says design of the times, like the design of these systems, and then kind of this person cloaked in these really beautiful soft colours, with these brown hands showing flowers and abundance that are coming from where their face would be, almost. And just kind of thinking about how as people move throughout capitalism, like the kind of things you sheild yourself with, and what you take solace in, and what helps you feel like you have abundance and happiness.
The thing that I was thinking about was abundance, and I was just like I have this abundance of materials that I can use, and so I wanted to just piece them together in a sense, and I also wanted something that was mobile, so this... can move and there’s this piece that can move. The word ‘found,’ which was speaking to me about, we know it, it’s there, and then another piece that says ‘bend in the trail,’ which spoke to me about the shift that we all need to make.
When I think about just livelihoods and what I want to see in the future, how we got here, I think the future needs to center love and care. And then two folks watching each other and taking care of each other, and for me that represented Afrofuturism and thinking more about Black future.
It’s going to take many hands to do the work, and bring people on board, and uniting. I think the flames kind of speak to me about the climate crisis that we are in. And when I think about that, I think about who’s getting burned by that. Who gets burned first, who feels the effects later. It’s technically a Canadian flag being burned that’s upside down. And it’s just nice and airy. Then within the fists you see the scales of justice, and my mind is in: Who gets to make that justice? Who has the power to enforce justice? where does justice happen in our societies? When I think about just futures, I think about the amount of land that Indigenous folks have been reserved to and how land back is going to be, I think just a key part of moving forward if we want to move forward with the idea of justice. In our minds, justice for all. Down there, thinking about all the various different levels of justice that is being sought in our world, country, and place today. Thinking about my people in India, who have been protesting, for now, going on almost 200 days, well over 300,000 people in the streets of Delhi. They've got a full setup going on there and that's a farmers’ protest that’s happening in India. Also compounds the thinking of food sovereignty. We live in a world now where we have probably the most food we’ve ever had, and the most food waste that we’ve ever had, so all this is just a kind of symbology growing kind of back and forth that way.
It says: “We do not change the world when we whisper, we change it when we roar.’ And I thought that was kind of empowering in the sense of finding voice and having the confidence to speak up, which we’re seeing happening all over the world. And when I think about weaving in her image with the whale, I think in my just future there are right whales, still, and that they are happy and in the ocean and also they’re so old. And that they’re still swimming and that somehow we aren’t as separate from the whales and from the other creatures as we feel we are now, or many of us feel we are now. I think there’s a lot of that reconnecting with the other species that we feel so disconnected from.
I also thought about technology in terms of communication and transportation, like, how people could exchange knowledge and connect with each other. But I thought, like: ‘Hello to quiet brilliance, authentic sound.’. Like people speaking their truth and that being communication going forward. Holding by, to getting around easier and through the triad of the past, present, and future, just starting off like, you are here.
And so the vision for the future, really is vibrance and colour, and presence and place and honestly just that it be colourful and vibrant and alive and multifaceted and interesting and just, really. [Environmental, to me, is beyond ecology. Justice is beyond-- it is foundational to dignity and it’s also around us as people. But also justice broadly, justice historically, all of those things for me is like, let’s just hope for the best.
I’m feeling a lot calmer, and more soothing looking at these pictures and doing the art and looking at the pictures of blue and sky and started just calming down a little bit. It’s also making the best use of everybody in the society and I think everybody’s been separated and disconnected and there’s all kinds of people that has things to offer that are not currently being offered, so.
None of us have lived in a world in which we hope to live in, and imagine to live in. And so, yeah, I think that’s where imagination and dreaming come in. And everything that you’ve shared was just really beautiful so thank you for that.
[Synthesizing fades out]