five years ago today, it was a Saturday and in East London, England, we were launching an ambitious project in Decolonial London. Unlike the world we sought to destroy, it fell apart.
In the end, despite a myriad of reasons, at least this side it can be said that two factors had a major and detrimental impact
- a “private” group chat in which some of the members of the project were being discussed and mentioned
- “queering” of the space, which included the “gender politics” of the private group chat above
Some of the members of the group felt other members / facilitators were creating problems with other members, particularly through their “patriarchal” manners, attitudes and ambitions. It was also assumed that the space was made unsafe for ‘alternative genders’ and ‘diverse sexualities.’ These are roundabout summaries as it would be somewhat treacherous to go into finer detail, even if in the private group chat it went there.
Being five years removed from this situation it must be said that my perspective is so radically different right now, especially at a time when transpolitics are being celebrated whereas in the past they were chastised. In ths DL space it seemed the “down low” (alternative) tendencies of some of the participants and / or facilitators were overlooked, much to the demise of the project.
In the years that have passed my thinking has been more centred around countering “gynocentrism” and “misandry”, studying the Man Woman Myth series and other waves of masculinist material. Of particular interest has been the work of Tommy J Curry, who himself, featured on the 15 March 2015 London launch. His ideas, however, were much better summarised by the likes of Shahrazad Ali (1990) and George Subira Trower (1996.) These two, however, has been overlooked or ignored. In both texts they address the dangerous tendency to share private information with people outside of spaces which in the case of DL was so painful as it blurred defining lines (of confidence) making it difficult to trust, identify and trust allegiances. It came to be the case that “in-fighting” or hostile disagreements spoilt the space, for the “foreign” thinking came to be taken as the “natural” position, as many dangerous assumptions and ideas went unchallenged, and widely accepted without interrogation.
To repeat, each needs to ask themselves, “where does my person begin, and my oppression end…”