community empowerment and species-inclusive social justice
my mind is an ocean.
it is deep, it can be terrifying, but it gives me sustenance.
i spend my days navigating the ceaseless waves of thoughts, ideas, memories and expectations. or in other words, i like to think a lot. because i choose to speak little most days, my mind seems to have adapted well in creating complex internal dialogues – both to my entertainment and misery. i tend to think so much, so often, that many times i find that all i can do is just try to keep myself above the water and wait for the tides to recede.
and during some of these mental floods, my mind is pulled down strange new currents of thought, where i quickly disorient myself with an idea, and become hopelessly lost and confused, but eventually find myself returning back to my mental landmarks that i use to navigate waking life.
sometimes though, as the waters recede, i come to realize that the flood has eroded the old landmarks that i drew meaning and sense from. they look different, and make me feel different. i mean to say that sometimes my thinking-thinking-thinking can lead me to experience interesting mental shifts that seem to forever change how i perceive and relate to myself, to others and to everything else.
okay – what i am rambling about and why should you care to continue reading this? basically, what i am describing in this spontaneous analogy is my occasional experiences with epiphanies. and i don’t mean some kind of egocentric type of epiphany where “you need to buy my book so you can be happy like me”, nor the ones describing famed scientific breakthroughs like germ theory or we-aren’t-the-center-of-the-universe-after-all, nor some kind of pseudo-religious discovery such as there is no santa claus or maybe there is a flying spaghetti monster.
i mean simply the type of epiphany in which an enlightening realization within me allows a problem, or an experience, to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.
of course, what blows my mind today might easily be old-news to someone else. what might shock and surprise me as revolutionary can be a daily lived experience of another. that’s because my many privileges afford me to be ignorant and casually offensive. and it is quite easy for my “good intentions” of “only trying to help” to become tools of appropriation, disrespect, and white humyn guilt.
so please, my intention in what i am writing here is meant to be nothing more than me sharing some recent musings that might be of interest and maybe help to a few others.
if this isn’t your cup of tea, you don’t need to drink it.
Continue reading “DOMESTICIZATION– MUSINGS ON SPECIESISM & OPPRESSION ROOTS”
Layla AbdelRahim – Wild Children, Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education
This book is a primitivist critique of education and domestication which, AbdelRahim argues, is at the heart of civilization. Whereas empathy is at the heart of wilderness (and the capacity to live well in it), civilization is characterized by alienation, hatred, destruction and violence. All of these values, she argues, are instilled by education, which works through routine and coercion, destroying kids’ capacities for curiosity and instilling obedience and apathy. At the center of the whole problem, AbdelRahim argues, is domestication: the ways in which other living beings are violently diverted from their own purposes, and made to serve the purposes of human masters. Animals, plants, and other humans are all domesticated, and often internalize their own domestication: they become civilized themselves, and all of this becomes naturalized. AbdelRahim shows how these values of civilization are internalized: not just mentally, but folded into bodies through discipline, routine, and the naturalization of domestic life. She draws on Bourdieu and his conception of habitus to emphasize the ways in which education—and other institutions of civilization—reproduce themselves, and continue to work regardless of the intentions of those participating in them.
AbdelRahim weaves in her experiences of parenting and learning from her daughter, Ljuba, which helps reveal the powerful creative and free-thinking capacities of children, and the reactionary and domineering tendencies of education and civilized parenting. It helps to show how folks can live and relate to one another differently—in this case, in terms of parenting and unschooling—as a way to create alternatives within and against civilization. I wish the author had discussed her own experience more, and talked about her own strategies and practices around parenting, given her radical critique of civilized child-rearing. The use of narrative personalizes the text, so that the author appears as a parent figuring out how to raise a kid in a radical, compassionate way, rather than just an author that writes about it. Knowing that someone is trying to live the thing they’re talking about always makes me a more compassionate reader, too.
Continue reading “Typical Take on Layla Abdel-Rahim’s Perspective”
Emiko Badillo, Emelda Kavanaugh-Ortiz & Alex Payan
Hello. I’m Aph Ko. I’m the founder of Aphro-ism as well as the founder of Black Vegans Rock.
I’ve decided to create short videos to explain some of the different theories my sister Syl and I create on Aphro-ism so that it’s a big more accessible and easier to digest.
On our website, we’re asked a lot of different questions, and today I’m going to be tackling, “What does animal oppression have to do with our anti-racist movements?”
Continue reading “The Resistance Ecology Conference — Vegans of Color”
This workshop examines the role of knowledge and education in civilised economy and the ways in which they sabotage resistance and revolution. We will discuss both the temporary successes and the reasons behind the failure of most revolutions that have consistently been co-opted by a culture of stratification and exploitation within the past millennium in order to build on that experience for a lasting change and a viable planet in which diversity will thrive.
Presented by Layla AbdelRahim. Layla is an anarchist anthropologist, author of two books: “Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education” (Fernwood 2013) and “Children’s Literature, Domestication, and Social Foundation: Narratives of Civilization and Wilderness” (Routledge 2015).
photos and writing by ria
*to receive a copy of the field guide with macrophotos, email ecofeminist (@) riseup (.) net
self-published in Cascadia
To support efforts undoing what’s been done, and creating what will be.
This is a living document by and for the people who care for western Cascadia lowland forests. This is not an inclusive listing, and plants vary with factors, such as age. Hint: Look for evidence of remnant leaves, etc. on the plant and on the ground. And consider environmental conditions, and the plant community.
Continue reading “Lowland Cascadia Deciduous Winter ID – A Living Field Guide”
“Schools teach children the principles of death and of suffering. They do not teach them the principles of life, which is diversity, which is being out there in the world. They teach them within closed systems, within closed buildings and walls, separated from the rest of the world. They teach them that violence is legitimate when it is applied from the top to the bottom and that it is illegitimate when it is practiced in resistance or defense of diversity and life. They teach children that humanity is alien to this world, that success means pleasing those in authority who will own the products of our flesh, of our effort, of our work, of our love. ” –Layla AbdelRahim
Listen to the podcast or read the transcript at More Thought
The Yellow Picture was written by a ‘student’ and given to his ‘teacher’ weeks before committing suicide. It illuminates the experience of losing oneself to a ‘school’.
The Yellow Picture
He always wanted to explain things,
But no one cared,
So he drew.
Sometimes he would draw and it wasn’t anything.
He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.
He would be out in the grass and look up in the sky.
And it was only him and the sun and things inside him that needed saying.
And after that he drew the picture.
Continue reading “Layla AbdelRahim: Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams”