I have been reflecting on the power of discovery. Discovery is more than just observation. It is curiosity and engagement. Every moment presents an opportunity to discover what is there.
Often though, we are tranquilized by obviousness.
Imagine yourself always wearing rose colored sunglasses. It would be obvious that the world was rose colored. Every decision made in this context would be influenced by this perspective. Redecorating the house would mean matching everything to this rose colored hue.
The possibility of a different perspective doesn’t exist until you notice the apparatus framing your vision.
My guest today, Bayo Akomolafe, shares a reflection on this shift in perspective:
The obvious is no longer obvious and there seems to be an insurgency of the invisible. The things that we were not able to notice before, because of the architecture of visuality, the regimes of seeing that shape how we notice and appreciate the world, are now coming to the fore. Climate change, transraciality, transcorporeality, interbeing. There is a noticing of entangling threads which suggests that maybe we were never human in the first place.
Everyday interactions are influenced by the unquestioned structure of our mental boxing. There is an implicit obviousness that frames our worldview, at the root of which is our very self concept being human. Discovering this, noticing the box that frames our perception, creates opportunity for a different kind of response.
Today’s conversation explores something Bayo calls post activism. Post activism opens a space of inquiry about the ways that we respond to crisis and invites us to examine places of power in a situation. It is noticing that the solutions that we advance to a problem may, in fact, be part of the problem until we recognize the framing from which we respond.
This is the reason my elders say: the time is urgent, let us slow down. Slowing down is not reducing one’s speed. Slowing down is noticing the others that frame us and then acting upon that framing or the new spaces of power that are opening up.
A father and and self-proclaimed proud diaper-changer, Bayo was invited to be the Coordinator / Special Envoy of the International Alliance for Localization in 2014, a project of Local Futures (USA). He temporarily left his lecturing position in Covenant University, Nigeria to help build this Alliance for a more beautiful world. Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.) has been Visiting Professor at Middlebury College, where he taught on ‘transraciality’ (his neo-materialist take on racialization) and postactivism. He has also taught at Sonoma State University (CA, USA), Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and Schumacher College (Totnes, England) – among other universities around the world. He is a widely appreciated speaker, teacher, public intellectual, author and facilitator, globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change.
This is one of the deepest conversations I’ve had on the show and our explorations are wide ranging. Please enjoy.