Ceremonies for Ourselves: Re-Visioning Land Justice Through the Black and Brown Body

Authors: Naya Jones*, Get Rooted Consulting / Affiliate - Geography and the Environment, UT Austin
Topics: Ethnicity and Race, Qualitative Methods, Social Theory
Keywords: land justice, racial trauma, black geographies, Xicana and indigenous feminisms, Afro-Latinx, embodied methods, spirituality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon D3, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

How might embodied inquiry - ceremony, meditation, breath work - with Black, Xicanx and other resilient communities help re-vision liberatory relationships with land? How can embodied inquiry tap into concealed stories, healing mythologies, or visions that (may) counter dominant conceptualizations of land? And how might this inquiry sustain and inform action? Building on Gloria Anzaldúa’s attention to the “inner work” of social justice, in this paper I revisit moments from my work with fellow Black and Brown communities as a Blaxicana scholar-practitioner of geography and mind/body healing. Each of the moments - from meditative hiking with other Black women to vision circles with youth of the global majority (of color) - explores relationships with land through the body. I theorize how co-participants and I (re)construct present relationships with land while reimagining the past and the future; I consider how our inner work becomes a catalyst for further action around food and land justice. Grounded in black feminist geographies, indigenous feminisms, and in the genre-shifting works of Anzaldúa and Audre Lorde, this paper presentation combines creative ethnography with embodied praxis. Throughout, I embody the "inner" practices I describe (guided meditation, visioning, breath work) and invite session attendees to practice with me. This paper contributes to on-going conversations about liberatory land justice in theory and practice.

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