Friday, Feb 05
4–6pm, fully booked
With Yayra Sumah
An altar is a portal. It is a black hole, a wormhole and a nexus place where we give and receive information and where we can meet the inner and outer space of ourselves. In this teach-in on ancestral altars which draws from Kongo spirituality and its culture (“bukongo”), participants are invited to the starting point of the altar. At the altar they will learn how to speak with the dead and hear them to speak back to us: in our minds, our dreams and in every aspect of our lives. At the altar participants will connect to the generations who came before us – to those who are every part of our bodies and so are connected to all the elements of the Earth. “Bukongo” teaches that when we divine we may find out that some of our ancestors are wounded and angry and have been making us sick. But when we do the work to heal our ancestors, our ancestors also work to heal us. Kongo ancestral healing rituals combine colors, geometries and elements on altars which are intended to retrieve, make amends with and ascend those ancestors of our bodies’ pain and trauma.
6.30–9pm, fully booked
Mending Broken World(s)*
With Mukhtara Yusuf
Trauma lives both at the site of psyches and nations. There is a multiplicity within and outside of a person that mediates this trauma. Trauma is a wordless narrative, a conversation in bodies that builds and grows and changes via interactions. It is through compassionate dialog, commune-ication with the othered parts inside of oneself and the othered ones outside of oneself, that those parts that exist beyond fissure could be uncovered. So it might be possible to find what lives in the place where the spectral wound reveals itself as not a ghost but an ancestor, living inside the very being.
In this workshop, Mukhtara Yusuf asks how it is possible to unburden the ecosystem from its colonial wounds and (re)build our worlds. Can pain itself be understood as resistance to enclosure? What are the internal computations of trauma, of healing? Through multimedia presentation and discussion, the participants will navigate these questions. Yusuf will share how they has used Indigenous and somatic inheritances of Yoruba knowledge and theology as a guide for their personal and communal work. Following a pluralistic approach rather than one that universalizes Indigenous knowledge, they will offer concepts and methods for how participants can carry out their own culturally relevant and specific healing explorations. Persons who identify as Yoruba and those who with familiarity engaging internal healing work are especially welcome.
*Inspired by Wande Abimbola’s Ifa Will Mend Our Broken World