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A Month of Arrivals

Dreaming bigger, sacred wanderings and creating new pathways for collaboration. Diane Roberts reflects on what has been a generative month of May

What a joy it was to arrive in Hamilton in early May, and be in communion with the McMaster community of students, faculty, and guests as part of the Pedagogies of Hope discussions exploring new ways of working that encourage students to dream bigger.  Co-facilitator Julie Tamiko Manning and I delivered a spirited mini workshop that engaged the symposium participants with questions of embodied ways of knowing. 

I took the opportunity to visit Portugal before taking part in the Knock at the Door: Utopian Dreams for post-COVID times conference in Huelva, Spain.  Visiting the “belly of the beast” – from which the first colonists arrived – with a like-minded community was invigorating.  My first landing was in Albufeira, where, standing on a rise, I could look across the North Atlantic horizon to my left that would lead me toward the next land mass: Morocco.  As I looked to my right I could imagine sailing down toward the beautiful western coast of Africa, past the Canary Islands, on past the Sahara Desert and ultimately landing in Senegal.  Imagining the here and then in the here and now.  

The conference, led by Professor Larissa Lai and her team of University of Calgary and University of Huelva graduate students, brought together a remarkable gathering of scholars, artists, and thinkers who discussed utopias, the present moment, and how to walk through new doors.  It was exhilarating to witness the response to the Arrivals process.

From there, I went to Vancouver for the Cultivating Kin gathering to work with a community of artists who are aligned with our own thinking around creating new pathways for collaboration for IBPOC artists.  I carried some of the questions generated in our gathering to the first 5-day Arrivals Legacy Voice workshop of its kind.  It was another unique privilege to work alongside co-facilitators Rosemary Georgeson, Gayle Murphy, Gerry Trentham, and Lopa Sircar, as we explored with an incredible group of artists how to create the conditions that would foster a curiosity without expectation or presupposition.

This month of arrivals has been densely packed with so many wonderful experiences, and so many marvellous new or strengthened community connections.  I’m filled up with love and possibilities, and I’m ready for our next big endeavour, Moving Together/Arriving Together.  Stay tuned for more! 

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