Methodologies for Metabolic Well-being in Uncertain Times
There are a growing number of efforts to support peoples’ “well-being” in the context of today’s intensifying social and ecological crises. However, many of these efforts are oriented toward (1) making individuals more functional within an inherently dysfunctional (harmful and unsustainable) system, and (2) enabling institutions to ensure the continuity of business as usual. These efforts therefore reproduce many of the colonial habits and dispositions that have led us to a point of crisis. In this talk, we draw on Indigenous knowledges and practices, and our work with the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) research/arts/ecology collective, to address the limits of these mainstream approaches to well-being and systemic change. We suggest the need to confront these limits and engage with possibilities for metabolic well-being in order to face systemic crises, and the possibility of systemic collapse, in more mature, generative, and accountable ways. Specifically, we will present examples of some practices and methodologies that can support development of the intellectual, affective, and relational capacities that can equip us to “compost” harmful colonial patterns of knowing, being, and relating, and nurture the soil for other possibilities for shared existence to grow.