In her book A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Kathryn Yussof (2018) describes a thick relationship between extractive capitalism, geologic time, and (anti)Blackness. She writes, “As the Anthropocene proclaims the language of species life – Anthropos – through a universalist geologic commons, it neatly erases histories of racism that were incubated through the regulatory structure of geologic relations.
AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges presents our second volume, “Unsettling Pedagogies.” Forever cognizant of our limitations as a journal that relies on a ‘domain’ based in a R-1 University in the United States, we highlight unsettling lessons in creative co-learning. We rearticulate AGITATE!’s commitment to building learning spaces where radical pedagogies for sociopolitical and epistemic justice are at the front and center of our praxis.
We come together to write this inaugural editorial of AGITATE! after journeying as a collective for almost two years. Along this path, members of our group — including our contributing writers, artists, and activists — have joined in and advanced this vision and work at different times. Sometimes this coming together was planned and at other times it was sheer coincidence.
Dreams as R-evolution—a visual art and single-use plastic installation of sculpture, drawings, and found objects—is an installation originally created in the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Westville campus plant nursery that now speaks to dreaming as a r-evolutionary act in an old colonial gallery, the IZIKO National Gallery in Cape Town.
Apertures: A creative portrayal of domestic violence for SEWA-AIFW is a bricolage of stories and art forms. It draws on a variety of artistic disciplines to represent a spectrum of lived experiences of domestic violence in our societies, and the specter of patriarchy that shapes them. It tells four survivor stories from Minnesota through the lens of survivor stories in New Delhi and Chennai.
Aniccha Arts premieres a performance installation inside a seven-level parking garage. The project asks questions about transience, migration, and stability in a space that temporarily stores cars and is home to nothing. Performers pervade the parking structure with their bodies, working against the visible slant of the ramp to find their individual verticality. Questions we asked in creating the work: How do we find softness in a landscape of concrete? What anchors us on these alternating planes? How do we connect across such a complex landscape?
“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?”
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.
Emina Bužinkić I write these lines to remember, record and grieve fallen migrants who fiercely fought against the relentless border regimes in the Balkans and wider European geographies. Pushed into despair and ultimately robbed of breath, thousands of migrants attempt to cross the perilous terrains of the Balkans only to meet police batons, electric shocks,…
Our story began with a conversation between two friends, Ghadeer and Sara, walking back to the university library after a quick dinner in Dinkytown on a cold evening in December 2017. Fueled by the crisp air that filled our lungs, our feet rushed through crowded pavements and across busy streets, making their way through a fog of breath exhaled by warm bodies and buildings. Soon enough, our minds wandered away in denial, escaping the painful one mile walk under the cloak of another harsh Minneapolitan winter. Naturally, we both started thinking of home: Bahrain, or should we say: Bahrains?
Collaborative writing isn’t easy. In the fall of 2017, Juliana and I (Ericka) took a class on ‘Ways of Knowing: Approaches to Knowledge and Truth in Development Studies and Social Justice’ that encouraged us to write together. Even though our fields are very different, we discovered we had a love for nature and our homelands in common. We took the opportunity to write on what threatens the vitality of our countries’ environments, and to write in a way that also reflects our people’s struggles to maintain sovereignty over their lands.
We live in a time when conflict and destruction are no longer the exception but the norm. It often feels like a dark cloud is looming over us. However, those of us who have chosen to live with the purpose of changing the world to the best of our ability always see a silver lining to these clouds. Here we feature a performance of A. Revathi’s Vellai Mozhi directed by A. Mangai as well as a bilingual (Tamil/English) panel discussion on the role of art in queer activism. We also include written comments from Mangai and Revathi on how art, theatre, and Vellai Mozhi have presented issues of sexuality in Tamil Nadu.