KINSHIP: An Exploration Into Being Together
KINSHIP: An Online Course Online Event with Tyson Yunkaporta, Minna Salami, Douglas Rushkoff, Bayo Akomolafe, Charles Eisenstein, Charlotte Du Cann, Andreas Weber, Adah Paris, Stephen Jenkinson, Gavin Van Horn & 8 more
A transformative online course exploring community, relationality & belonging in the worlds we live in. Join us from 15 March to 5 May 2022 as we engage in this timely collective inquiry.
Course website: https://www.kinshipcourse.com
What does it mean to belong? What does it mean to be in relationship with the ever-unfurling world we find ourselves a part of? What, exactly, is community? And who do we really mean when we say “we”?
KINSHIP is an exploration into being together in a time when being apart has fractured our relationship to self, other, and the more-than-human in ways that have left us painfully adrift. It is a timely collective inquiry into how community, relationality, and belonging can revitalise our sense of aliveness as creatures of and participants in this animate earth, and how such a renewal might influence our actions towards greater flourishing.
Kinship is a way of relating that asks us to go beyond extracting value from the “other”. It is relationship for relationships sake, and for the sake of life itself. It is a form of relationship that acknowledges the deeper workings of reality by operating on the same principles as the very breath which keeps us alive: reciprocity, emergence, and sensuous awareness.
Whether or not you have unorthodox relationships with rocks, or find your wings in the world of words, we invite you to explore kinship with us, and reconceive relationship in the contexts we find ourselves in.
The Course Content#
Community is the vessel, the social infrastructure of life, relationality is the alchemical catalyst, the yoke of togetherness, and belonging is the meaning and magic amidst it all.
Together we will look at how these three elements enable a transformative form of relationship to arise, one that is regenerative, life-affirming, and sacred to those who enter into it: kinship.
Why is kinship a more powerful frame through which to view relationships than simply saying “everything is connected”? “Everything is connected” is (partially) true, but in the words of Donna Haraway, “nobody lives everywhere; everybody lives somewhere. Nothing is connected to everything; everything is connected to something”. Kinship offers us ways to connect through the context of place. This is profoundly important in a time when the abstract notion of the “global village” might challenge our capacity for care, and more crucially, action.
We want to ask the questions: When we are not indigenous, what are we? How can we belong? Why do we find it so challenging in the globalised consumerist world to practice healthy relationships and community? Can kinship arise through online relationships and those we form in demanding and fractured environments like cities? How do skewed power dynamics affect the quality of our relatedness? How might a sense of kinship help us navigate polarisation, and how might it encourage us to move beyond our deeply held views? How, ultimately, can kinship orient us towards greater individual and collective flourishing?
We hope participants will see that kinship is not some fantasy-driven “over there” remedy, but instead is an immediate possibility, open to all persons, regardless of their geographical location or background. This is why we’re keen to explore possibilities for kinship in “unlikely” contexts, such as through science, technology, in cities and so on (as well as in “nature-based” contexts).
We don’t claim to know exactly what kinship is, how exactly to get there, but we do hope to gather enough diverse perspectives so that we might come closer to whichever truth can lead us all towards greater flourishing. This course is less about “we know the answer and we’re going to teach it to you”, but is instead an attempt to open up the necessary questions, collectively. It will be educative, but it’s primary aim is to midwife generative inquiry, and raise the signal on the questions that need to be asked about our relationships in the context of modernity.
The aim of the course is to reconceive kinship in the context of modernity, meaning we want to question its relevance to our current predicament, and to the minds of those to whom kinship may at first not seem “natural”. Kinship, we believe, does not necessarily equate to sameness, niceness, lack of conflict, or forgoing individuality. We want to explore being kin in conflict, and how compassion can show up in different ways.
We recognise the numerous possible avenues we could follow with this course in terms of topics and questions, and we hope to expand this offering in future. For now, we have chosen to focus on several key “building blocks” for relationship, each of which has been raised time and time again in a variety of conversations about “what to do next?” regarding our predicament, particularly in relation to collective action problems.
We hope this course will stand, first and foremost, for nuance. In the spirit of kinship, we invite perspectives that may challenge us, and we also invite those that serve as balm to our individual and collective wounds.
The Course Format#
The course runs from 15th March - 5th May 2022, and sessions run for 2 - 2.5 hours. Each week, we will have a different theme, with 2 - 3 sessions each. The themes include: Why Kinship, The Politics of Relationship, Relational Ecosystems, The Individual, The Community, The More-Than-Human, Relational Imaginaries, Being & Becoming Kin.
Collective Inquiry Sessions are every other Thursday and last for 1.5 hours, which are shared spaces in which we dive deep into the previous weeks’ themes and begin to embody the principles of kinship in our online community (and beyond). These sessions are designed to midwife generative inquiry, both individually and collectively, and serve as a virtual campfire, around which we will gather, discuss, reflect, embody, collaborate, create, and practice.
Sessions will be held via Zoom. Recordings, readings, practices and the forum will be available via the Kinship Mighty Network.
WEEK 4: Tuesday April 5, 6:00 - 8:45PM UK/BST
* Minna Salami: The Illusion of the Individual
* Andreas Weber: The Paradox of the Individual - A Biopoetic Perspective
* Charles Eisenstein: Living with Ourselves, Together
WEEK 5: Tuesday April 12, 6:00 - 8:00PM UK/BST
* Tim Ingold: Kinship & Community - An Anthropological Perspective
* Nora Bateson: TBA
* Carolina Duque & Vanessa Andreotti: Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures
WEEK 6: Tuesday April 19, 6:00 - 8:00PM UK/BST
* Andreas Weber: Animism - Life as Reciprocity and Inwardness
* Tiokasin Ghosthorse: Contextualising Indigenous Languages for Troubled Times
* Andy Letcher: TBA
KINSHIP: An Online Course
Tyson Yunkaporta #
Tyson is an academic, arts critic, and researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. As an indigenous person, Tyson looks at global systems from a unique perspective, one tied to the natural & spiritual world. He is the author of ‘Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World’. He carves traditional tools and weapons & also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne.
Douglas Rushkoff #
Douglas is the host of the Team Human podcast & author of Team Human as well as a dozen other bestselling books on media, technology, & culture, including, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed, Media Virus, & the novel Ecstasy Club. He is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens. He lives in New York, and lectures about media, society, and economics around the world.
Charlotte Du Cann #
Charlotte is a writer, editor & co-director of the Dark Mountain Project. A former journalist, she has co-founded several collaborative writing projects to foster radical cultural change, including the grassroots newspaper, Transition Free Press. Her most recent book, 52 Flowers That Shook My World – A Radical Return to Earth, was published by Two Ravens Press. She currently creates performances & written work that explore myth as a tool for navigating times of collapse.
Andreas Weber #
Andreas is a Berlin based author & independent scholar. He has degrees in Marine Biology & Cultural Studies, having collaborated with theoretical biologist Francisco Varela in Paris. Andreas’ work is focusing on a re-evaluation of our understanding of the living. He is proposing to understand organisms as subjects & hence the biosphere as a meaning-creating & poetic reality. Andreas is the author of Enlivenment. Toward a Poetics for the Anthropocene, & Sharing Life: The Ecopolitics of Reciprocity.
Adah Paris #
Adah is a polymath, anti-disciplinary artist, tech futurist & activist who’s work explores the anatomy of transformation. Adah’s work sits at the intersection of living systems & indigenous community practices, & digital and emerging technologies, all under the philosophical idea and systems framework that she developed called cyborg shamanism. She is Artist in Residence at The Santa Barbara Centre for Art Science & Technology. In 2021 and 2020, she was long-listed as one of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology.
Stephen Jenkinson #
Stephen is a teacher, author, storyteller, spiritual activist, and founder of Orphan Wisdom, a teaching house for skills of deep living and making human culture that are mandatory in endangered, endangering times. He makes books, tends farm and mends broken handles and fences, succumbs to interviews, teaches and performs internationally.
Gavin Van Horn #
Gavin is Executive Editor at the Center for Humans & Nature. His writing is an entangled in ongoing conversation between humans, our nonhuman kin, & the animate landscape. He is the co-editor, with Robin Wall Kimmerer & John Hausdoerffer, of the five-volume series, Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations, & the author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds. Gavin currently resides in the ancestral lands of the Chumash people in San Luis Obispo, California.
Jeremy Lent #
Jeremy, described by George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” is an author & speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilisation’s existential crisis. His book, The Web of Meaning, offers a coherent & intellectually solid foundation for a worldview based on connectedness that could lead humanity to a sustainable, flourishing future. He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the Earth.
Tiokasin Ghosthorse #
Tiokasin Ghosthorse is from the Cheyenne River Lakota (Sioux) Nation of South Dakota. He is the host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on Pacific Radio. Tiokasin has been described as a ‘spiritual agitator, natural rights organiser, Indigenous thinking process educator and a community activator’.
Nora Bateson #
Nora is an award-winning filmmaker, writer & educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute. An international lecturer, researcher & writer, Nora produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, & information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles, is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems & complexity.
Justine Epstein #
Justine (she/her) is a lover of birds & all things wild, a student of water & love, a community activist, council carrier, & rites of passage guide-in-training. She serves on the Core Teams of Walking Water and Education for Racial Equity has trained with the School of Lost Borders and Tamera Healing Biotope 1 and is a member of Beyond Boundaries. She carries and offers practices and skills that strengthen our capacities to show up with open hearts and courageous bodes during these uncertain times on planet earth.
Tim Ingold #
Tim is a British anthropologist & Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He received his BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 1970, and his PhD in 1976. For his doctoral research he carried out ethnographic fieldwork among the Skolt Saami of northeastern Finland, & the resulting monograph (‘The Skolt Lapps Today’, 1976) was a study of the ecological adaptation, social organisation & ethnic politics of this small minority community under conditions of post-war resettlement.
Sophie Strand #
Sophie is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, & ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Lunar Kings, Lichenized Lovers, Transpecies Magicians, and Rhizomatic Harpists Heal the Masculine is forthcoming in 2022. She is currently researching a mythopoetic exploration of ecology and queerness in the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde.
Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures #
GTDF are a trans-disciplinary collective of researchers, artists, educators, students & Indigenous knowledge keepers. Their collaborative practices bring together concerns related to racism, colonialism, unsustainability, climate change, biodiversity loss, economic instability, mental health crises, & intensifications of social & ecological violence. The focus of the work is on building stamina, capacity & dispositions for painful work (self-and world-unmaking) through artistic & educational experiments that can help us to hold space for difficult conversations.