Since Inhabit appeared in 2018, we’ve heard many people say they were looking for more. Some, for ways to get involved, to become part of the networks we described. Others, that they wanted to start building the kinds of worlds that Inhabit conjures.
One reason we’ve launched Territories is to give a partial answer to these questions.
We’re here, first of all, to tell real stories from builders and fighters, makers and healers. Thousands are charting new paths for our time, whether that means hitting the streets, spearheading collective projects, or designing autonomous infrastructure for free lives. Territories relays the firsthand experiences of those at the edge of our epoch.
Beyond telling stories, we’re here to share tools. Tools equip us for the tasks at hand, better enabling us to live and fight. How to meet our needs on a nightmarish planet, how to share a future with those around us, how to outwit and defeat an enemy standing in our way. Territories is an open source library of our collective intelligence.
More than anything, we’re here to help us find each other.
We heard some people didn’t get the first issue of Territories. Sorry about that. Check out what you missed here.
In this month’s edition, we feature two new articles describing the emergence of new worlds as the current one crumbles.
The first comes from the Yellow Vests, a poetic portrayal of life in a neighborhood suffused by the energy of the uprising. The second reflects on a summer gathering in Sweden, describing how these experiences can transform how we live and what we live for.
We found it interesting that both authors sent these articles under the heading of “the commune.” It’s a loaded word, but one we think worth sticking with. The commune can be many things: a neighborhood organized during an insurrection, an encounter between folks who normally walk separate lives, a commitment binding together people to share their lives and struggles.
In whatever form it takes, the commune erupts as a disjuncture with the world as it is. It contests the order of things not just with the promise it holds out, but by creating a life worth living in the present. “Commune” is one name – half historical, half mythical – we give to the birth of new worlds. This irreplaceable experience teaches us the current world can be decisively overturned through our capacity to act together.
An evocative snapshot of daily life from within the Yellow Vests
Written at the height of the Yellow Vests movement, this previously unpublished piece comes from an anonymous friend in Paris. Mixing fragments of thought with a kaleidoscope of sensations, it captures the experience of living through an uprising as it spreads across a city and reconfigures everyday life. The meaning of friendship, our attachment to a neighborhood, what’s possible when we act together – everything starts to look different under the blazing light of insurrection.
Within a half-hour's walk there are three squats, three legal collective houses, the university we occupied last year, and the old warehouse converted into a bakery. Kids are crafting with modeling clay and friends are busy tossing dough into the oven. Still need to find a good place for the Red Market, because after all the friends and neighbors take whatever food they need, shit’s still left rotting. It’s a bit excessive, shame to throw out good tomatoes just because we can’t eat them right now.
Reflections on a summer gathering in Sweden
Gatherings have become one of the best ways to both experience and grow the power of our networks. They’re places of encounter and experimentation, of learning and sharing, of enacting a form of life we strive to inhabit continuously. Sent to us by Corncob, this dual text – half personal essay and half collective toolkit – focuses on a gathering in Southern Sweden in the summer of 2019. The first portion is an intimate story of seeking out and discovering a life worth living, while the second portion describes the structure of the gathering as an adaptable model.
I envision a hybrid life of the mundane and the adventurous, regional as well as international travels that support comrades elsewhere. The gathering creates a module for a life with complex commitments and an environment where I'm challenged by others. It's that challenge that makes me grow out of the impasse I'm otherwise so accustomed to.
Health and fitness factor into activism both individually and collectively. In a strength and conditioning guide, writer Mila P and artist Eros Dervishi describe and demonstrate different stretches and breathing methods for insurgents. Gender-nonconforming bodies appear in orange ski masks alongside images of protests and tributes to deceased comrades. Released by Inhabit, the guide draws a throughline between individual autonomy and collaboration to fight oppression.
Our thanks go out again to Mila and Eros Dervishi for creating this amazing resource, and to Billy Anania for including it.
By popular demand, the guide also received a print-friendly design treatment. Check out the black-and-white version here.
Are you in the Upper Midwest? Folks have put out a writing prompt and call for submissions around the theme of “Inhabiting Minnesota.”
Get in touch with the crew at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to see the results.
Our friends at Radical Vitalism have a powerful new essay out called “You are Nature: Working with the Elements for Change.” It’s a call to re-envision our relationship to the world, to compose a vast elemental force capable of stopping the devastation. Inhabit gets a shout-out at the end.
Together, the elements provide the tools we need to fulfill our role as worldshifters, acting to dismantle the structures that are destroying life, imagining the society we want to inhabit, spreading that vision worldwide, and building the next world. We are in the elements and of the elements.
We always want to hear from you. Send us your questions, feedback, and wild new ideas. Send us your experiences and your tools, forged in the struggle for new worlds: email@example.com.
See you next month.
You’re on Path B,