Despite Dispossession

An Activity Book

Anette Baldauf, Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew, Sílvia das Fadas, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez, Elizabeth Giorgis, İpek Hamzaoğlu, Janine Jembere, and Rojda Tuğrul

(Video, Vienna 2021, 36 min)
The video is collectively presenting the book and its tools for activities.

In the wake of brutal violence and devastating plunder, we asked ourselves: what are the stories we want to tell and retell within life worlds under the threat of extinction? Can we facilitate worldmaking that envisions futurities not exclusively defined by fear, pain, or despair, but instead, is propelled by forces of indignation, desire, and new kinds of relationality? Despite Dispossession: An Activity Book is the result of a place-based artistic research project; the speculative tools and activities that we propose here are inspired by our witnessing of survival, resistance, resilience, dignity, and joy.
The encounters that we had in these places guided us to the power of indignation and desire. A desire that in words of Eve Tuck entails “accounts for the loss and despair, but also the hope, the visions, the wisdom of lived lives and communities. Desire is involved with the not yet and, at times, the not any more.” [1]
The speculative tools and activities that we propose are to support our envisioning of futurities willfully blossoming from the ruins in spite of the overall traces of the violence. The tools aim to challenge pain narratives and damage-centered research that perpetuate victimization. They attempt to wit/hness survival and assert the “despite” of it. They hope to amplify senses and make matter resonate. They are inspired by our resistance, resilience, dignity and joy. They are offerings to the creativity of people who care for the co-presence of different species, temporalities, scales and (re-)relate to different modes of living, thinking and feeling. They are symbolic and methodological devices for a pluriversal worldmaking within landscapes of dispossession.
We hope for our tools and activities to incite and initiate. This work is an invitation to counter the hetero-patriarchal racial capitalist logics of ownership of the planet, and its psycho-affective forms of domination. We hope that the tools and activities proposed by us inspire you to join us in our effort to remember, reimagine and rearticulate connections to the land in its manifold dimensions.

    Despite Dispossession: An activity Book

    Translations of the book in Amharic, Kurdish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish translations are available as free PDFs

  1. Tuck Eve (2009), Suspending Damage. A Letter to Communities. Harvard Educational Review Vol. 79 (3), 409-427. ↩︎