Speculative Archives + Black Feminist Listening Practices
How can we build more expansive frameworks for imagining sustainable, caring, and liberatory futures? I asked community care organizers in NYC about the worlds they hope to build through their organizing and I built a small speculative archive of those conversations. Through entering this speculative archive and listening carefully to the worlds our narrators imagine, we might be able to hone our own capacities to dream deliberately about liberatory futures.
Because what we imagine for our world(s), for our futures, and for our communities, matter.
“Tell Me About That World” is an oral history project exploring the organizing practices, critical political stories, and hoped-for-futures of mutual aid and community care organizers in New York City. The goal is to ensure that the narratives, strategies, and political dreams of contemporary community care practitioners are preserved and borne witness to with care and respect.
The only grace they could have was the grace they could imagineToni Morrison, Beloved
This is not naive optimism. This is rigor. This is craft. This is calling what be not as though it is. This is creation; I had to minister to myself. Had to learn the alchemy and then lend the words. I had to remember my joy. Had to speak it into being. And when I looked up from my blood stained hands. I saw that it was good.No Poems Inside the Victorian House, Alysia Harris
In the “Practice” tab, I develop an exercise for listening to one another as a liberatory practice. Perhaps it is in this work that we can learn to understand where and when our own dreams interface with one another’s. We can learn to expand, discipline, and enjoy our imaginations towards liberatory futures. We can learn to be critical and hopeful and deliberate about the worlds and words we build and usher into space. We’ve just got to practice.
Give to and learn more about the mutual aid and community care organizations in New York City in the “About” tab.
Click on the “Resources” tab to find out how you can engage with the featured content on this site, or read more about the literature referenced in the research.
Have conversations with the people in your community about these practices. Talk to your friends and/or the folks in your household about the worlds they hope to see and try practicing these listening strategies with them!
For a reading list and works cited page to help support you in your practice, check out “resources” tab provided above.
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