MANIFESTO FOR IMAGINING OTHERWISE
What follows is a manifesto for how to imagine otherwise, better, with more care, and with the aim of imagining our way out of the white-centred western dominance of the world, towards an ecologically just, intersectionally aware, future.
- Research the background of the institution(s) you are working with, and make sure the context for the work is clear to all involved, whether visible or not – and understand that this context creates barriers for marginalised identities, making the very act of coming into work inequitable in terms of effort.
- Create a slow process of introduction to the project for all those who come on board into the future – introduce them to all previous participants, and give them time to interrogate the premise of the project through exploratory workshops.
- Make sure all intersectional beliefs are visible and verbalised from the very start, to create an inclusive environment – don’t assume it is an inclusive environment simply because you want it to be.
- Create a common working culture that you refer to each day – and name what each member of the company needs in order to work.
- When imagining alternative futures, base it in inclusive research – most of the transformative actions for liveable futures are already happening out there, somewhere.
- Remember the act of imagining is a privilege unaffordable to many: and as the times become more troubled, the space of imagining becomes ever more circumscribed.
- Never ask anyone to represent (even implicitly) their identity – whether racial, gender or disabled or any other identity.
- Ensure that no one has to carry the weight of their identity alone – such that the labour of imagining multiplicity in the future, is shared.
- Take time: where possible foster process over product – the product is the outcome of the process.
- Remember when times are troubled, that imagining becomes a political act of resistance against accepting the status quo as inevitable.
- Consciously bring the values into the room and the process: go slow, listen, reframe and reform artistic process.
- Listen. Reframe. Listen again.