RMF:[Pre]Conceptions of a Movement, is a comic book written and drawn by Zaynab Asmal. It was the product of a final assignment for a third year history course “African History Through Comic Books: History for What and For Whom?” designed and taught by Koni Benson, a postdoctoral fellow at the time, at the University of Cape Town in 2016.
This conversation, built around themes and questions discussed in Dia Da Costa’s book Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theatre (University of Illinois Press, 2016), analyzes the terrain of the “creative economy” and explores its ethical implications for national belonging, epistemic justice, and academic knowledge production through the politics of academic journeying. Exploring the possibilities, limits, and risks of the creative economy across multiple personal trajectories and political realms, we offer perspectives on the creative economy as a landscape where colonial histories of violence, academic privilege and positionality, and possibilities for progressive politics become especially visible and critical.
What follows is a letter exchange between Anna and Richa. Richa’s book, Hungry Translations: Relearning the World Through Radical Vulnerability, underwent significant revisions during the course of this letter exchange. In addition to mediating on the labor of political theater and embodied politics, this exchange underscores the making of conversations and relationships as continuously unfolding journeys that cannot be contained by fixed words on the page.
What follows is a series of letters between the two of us – Julie and Keavy, two friends and agitators – that meditate on how we, as graduate students, step into the academic world inevitably carrying prior knowledges with us and must continually agonize about how to do justice to and with them in academic life. As we write to each other, we also write to you, in the hope that these reflections might help to remind you of the prior knowledges you also carry.
AGITATE! is excited to share with you this conversation between Dayamani Barla, of the Munda adivasi community in India, a journalist and tribal rights activist; and Cante Suta-Francis Bettelyoun, of the Oglala Lakota in North America, coordinator of the University of Minnesota Native American Medicine Gardens.
Imagining Transnational Solidarities: Speaking Across Divides is a series of webinars that centered transnational feminist, Black, indigenous, migrant voices speaking to the contestations and possibilities emerging for social movements, art-making and political shifts in the midst of multiple crises.
So much has happened since we met for the first time via Zoom in early May 2020. On a hot summer afternoon in August 2020, we met via Zoom again, spending two hours thinking through the interview questions presented by the AGITATE! Team. We took turns answering each question; each time, we excitedly pointed out joint commitments and overlaps in our responses.