By Aijaz Ahmed Stories tend to have fascinating ways of traveling and intersecting with each other. They spill over, merge, or flow side by side on their subterranean paths, or jostle as torrents to be entangled in each other’s flows. Like travelers at a railway station, they squeeze past each other to continue on to…
“Yes, Baghdad and I haven’t seen each other since the war, but am I brave enough to change its perfect image in my memory? The walls of Baghdad extend their reach to me, protecting the only solid memory I have of the place I love, where my roots run deep. These walls keep me wondering: what would my life be if I had never left my home?”
The essay in Hindi emerged organically over the course of several months as we jointly engaged with Jacinta Kerketta’s submission to AGITATE!. It continued to find inspiration from her ideas and poetry as it grew from our verbal discussions into Vishal’s diary, and then into a co-authored reflection and essay. To try to convey in English all of the contents of what has evolved in the preceding pages seems far too mechanical to us. Therefore, we offer here a summary of our engagement with Jacinta, chiefly for those readers who do not read Hindi.
Over two years after the formal close of my own participation in the course, I sit at my desk pouring over the material documents produced by the multiple iterations of Stories, Bodies, Movements, attempting to think about what my own contribution to this volume might look like. In returning to the course in the context of AGITATE!, I seek not to preserve the journey or archive the experience but rather to think about what it means politically, theoretically, conceptually to revisit and extend the work at the heart of Stories, Bodies, Movements. What is the afterlife of the embodied pedagogical commitment of the class?