In this episode, I speak with Bayo Akomolafe — lecturer, activist, and the author of ‘These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to my Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home.' We pick up where we left off from when we last spoke over one year ago, and get into some of the overlying (and underlying) themes of his work, which includes a radical reshaping of the understandable, but often unexamined, sense of urgency we feel in a time of accelerating change and ecological collapse as we fully enter into the Anthropocene, "the human epoch."
The times are urgent, let’s slow down. I ask Bayo to elaborate on the deeper currents that run through his activism and writing, including what it means to “slow down” in a time of accelerating change and the catastrophic unraveling of the biosphere as we enter into the “the human epoch.” The Western encultured mind grasps for meaning, direct purpose, in order to “figure it all out” in the face of this global unraveling, as if we are clever enough to escape the planet we have molded in our image (impoverished, depleted, traumatized, ruined). The human being, within our current paradigm, is grasping for meaning in all this (this certainly includes myself). As Bayo elaborates in so much of his work, and in his recent essay ‘Coming Into The Sanctuary’ “[w]e cannot practice escape any longer — if we are to survive. We cannot cleanse ourselves of our sins or hope for the parting of the clouds to bring a convenient saviour. [W]e must now gesture toward hopes and worlds beyond modern imaginaries. Beyond humans. Beyond the intelligible. Beyond our usual ways of making sense. [W]e must go to the edges, toward the hedgerows teeming with hagodays and gargoyles and stuttered beings, and learn to [witness] with-ness the world we once banished to the peripheries of significance.”* We explore these questions and much more in this wide-ranging conversation.
Bayo Akomolafe is a husband and father, as well as an international speaker, poet and activist for a radical paradigm shift in consciousness and current ways of living. Bayo is globally recognized for his unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change. He is the Executive Director and Coordinating Curator for The Emergence Network. Through his work with The Emergence Network, “Bayo hopes to inspire a diffractive network of sharing –- a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’… one that does not treat the crises of our times as exterior to ‘us’ or the ‘solutions’ that conventional activism offers as discrete or separate from the problems that we seek to nullify.”**
- Learn more about Bayo and his work at his website: http://bayoakomolafe.net
- Read his recent essay ‘Coming Into The Sanctuary,” quoted above and in the introduction to this episode: http://bit.ly/2Tor3tz
- Learn more about The Emergence Network: http://www.emergencenetwork.org
- Purchase Bayo’s book ‘These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home’: http://bit.ly/2EUNVYL
- The songs featured in this episode are “Sound & Color” and “This Feeling” by Alabama Shakes from the album Sounds & Color.
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