Forum Posts

Ilara they/them
May 05, 2021
In Shabbat of the Earth
https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/PDF/EdmontonGreenNetworkContext_Stage1SummaryReport_July2016.pdf
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Ilara they/them
Apr 28, 2021
In Shabbat of the Earth
Podcast episode involving scaling systems
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Ilara they/them
Jan 07, 2021
In Shabbat of the Earth
Hi friends! I had a very enlightening exchange with the minister friend I mentioned in Shmitah last night. So, my friend's name is Rev. Fulgence Ngadijimana, and he is a refugee from Burundi who now lives in Saskatoon and is part of the Unitarian congregation there. He has only been in Canada for a few years, so is a wealth of information. I will simply copy and paste our conversation below, I was so, so amazed by a lot of his comments...primarily because, as a Canadian who deeply cares about justice and disrupting the corruption in our system, I had no idea of any of his cultural context. Very eye-opening. I look forward to our discussion around what he brings to the table very much. Me: Hi Rev Fulgence! Happy New Year! How are you keeping? I'm well; 2021 so far so good I've been deeply involved with one of the Reform Synagogues here in Edmonton for the past few years, and we have a discussion group going on Shmitah, which is a seven year cycle in which the on the seventh year the land rests and all debts are forgiven. We are looking at it from many perspectives, and this evening we were discussing some of the economic implications. In that conversation, the question of how economy in managed in other places arose, and the...hm...symbolic and meaningful associations with money. We discussed how here, in North America, we have a strange relationship in terms of we both worship money and consider it the root of all evil on some level, and we are curious whether it is similar or different in other places. I have a few friends in Columbia I'm going to ask as well, but I'm curious, what is the culture around money like in Burundi? Be well! Rev. Fulgence: The Until very recently ( by that I mean 50- 60 years) few people in Burundi has ever touched or seen money. For centuries, literal trade was what went on. People from some parts of the country would bring salt and exchange it with beans or other food items and especially butter( I saw this with my eyes) but it was at the tail end of the practice. At that time people made their own clothes or they got them through the exchange or trading. people ate mostly what they grew. With colonialism and missionaries, money came in and now it became a thing. There was already trade on costal areas of Africa that touch Burundi but in an insignificant way. Now there were things to buy, people started to sell for money, to work for money. Those in administrative supporting roles with missionaries or colonialists got either stuff or some money and by independence time, in the cities, money usage was wide spread and one needed money to survival and to thrive too. Today, there are really two groups of people those who need money on a daily basis and those who can spend a month or more without money. When they get money (from work or as a donation), they buy salt and oil and that's all you need to survive your local produce. Is it the root of all evil? If you look at the corruption and political violence, people are really killed and they kill for power that can help them access money and other ressources that money can buy. In that sense, it can be a double edged sword. Useful but also dangerous. My personal problem with money taken too far is that there is fear built into the fact of having it or not, because without it in modern era, you lose your housing and livelihood in general. There is some shame of not having enough of it. The relationship with money may be an indication of how free of fear a person is. My mother lived 7 decades in one village but she never worried about money. She never had money. My parents would sell part of the produce to people who would go sell things in the city. They would have money to buy sugar, salt and oil. Things they actually did not even need. Many people in my village do not use salt or oil and they are super healthy ( eat vegetables, fruits and walk long distances). How does the poverty comes in? When a person is sick and needs to go the hospital, they need money. When a child has to go to school, they need money and a lot of it. The circle of poverty continues until when there are jobs (teachers, nurses,...) or they produce to sell and get money. An economy based on money runs parallel to the one that does not need on a daily basis. My hope is that whenever possible, people can have some freedom from money not because they have too much of it but because they know they can do without many of the things that pretends to buy. There is a need for a collective entity that takes care of the collective needs school, health, insfrastrures,...). it sounds like the scary socialism that some politicians are afraid of but is a pathway to a life free free from fear and free from basic needs. that is my 1 cent Me: This is hugely insightful, thank you so much for sharing all of this! It's hopeful to hear societies run with money as a less central concept, honestly. I look forward to the conversations that grow from this sharing, thank you! It is so central here we tend to thing "economy" means "anything to do with money", but there are so many other factors...so is that construct of money a purely colonial one? The notion of it being a central pillar of life? /as a means of control? Rev. Fulgence: I think the construct of money is connected to control. And we can see how those who have it control everything ( they even attempt to control common ressources like water) and people who owe them money or simply who have to work for them for their survival. I think colonialism used money as a tool to of control Today the rich countries ( not just the west) use money to control the rest of world and set up a system in which even local ressources ( minerals, coffee, ...) are controlled by rich countries and corporations. Money is a powerful tool of control Me: yes, it definitely is...and it's very helpful to hear that as a full statement in the context of a place that only started using it within a few decades due to colonial impact. It very much helps frame colonialism as a current construct rather than one of the past...which I think some people are starting to be aware of on some level, but don't realize the extent of it and are still consumed by the framework we live in which upholds money as the greatest good in many ways. Hm. Much food for thought, much appreciated
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Ilara they/them
Dec 05, 2020
In Shabbat of the Earth
Here is a fabulously extensive list of resources around Climate Grief that Amelia sent me!
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Ilara they/them
Dec 02, 2020
In Shabbat of the Earth
I have so many resources! Unfortunately, the website I mentioned is down under maintenance right now...but I'll start with Parable of the Sower because it's what all of the books that follow are inspired by. Here is a link to a description of Parable of the Sower: This piece is incredibly prophetic fiction, and many writers and organizers have been heavily influenced by it. Octavia's Brood is one such work, a collection of visionary fiction pieces coming from activists. The website is currently down where people can continue to envision and write together, but here is the book: Adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy (among other books) also drew inspiration from Butler's work. Here's a link to Emergent Strategy because I think I put it in the wrong forum... This is a fabulous video discussing visionary fiction and its role in facilitating that a young organizer friend shared with me recently. This excites me so much! I believe when we become disenfranchised we can also forget how powerful our words can be. This is a wonderful reminder of that! It's an hour and well worth the watch. And, last but not least, a possible future vision that feels attainable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEEzripANUQ&ab_channel=TheNextSystemProject&fbclid=IwAR0baJZhMWMGZnds0nIcIaQzdB620lJkZXtyCxABOUJq5rHmbwMINtlanTA
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Ilara they/them
Nov 18, 2020
In General Discussions
Some Resources:
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Ilara they/them
Nov 18, 2020
In General Discussions
I've recently been following author, activist and organizer Adrienne Maree Brown's work. She came to my attention a few months ago, and I am currently really enjoying and feeling inspired by her book "Emergent Strategy". Her main premise is that collaboration and cooperation can change the world because as we shift our own small circles we impact the larger systems. She presents many parallels with nature and how we can look to nature as a teacher to learn how we relate to each other. Here is a fabulous interview with Adrienne Maree Brown that was done by Johnathan Van Nass on his podcast, "Getting Curious". https://www.earwolf.com/episode/are-we-imagining-a-better-future-into-existence-with-adrienne-maree-brown/
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Ilara they/them
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