Worlds

The transformation of everyday life

Welcome to the December issue of Territories, the monthly newsletter from Inhabit. To close out our first year, we’ve got 2 brand new articles for you.

Both take up the question: how do we remake life in the ruins they have given us?


Retrofitting Community

Remaking life in the Midwest suburbs

We want a different life. This simple fact can get buried under the confusion of current events, a plethora of takes, or just the latest drama. So how do we create new ways of life in these times—communal, dignified, and enduring? In this interview, we speak with Ann Kreilkamp about an experiment two decades in the making, an ever-evolving answer to the question of what truly sustains us. Reclaiming ranch houses and cultivating front yards, blurring property lines and breaking with an architecture of separation, the Green Acres Permaculture Village is an imaginative, collective re-inhabiting of the formerly private. With an accompanying photo essay by Mia Beach, we begin to see how life can already be otherwise, even in unlikely places.

Recognizing the value of viewing this experiment as a new “retrofit” template for how to live in the suburbs, via re-imagining both people and place, we began to host weekly dinners for neighbors and friends far and wide, as a way of sharing the bounty of our own social and spiritual practice of growing community from the ground up. Thanks to the collective soul-searching brought on by lockdown, we hear more and more from neighbors and others who walk by the recognition that our way of living and being in community with each other and the land is the way of the future.

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Worlds Belong to Us

A dispatch from Brazil on “life illuminated by green”

We received the following short text from some mysterious mountain comrades in the Brazilian countryside. Translated by a friend, we republish the letter in full below. Click through for the original Portuguese and more photographs.

There are so many words around when we stop to hear what's happening on the planet, the noises are manifold.

Too many concepts, discourses, and narratives incapable of sprouting a mustard seed.

Too many groups, factions, rivalries, egos, and vices, all fighting over a "like" on this limp planet. A dead-end street!

Crisis is the daily reality imposed upon folks.

Far from the lights of this crumbling civilization whose death we witness, we find green worlds, invisible zones where it is possible to grow other modes of existence, to escape, to become ungovernable, to live beyond the radar of all rotten powers.

Free zones, territories without mediations, from capital, bosses, or leaders that decide what we must eat, what we must think, how we should live our lives.

Root worlds, of plants and mutual aid, of joyful friendships, of seeds that grow out of collapse, of before, of those who are still coming.

In these territories we resist, we reap what we may, we build tools out of the ruins of a world disappearing in its own toxic smoke.

In these worlds we plant what the earth nurtures, we learn from the old and we appropriate what was good about civilization. We care for one another, we embrace those who need or those who are merely passing by.

When the sun rises, those who will another life have a thousand tasks: to plant food, to sow rain and trees, to care for flowers and bees, to let the wilderness bloom for that is its nature. We watch the sunset, or merely dance within inviting nights, we hug friends and neighbors, the only strange thing is the memory of a world left behind.

There are continents to be discovered by those who wish to embrace a life illuminated by green. The garden, the grain and the free water, growing herbs for seasoning and other fragrances. There are no alternatives, we are Plan B, with our dreams pregnant with will, colors, and affects we can make this world ours, free!

From some territory inhabited by free people.

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Monthly Reading

“It is no longer a question of repossessing or taking hold of a tattered society in an external fashion, but of repairing souls in the very act of repairing the world.” The Invisible Committee on the sensuous conspiracy of revolt.

“We must be fully engaged in protecting our lives, ousting the capitalist-nation-state, and creating a new existential reality for our survival and happiness.” Sabu Kohso on radiation, pandemic, and revolution.

“Strategic fluidity is meant to shake the police’s confidence, to deprive them of the ability to dictate the rules of play.” Irruptions on recent protests in Omaha.

“We are witnessing the production of revolutionaries without revolution, as millions descend onto the streets and are transformed by their collective outpouring of rage and disgust, but without (yet) any coherent notion of transcending capitalism.” Endnotes on the historical dynamics of our era.

“To return to the body is also to come back to earth, understood not as a land, but as an event that fundamentally defies the boundaries of states.” Achille Mbembe on artificial animism.

“The entirety of the Earth is technic-ly mediated into a kind of spectacular consumer nightmare that will probably kill us all.” McKenzie Wark on technics, theory, and teaching.

“We find ourselves in a dangerous and unstable informational environment, powerless to resist forces of manipulation and exploitation that we know are exerted on us but remain mostly invisible.” Adrienne LaFrance on the terribleness of Facebook.

“Abolishing Silicon Valley means freeing the development of technology from a system that will always relegate it to a subordinate role: that of entrenching existing power relations.” Camille Baker on Wendy Liu’s rebuke of tech elites.

“Our lives rest precariously on systems that have become so complex, and we have yielded so much of it to technologies and autonomous actors that no one totally comprehends it all.” Tim Maughan on the complex systems underpinning the modern world.

“Our perseverance lies in recognizing our reliance on the Earth system, not our dominance of it.” Summer Praetorius on the idea of the Heliocene.

“In a gift economy, wealth is understood as having enough to share, and the practice for dealing with abundance is to give it away.” Robin Wall Kimmerer on reimagining relationships and reciprocity.

"We proposed this idea as a way to conceptualize what it would mean to build a food system that wasn't based on industrial agriculture and all of its climate- and soil-destroying processes.” Carbondale Spring on building food autonomy (via the Partisan Gardens podcast).


What a ride it’s been. We’ll see you in 2021.

You’re on Path B,

Inhabit

Worlds Belong to Us

A dispatch from Brazil on "life illuminated by green"

We received the following short text from some mysterious mountain comrades in the Brazilian countryside. Translated by a friend, we republish the letter in full here.

There are so many words around when we stop to hear what's happening on the planet, the noises are manifold.

Too many concepts, discourses, and narratives incapable of sprouting a mustard seed.

Too many groups, factions, rivalries, egos, and vices, all fighting over a "like" on this limp planet. A dead-end street!

Crisis is the daily reality imposed upon folks.

Far from the lights of this crumbling civilization whose death we witness, we find green worlds, invisible zones where it is possible to grow other modes of existence, to escape, to become ungovernable, to live beyond the radar of all rotten powers.

Free zones, territories without mediations, from capital, bosses, or leaders that decide what we must eat, what we must think, how we should live our lives.

Root worlds, of plants and mutual aid, of joyful friendships, of seeds that grow out of collapse, of before, of those who are still coming.

In these territories we resist, we reap what we may, we build tools out of the ruins of a world disappearing in its own toxic smoke.

In these worlds we plant what the earth nurtures, we learn from the old and we appropriate what was good about civilization. We care for one another, we embrace those who need or those who are merely passing by.

When the sun rises, those who will another life have a thousand tasks: to plant food, to sow rain and trees, to care for flowers and bees, to let the wilderness bloom for that is its nature. We watch the sunset, or merely dance within inviting nights, we hug friends and neighbors, the only strange thing is the memory of a world left behind.

There are continents to be discovered by those who wish to embrace a life illuminated by green. The garden, the grain and the free water, growing herbs for seasoning and other fragrances. There are no alternatives, we are Plan B, with our dreams pregnant with will, colors, and affects we can make this world ours, free!

From some territory inhabited by free people.

O Mundos nos pertence

Há palavras demais ao redor quando paramos para escutar o que se passa no planeta, são tantos os ruídos.

Há conceitos em excesso, discursos e narrativas incapazes de fazer brotar uma grão de mostarda.

Existem grupos, facções e rivalidades,egos e vícios,todos disputando um "like" neste mundo murcho. É um beco sem saída!

A crise é o diário da realidade imposta aos povos.

Distante de todas as luzes desta civilização que vemos morrer, há mundos verdejantes, zonas invisíveis onde é possível semear outros modos de existência, escapar, tornar-se ingovernável,viver fora do radar dos podres poderes.

Zonas liberadas, territórios sem mediações do capital,de chefes ou líderes determinando como devemos comer,pensar e viver nossas vidas.

Mundos de raízes, de plantas e apoio mútuo,de amizades alegres,de sementes que estão longe dos colapsos, de antes e dos que estão a caminho.

Nestes territórios resistimos, colhemos tudo o que precisamos, construímos ferramentas das ruínas do mundo antigo que estamos vendo desaparecer em sua própria fumaça tóxica.

Nestes outros mundos plantamos o que terra acolhe,aprendemos com os antigos e nos apropriamos daquilo que a civilização realizou de bom. Cuidamos uns dos outros, abraçamos quem precisa ou está somente de passagem.

Quando o dia nasce, há mil fazeres para quem tem vontade de outra vida: Plantar comida, semear chuvas e árvores, cuidar de flores e de abelhas, deixar o mato crescer por que é de sua natureza. Assistimos ao pôr do sol, ou apenas ouvimos música e dançamos na noite que nos convida, abraçamos vizinhos e amigos, o único estranho é a lembrança do mundo que deixamos para trás.

Há continentes a descobrir para quem quiser abraçar uma vida iluminada pelo verde,a horta, os grãos e a água limpa,a semeadura de ervas dos temperos e outros cheiros. Não existem alternativas, nós somos o Plano B, com nossos sonhos carregados de vontades,, cores e afetos podemos fazer deste mundo nosso, Livre!

De algum Território habitado por gentes livres!

Retrofitting Community

Remaking life in the Midwest suburbs

Written by Ann Kreilkamp

Photography by Mia Beach

A friend asked if he could interview me regarding our Green Acres Permaculture Village, one of the vibrant little local lotus blossoms sprouting up out of the decaying swamp of the existing culture. He sent me a list of questions he wanted answered. I addressed them all, beginning with the first, which proved the most difficult: what was the origin?

As my favorite philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said: "It's hard to go back to the beginning and not go further back." For when does anything actually begin?

What we’re evolving here in Green Acres Permaculture Village is a transformed culture that values community and individualism equally, as a dynamic balancing act between these two polarities. The seeds of both polarities were planted in me soon after my arrival in late 2002 with my husband, who suddenly died in January 2003. Jeff had come for law school. His death left me, alone and grieving, in a ranch house located in a suburb. 

I had always hated both ranch houses and suburban design as boring, wasteful, separative. Little did I know, but I was about to begin an experiment on how to embrace and transform them both.

The process was slow. 

I discovered that my neighborhood had a name, “Green Acres,” and that there had formerly been an active, complaint-based neighborhood association taking on threats like zoning. One woman in the neighborhood wanted to bring the association back to life. I told her I would join her, on one condition: that we create a culture of creativity rather than complaint. She loved the idea, so we began—a daunting task. This neighborhood, at the eastern edge of Indiana University, holds 440 homes, at least 65% of which were student rentals (probably more now), with most renters moving every year. Over the next few years we held monthly meetings, created neighborhood clean-ups, walks, concerts, Fourth of July celebrations, even a parade. A few long-termers in the neighborhood had joined us in a core group, but then even some of them moved away and several died.

So that’s one way of saying how the project of building community began. For the most part, unsuccessfully. It’s much easier to start where you personally, live, in your own home—and gradually expand and deepen from there.

After our years-long, exhausting, failed attempts to unite the entire neighborhood as a conscious community, I pivoted to the opposite approach. Why not begin here, at home, where I personally live? Though I didn’t realize that was my strategy at the time, what we now call Green Acres Permaculture Village began in earnest when I made a single, seemly simple (though rare for a then 65-year-old widow) choice: to decrease my "energy footprint" by two thirds by inviting two people to share my three-bedroom home. These people were young, as have been most of my housemates in the twelve years since then.

Alternatively, I could say that the project began in earnest when, after renovating this house to my satisfaction (fewer walls, more flow), I installed both a screened-in front porch and a bench facing the street—to signal friendliness to people walking by.

I’d say now those are the formal beginnings of our project, in what the permaculture movement identifies as "Emergent Design." From those small decisions on, I opened to allow an experimental, organic process, with each incremental decision shifting the landscape of mind, heart, people, and place further and further in the direction of connectivity, complexity, and differentiation, through developmental stages. 

Though not recognized at the time, I can look back and remember these crucial stages: taking a Permaculture Design Course, the decision to buy the house next door and transform its large sunny lawn into a neighborhood permaculture garden, and the decision to instigate the garden itself by holding workshops there with permaculture teachers. 

Then, in 2011, the Shadow finally showed itself, via a dispute with a neighbor over a cob oven which we had built with IU students. This dispute, difficult as it was at the time, was successfully resolved within one year. The “shadow work” I personally had to do to resolve it then served as a model for igniting the next and continuing developmental stage of the experiment: conscious enactment of shadow work (individual, interpersonal, group, and neighborhood), which by this time had begun to cohere into a living community via garden work and various seasonal celebrations.

Recognizing the value of viewing this experiment as a new “retrofit” template for how to live in the suburbs, via re-imagining both people and place, four years ago we began to host weekly Community Dinners, for neighbors and friends far and wide, as a way of sharing the bounty of our own social and spiritual practice of “growing community from the ground up.”

Green Acres Permaculture Village now consists of three homes, with a greenhouse, chicken house, yet-to-be-renovated-into-workspace garage, interspersed with gardens and paths, a common patio, shed, and tiny designed spaces throughout. To walk into this little paradise is to discover “another world,” as many visitors have remarked, so rich and full and complex that it’s easy to get lost. Our plan is to add a fourth adjacent home in the next year or so, which will bring the total approximately-square land base to just under one acre. At this point, nine people live here, as per zoning laws, although a bedroom in one of the homes also functions at times as an Airbnb.

The ignition of COVID-19, and the fear that surrounded it, shut down our Community Dinners instantly back in mid-March. Otherwise, however, our lives inside our little homegrown earthy heaven remain very full and rich. We hold two hour work parties twice weekly and we hold our own residential dinners weekly. And though we no longer hold larger dinners open to visitors, thanks to the collective soul-searching brought on by lockdown we hear more and more from both neighbors and others who walk by conscious recognition that our way of living and being in community with each other and the land is the way of the future.

I advocate retrofit community, rather than building intentional community from scratch. First of all, the structures are already there, holding immense embedded energy. Why not just repurpose them and, especially, the spaces between them? What we call “the suburbs” were developed after World War II, when returning G.I.s and their wives wrenched themselves from their extended families for life elsewhere. The G.I. Bill provided for both college and help for home ownership. Little suburban tracts thus sprang up on the outskirts of cities. The result: life became more and more separative, with the husbands going off to work in their cars each day, leaving wives and children at home. This too-small “nuclear family” structure, sooner or later, was bound to explode. And it did, in the 1960s, as those who grew up in the cozy little stable homes of the ‘50s found themselves of draft age, with the Vietnam War and Civil Rights and Women’s Rights hot button issues for massive unrest and protests. 

Yet the form of the suburbs has hardly changed, except to feature larger lawns with larger homes, thus more and more separative and energy-intensive. I consider us fortunate here in Green Acres to have been among the first suburbs built in the 1950s. Just across the now-widened bypass, the suburbs to the east feature those larger houses on larger lots. Much easier to build community when you don’t live very far apart from one another—with just enough, but not too much, space between the homes. 

Retrofitting also is advantageous in that you don’t spend vast amounts of time deciding how and what to build. Many co-housing communities designed from scratch have foundered in the years dedicated to the planning stages. 

We are still intergenerational, though with not nearly as many people in their early twenties as before. Given that we live in an academic town, the presence of the continuous flow of young people helps us remember that our purpose is, in part, to introduce them to a new way of life. Many have cycled through here, staying on average one to three years. In the years since I invited in my first two housemates, fully 32 people have lived in this little village carved from a regular neighborhood. 

In part, the challenges for students are those that all of us experience: how to value living in community equally with valuing one's own unique expression as an individual? Too much of the former leads to cult-like conformity; too much of the latter leads to anarchy, chaos. 

Regarding young people, whether students or not, the transience of their being here certainly affects all of us. On the other hand, this place has emerged within a university town, so the transience of various residents is assumed. How to to work with permanence and change? What is permanent? Well, the land and the seasons, the structures, my owning the place (at least at this point), and that's about it. All the rest is in motion, with people coming and going sometimes after only a month or two, other times after many years.

The one constant with students and other young people that I have noticed—when they arrive here, most of them are simply not in their bodies, so how could they connect with the earth? They need to pay special attention to direct experience in the world, rather than just experience mediated through screens. Many have not ever put their hands in soil! Most of them are careless with tools and must be taught, sometimes over and over again, to put them back where they found them, to clean them after use, and for example, not to put a rake down with the tines up, lest someone step on the tines and konk themselves in the head! 

Young people's presence is essential here. They are the future. Their energy and their experience here is helping them to prepare for a future that will, hopefully, be much more connected to both each other and to the living land beneath their feet.

A few years ago, a young couple moved into a house across the street, telling us they were originally interested because of what we are doing here. They now have two young children, their front yard is half garden (she grows plants to make dyes), and this year we gave them one of our garden beds to grow vegetables. Another young family a few blocks up the street from here are now busy converting their front lawn into a vegetable and fruit garden. We helped them get started during two of our work parties this summer.

Advice? Dream big, but start small. For example: a front yard garden. That will get your neighbors walking by when you’re out there. Get to know them! Ask their advice! Sit down with them and dream! Start a shared garden between your homes. Or a shared chicken project. Or share tools, experience, plants, produce! Just begin. Every decision, no matter how small, rearranges the universe in the direction of your intent. Put another way, the arrow of time travels in the direction you are facing.

In our case, anyone living in any of these three houses feels free to walk into any of them. The single basement (with storage for supplies of all kinds, worm bins, and an herb drying area) is shared by all three homes. We have individuals and groups touring through here, both from Bloomington and places farther away. Also lots of visitors throughout the years, WWOOFers and others, some of them staying for weeks at a time and contributing in some way, usually with work—cleaning, harvesting, working with structures, weeding, etc. 

Life inside this transformed culture changes each person, helps him or her grow. Shadow work is an aspect of understanding that in this three-dimensional world, we are always dealing with polarities. Our task is to identify them, over and over again, and strive to occupy the space between them as dynamically balancing opposites, i.e., paradoxes, rather than come down on one side or the other. 

What feeling are we cultivating here? As much as possible, that of allowing and even encouraging people to be both fully themselves and cooperative with others. Meanwhile, to recognize that all the edges we discover among and between us as we "come into our own" are actually growing points. As in permaculture: the edges are where the action is. The attitude of allowing, when cultivated, results in evolutionary shifts over time. As we learn how to "get along" by working together on various projects, sharing meals and seasonal celebrations together, we discover more and more how to work with both the shadow and the light of all beings, including the larger being here that we call the "community."

We are just beginning to formalize decision-making processes, and will proceed slowly and with great care to do that. Since we are still so small, and we are learning to trust one another when difficulties arise, informality has not been difficult. Though I “own” all three properties, all rents go towards costs involved with utilities, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance. Thus my power-over position of “landlord” is mitigated through the fact that I don’t personally benefit from the rents. 

Looming on the horizon: what kind of legal structure to put underneath the properties so that the community can continue to thrive and evolve after I die? What kind of legal structure to create for the Green Acres Alchemy product line (dried herbs, tinctures, salves, soaps, candles, jellies, jams and so on) that we are just this year beginning to rev up? This follows several years of experimentation with a CSA—successful, but a lot of work, and no one this year willing to take the project on. We do sell seedlings in the spring and give lots of surplus produce to neighbors who, over the years, have sometimes worked with us in the gardens.  

I would like to see more and more tiny two-to-four home villages sprout up within Green Acres Neighborhood, all of which could network with each other and synergistically help spread the idea that we can transform life in the suburbs. Our close proximity to Indiana University has resulted in several classes with projects using our community as a base. This entire neighborhood might become known as an adjunct demonstration project in the transformation of people, place, and culture, by featuring classes in sociology, psychology, city and urban planning, architecture, horticulture, design, art, business... the sky’s the limit! As usual. 

You’ve wondered, what would I do differently? Not sure there’s anything of the way this little experiment has evolved that I would change. I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon a fertile, emergent way of life that both showcases my life-long philosophical interest in integrating polarities and offers me a nurturing place to grow old while remaining both flexible and open to the present moment. 

And all of it thanks to the legacy left to me by my deceased husband Jeff, who used to say to me whenever I would lapse into harsh judgment: “But Ann, what can you do about it?”

Juncture

When everything is without foundation

The election has come and gone, yet the sad yard signs remain. Trump channers cope about losing their savings on /pol/, while the tears of Brooklyn are finally mended over the return of brunch. A massacre seems to have been averted, although not for lack of trying. Witness the President’s half-hearted coup, censored by the powers-that-be in Silicon Valley. Reactionary crowds storming election centers, jacked-up radio hosts calling for civil war, police roughing up BLM demonstrators—all amounting to a long news cycle where in the end, nothing happens.

Whatever mandate claimed by liberalism, the faultlines of America have not shifted or disappeared. The election has not magically transformed the underlying situation in this country. We live in a broken society. The institutions are crumbling and no longer hold sway. Fragmentation is everywhere, consensus reality splintered into a thousand incommensurate bubbles. The intense polarization between right and left has not been subdued or settled. There is no guarantee we are experiencing anything but temporary reprieve, deferral rather than resolution.

The conflict is still with us. Or rather, we still live within the conflict. It takes many forms, with armed violence between factions demarcated as left and right claiming its most extreme and also most regrettable expression. The culture war is still in full swing, threatening to turn hot, hotter than anything we’ve seen this year. Neoliberal progress and nationalist conservatism are vying to steer us all on their respective path to hell.

It’s not an advantageous polarity, when we survey the arrangement of forces, the complexity and contradictions within our society. Is it really so heretical to say that we are repulsed by Biden as much as Trump, and that we hate Musk and Bezos even more than them both? Politics defines the overall situation, but it can overshadow where real power lies.

We’re subject to the same economy, run by the same jackasses. This subservience remains unbroken no matter the regime. A supposedly more competent administration doesn’t inspire confidence either, as the pandemic stages its horrific resurgence. The right—selfish and paranoid as ever—claims the mantle of popular resistance to lockdowns, while the left pleads for the total administration of life. It goes to show that nothing is obvious or predestined in our moment, that the reigning paradigm is already senseless.

How do we make a break with this failed order? How do we disentangle ourselves from an economy of general equivalence, absorbing everything into its slow collapse? On this point the future is perfectly clear, the election no more than a sedative. We will have to fight for a life of meaning. But the form this fight takes, the terrain it moves on, the polarities defining it, can still be up to us. Against who, alongside who, against what, for what—how and why we are present to the conflict of our epoch, which is none other than a war over the meaning of life. You have to choose.


Friends in the Midwest have debuted their new radio show and podcast Partisan Gardens. Tune in for excellent discussions about alternatives to the current food system, in conversation with those already building it.

We can't wait any longer, for a tech breakthrough, climate apocalypse, the revolution, or a reform of the USDA loan system. We know climate catastrophe is here—and it's our food system's dead end. We see sustainable fine dining and ecological destruction, hunger and obesity, extreme wealth and immense poverty. We must be frank about reality to reckon with our options. We must choose sides and become partisans of a new way to live and grow food. This alternative path is already under construction. Through the experiments and struggles of food service and agricultural workers, we are figuring out how to create food systems that will nourish a livable world for us all. We feature stories from kitchen staff, new small farmers, undocumented slaughterhouse organizers, agroecology researchers, Black farming cooperatives, urban gardeners, indigenous land stewards, permaculturists, and countless others exploring this field of experimentation. Let those of us who refuse to wait proceed together. The current food system has failed. We are on the side of nourishment and care.

Tune In


Monthly Reading

“Contemporary revolts adopt positions not simply regarding widespread inequalities or corruption, but against the terms of life itself, of what lives matter, of what is worth dying for.” Vitalist International on life after the George Floyd Rebellion.

“The car, commonly understood as one of the defining symbols of American capitalism, has been repurposed as a weapon of Black liberation.” Shemon & Arturo on vehicular tactics.

“No campaign of racial reconciliation has so far proven capable of dissuading this country from pursuing the most unshakable of its anti-Black traditions.” Yannick Giovanni Marshall on the post-Trump moment.

“The coronavirus, the rise of authoritarianism, and the looming ecological collapse all mess with our sense of ontological security, the feeling of continuity in the order of our lives.” Britt Wray on eco-anxiety.

“Real innovation isn’t all sleek technology, but rather found in the everyday, living processes of caregiving and collaboration.” Laura Mauldin on care work & automation.

"The system became smarter with every new suspicious face or name logged in the database, every piece of information time-stamped, geotagged, and synchronized with the surveillance camera network." Darren Byler on working for the surveillance state.

“The infrastructural components of telecom autonomy are the first steps we must take to secure the Internet’s earlier promises and take it out of the hands of its corporate and governmental owners.” Tech Learning Collective on building local networks.

“L’Amassada, along with so many other struggles for autonomy, are efforts to defend habitats and stop industrial and cybernetic infrastructure from consuming territories and, together, the world.” Alexander Dunlap on recent land occupations in France.


We'll be back in December with more original content. We're lining up some exciting things for the new year too.

You're on Path B,

Inhabit

Fragment

The sun is setting on the global order

Welcome to Territories, the monthly newsletter from Inhabit.

This month we’ve got a new video for you, just in time for the election. Whatever happens this week, know we’re in it together.

Next up is a new translation on recent Indigenous struggles up north. There could be a timely lesson for us in this strategy of continent-wide blockades.

By the way, we had our Twitter back for a week before getting locked out again. What’s up with that? For now, find us on our alt @readinhabit.

Our website got an update too: readinhabit.com. Don’t forget to check out the brand new imageboard.


Nothing Is Going Back to Normal

A short film by Inhabit

The sun is setting on the global order. The world has tilted and begun to fragment. Forget the endless commentary and targeted ads, we know no one is coming to save us. There will be no going back to normal, this year or any other. How do we keep forging ahead, without coming undone in the fight? The answer is all around us. Everywhere our passion ignites, new truths come to light. With each act of courage, care, and creativity, we're building the futures they wish to deny. As every promise is broken, we look out for each other. As the ground gives way, we stand for what we believe in. As their end arrives, we set out at the beginning. The door is wide open—walk through it.

Watch on Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo.


Hunting the Hunt

On Recent Expressions of Anishinabe Sovereignty

This year has seen a resurgence of Indigenous struggle in so-called Canada, part of a continuum of five hundred years of resistance. From Wetʼsuwetʼen pipeline blockades to Haudenosaunee Confederacy land defense to Mi’kmaq fishing culture, this continent-wide revolt has implications for us all. This newly-translated piece comes from Liaisons Montreal and the Committee for Territorial Defense and Decolonization, discussing the movement of Anishinabe people to defend their forests and their moose allies from the encroachments of sport hunters, developers, and the state. Combining history, reportage, and tactical insights, this essay demonstrates the inseparability of inhabitation, resistance, and forms of life.

The Anishinabe word for moose, kacabagonégabwec, means a strong, majestic animal whose behavior can teach us how to live. The moose can, for example, show us certain medicinal plants. It was the moose who showed the Anishinabe how to use balsam fir to disinfect wounds and how to take black spruce during pregnancy. Just as the Anishinabe have always known that their existence on the territory depends on the other species that live there, settlers have always known that a sure way to assimilate a people is to eradicate their animal allies.

Read the Article


Coming up in two weeks—a virtual conference asking important questions for those building and fighting for new worlds.


Monthly Reading

"Alone, there can be no salvation for us. There is salvation because there are others." Giorgio Agamben on the slow collapse of the west.

"Reality is brutal, but we must avoid growing brutal ourselves. Today this is one possible meaning of the word autonomy." Franco 'Bifo' Berardi on the global tumult.

“Despite grandiose delusions of white mastery and control, it is becoming increasingly evident that civil war is inescapable.” Idris Robinson on the George Floyd Rebellion.

"We are facing a future with millions dead and where a huge proportion of the survivors are newly disabled." M.K. Anderson on covid, work, and disability.

"Much of what the archive contains about enslaved people was left by people whose views were so compromised as to be effectively made-up." Alexis Okeowo on the work of Saidiya Hartman.

"The promised wall is the materialization of the violence on which the idea of the modern nation state rests." Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil on the fiction of borders.

"We should learn to see the robot for what it is—someone else’s property, someone else’s tool. Sometimes it needs to be destroyed." Kelly Pendergrast on technology and liberation.

“Each node of the supply chain is a potential location of technological glitches, labor insurgency, Indigenous protest, and climate change-induced extreme weather.” Thea Riofrancos on extraction, supply chains, and chokepoints.

"Just as cheap fossil fuels, interstate highways, and air conditioning enabled modern America to grow and expand, climate change and wildfires will drive the next mass movements of people in the country.” Christopher Benz on the western wildfires.

"The fact that the revolt was largely spontaneous speaks for one truth: it is the people who make history." Au Loong-Yu on the revolt in Hong Kong.


More than ever, now’s the time to find each other. Link up. Reach out. Keep going, together.

You’re on Path B,

Inhabit

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