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Selected by community vote for NAVEL ASSEMBLIES Fall 2020, “Queering Surrender: Expanding, Embodying, Remembering” was born as a practice / sanctuary / gathering for queer, trans, and non-binary BIPOC to reconnect with the agency, pleasure, possibility, and bigness of our bodies.

To surrender is to give up, to give in, to allow. Queerness is a tender, passionate refusal — of straight time, linearity, binary, categorization. How do capitalism, colonialism, and cisheteronormativity inform the ways we live in, perceive, or erase our bodies?

This ASSEMBLY places the QTBIPOC body at the center — acknowledging it as a dynamic place where potential and transformation can be actualized and felt, where we can re-learn our autonomy and re-member our possibility. Our individual movements are not at all separate from our collective movements, and building on mutual resistance, reciprocity, and protection becomes even more powerful in the context of a community, a Sangha, an assembly. Together, we can remember, embody, and imagine ourselves beyond — from being, to being more. Drawing heavily from adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy; Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass; José Esteban Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity; and the work of decolonial scholar Dr. Bayo Akomolafe, our collective sought to examine the multifaceted ways queer, trans, and nonbinary bodies of color can access a deeper well of possibility, self-determination, trust, pleasure, and faith in ourselves and each other. Together with my co-facilitator & comrade Jenevieve Ting, we led a cohort of roughly 25 other QTBIPOC throughout this ASSEMBLY. Each session incorporated breathwork, queer theory, meditation, writing & journaling prompts, movement & embodiment practices, and opportunities to co-imagine a nonhierarchical, caring, and decentralized learning environment.

To view our Final Presentation Video/Sound Collage, click here.

ASSEMBLIES is a 3-month learning group for collaborative research, discussion and creation, through which NAVEL cultivates a space for communal learning that centers:
♡ Care
♡ Collaboration
♡ Experimentation
♡ Process