artist: Jess X Snow
What is the world you envision?
For many of us, this question can be difficult to answer. When we are immersed in the war economy, we put our attention on resisting oppression from the powers that be, surviving in dehumanizing workplaces, and avoiding the corporate vortex of consumerism. The system’s ultimate goal is to eradicate our creativity.
As adrienne maree brown says, we are in an imagination battle. Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride and now Stephon Clark are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. “I often feel like I am trapped in someone else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.”
We have to imagine beyond those fears, into new ideas and values - into a beautiful world beyond borders and bars, where all of us are visible, valued, and free. Imagination is where the revolution begins, because people will not go somewhere they have not traveled to first in their minds and hearts.
Today, take 5-10 minutes to write down a description of the world you envision. Paint a vivid picture in your mind: what are the common values and cultural norms? How are needs met? What do work and play look like? How do people solve conflicts? How does it feel?
If you want to invite others into this exercise, after you’ve written your descriptions you can share them out loud, highlight commonalities, and create a communal vision board - I did this with my friends a few nights ago and it was incredible.
Afterwards, reflect on how this exercise felt. How can you embody and practice these ideals in the here and now?
PS: I took a lot of inspiration from adrienne maree brown’s vision - check it out here!