[Editor: I am always on the lookout for new approaches to engagement and social action. This blog, The Emergence Network, which I stumbled into via Bayo Akomolafe’s piece (The Burden of the New Story), is exactly what I have been looking for and where I am going.]
What if the way we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis?
‘the emergence network’ is a growing alliance of activists, initiatives, communities, movements and people who recognize that today’s crises (climate change, poverty, economic inequality, etc) are not discrete problems with pre-existing features, and as such do not have ‘final’ resolutions. We recognize that the crises (ecological, financial, political and spiritual) we face today are intra-connected, that we cannot respond to one without drawing upon the others, and that the way we respond to these crises is part of the crisis. Our objective is to reimagine activism: dancing with confounding questions and experimenting with new practices that might entangle our work more deeply with one another and with the world.
The network hinges on the humble recognition that our knowledges and responses are produced by the same assumptions that have crafted a problematic civilization. The network is thus an invitation to enact a different ethical orientation – one that slowly brings us to a keener awareness of multiple agencies, fosters an appreciation for making real differences happen by sharing/diffracting insights, and undercuts the uncontested meaning frameworks that perpetuate the world.
This network is not an organization, an institute or a movement – in the traditional sense of the words. It is an invitation, a plea – a space that embodies a different, broken, always emerging kind of intelligence. It is a virus that promotes porosity, networking, cross-pollination of insights, counter-intuitive thinking and the queering of distinctions. Very specifically, it invites a different ethics that is motivated by indigenous, mystical and trans-rational insights about reality. TEN is a troubling of our cherished assumptions and identities, and an enactment of broadened response-ability for/with the world.