Welcome back- T&T Sessions
After a long impromptu break, we’re back, and we feel better than ever. We decided to take a break as we quickly found ourselves overworked and uninspired- feelings that we are weary of, especially in this space. Taking breaks is something we’ve struggled with as a team; we overlook and under-prioritise rest which means that we suddenly find ourselves burnt out with no resolve to keep going- but don’t worry guys, we’re practising what we preach and resisting and resting. The constant need for productivity in this capitalist-driven world will not be the end of us.
As a welcome back, we thought that we would fill you guys in on our headspace during the break and how we’re feeling now, especially as so much has happened globally since the start of August.
I’ve really enjoyed not having to create content- the ability to sit with things and ideas a bit longer, and spend more time observing how the world reacts to the news has been cathartic. However, I did miss creating content, especially as so many things that I am very interested in have been happening. From France and Niger to the development with BRICS; there has been a lot to be said.
A conversation I found myself continuously having with friends was about black resistance and what it means. The topic came up in various forms, from what makes one a ‘sell out’ to what actions are truly effective in promoting sustainable black welfare and social power. How much are we willing to sacrifice to curate our dream worlds? Because one thing I’ve realised is how easy it is to live in ‘delulu’ land. The land of the delusional, where it is much easier to close your eyes to systemic problems that you could easily be a victim of, but have managed to escape. However, I’ve noticed that whilst there is a general dissatisfaction with society, people are looking to shake things up and create new lanes and worlds for themselves. That’s why I think that it is so important that we talk about issues, if we don’t understand the problems how can we bring about effective solutions?
However, constantly discussing and engaging with the fuckery of this world can be very depressing and means that we all tend to be existentially distressed. My sanity for my raison d’etre is not a trade that I am willing to make. I always find myself thinking about revered social figures who died as a result of their self-sacrifice, and how the world kept going after their deaths. It's not at all to say that their work was in vain, but ultimately, the systems they were fighting remained in place.
These days, I am keen to collaborate a lot more and expand our network. The world may be full of bad news but there’s also a lot of good work being done by amazing people and communities- and I think that this needs to be held with the same energy and vim we use to criticise. I feel more and more these days that it’s the only way to engage with the fuckery of the world and not lose yourself.
Life, full of paradoxes and contradictions, is difficult to navigate; it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the world can be incredibly bitter, but also incredibly sweet;
‘But our humanity is our burden, our life, we need not battle for it; we need only to do what is infinitely more difficult- that is, accept it.’
All this to say that this break gave me the chance to explore new perspectives, and engage with the world in different ways. More importantly, it reminded me of the importance of balance… not only with myself but also with my outlook on the world and how I choose to interact with it.
Hey guys, I hope you have all been well. During this break, I will be honest, I tuned out of what was going on in the world, for the most part. I am aware we progressed from global warming to boiling, recording the hottest months in our history. Civil conflicts broke out in many West African regions. Women have been rightfully calling out rape culture, and its celebration in our society. We had Barbie which has been heralded as the modern ‘feminist bible/manifesto’, I will admit I put my decolonial hat back on during that time. However, for the most part, I focused on myself, as much as I could anyway.
In my month away I poured love into all my relationships, especially the one with myself. It was a period of reflection for me, I tried to heal my inner child wounds and confront truths about me that were not so glaring. I know it sounds as though a major event happened, causing all this, but that could not be further from the truth. I had just been putting so much time and energy into my academic and career accomplishments, and I needed to redirect that into my emotional well-being.
I can say I am the happiest I have been in a while. Things are not perfect, but I am at peace and I am learning to weather life's storms. I said this in our first podcast episode and I will say it again, our inner well-being is as much a part of the decolonial conversation, as are white oppressive systems. I understand the limits of separating the mental health conversation from systemic oppression, but I think we cannot lose ourselves always honing in on the system, we have to ensure we are good first, in this hyper-capitalist world, no one else would do that for us.
I often ask myself in my ideal world, what would I be doing? And it is always filled with play, laughter and comfort. I decided to use this month away to remind myself of that. I say this also whilst giggling because I know I did spend time also working to build my practical experiences, so oftentimes there was very little time for that. However, this was a summer of love for me in many ways than one. I am learning the beauty of starting inward first, creating time for myself, and checking in on myself. If I am empty, what will I give? Toluse has brilliantly highlighted the limits of critics who think practising decoloniality should be about self-sacrifice. The onus is always placed on those most marginalised and exploited to sacrifice even more, a ploy I will not be falling for, and I do not encourage anyone to. I will play my part in the world and try to contribute to meaningful change, but I will play, laugh and live comfortably.
I want to end by saying I am glad to be back. I was very sceptical about us coming back. I found myself asking whether Decolonial Thoughts was necessary. “Do people get it now? “Are we saying anything that isn’t glaring?” I do not know whether I am happy with the answer, because, as soon as I started asking those questions, I began realising we are more necessary than ever! As a result of tuning out politics and its discourse, I forgot that decolonial thinking remains a politics that lies at the border.
The issues we discuss are still vital, several points need reiterating, and several points are yet to be made! There is still so much potential. I feel confident about my ability to contribute to these discussions. I now know that in these matters I can call myself a specialist, you can inquire about my CV if you have doubts HA! I also think these qualifications are not the point, these Ivory Towers from exclusive Universities, to exclusive ‘International’ Organisations, were built on white supremacy, and will not lead us to decoloniality. The answers lay not in privileged walls, but with the 99%. With the working class, with black people, with trans people, with queer people, and with women. I am proud that decolonial thoughts always recognise and prioritise this, our next steps forward in building a network ground this thinking, and I am excited for what comes next.