Updated: Oct 22, 2020
The Opening Gathering took place on October 12, 2020. Below is the video recording, plus the copy of the original blog post inviting people to participate.
The next edition of Now What?! opens on Monday, October 12, beginning a six week journey of deepening relations and revelations. Collectively we will explore the art of being fully human in a time of crisis and create a gift economy to resource us for this challenge.
All are invited you to join in a ritual of welcome, thanksgiving, and transformative grieving led by four Indigenous women (see below). We live in a time of loss. As Mama Visolela Namises says, “If we keep the grief inside it becomes stale and makes us sick.” Grieving clears the path into the unknown.
Together, our intention for this ceremony is to grow a strong root in the center of Now What?! so each participant feels supported to branch out into their own correlated directions over the following weeks. The set of offerings for engagement during that time is still emerging, and will continue to do so during the initial weeks that we gather. Participants can show up as much or as little as they wish, and can jump in at any time, trusting that the space has been prepared for them in a good way.
Now What?! is a co-creation, born from these questions:
What are the gifts of engagement and support that you might want to offer to those who will be gathering?
What are the requests you are prepared to make that might spark generosity in others?
Details about how to join the Opening Gathering and about Now What?! in general, as well as the link to register can be found at www.nowwhat2020.com
About the four Indigenous women featured in the Opening Gathering
Visolela "Rosa" Namises, GEN Africa and Europe Ambassador and member of its advisory board, lives in Windhoek. She is a former first member of Parliament 1999-2005 and again in 2010-12 a founding member and former secretary-general of the Namibia Congress of Democrats (CoD). She spoke up against the torture of South West African People Organisation (SWAPO) members in exile through breaking the Wall of Silence (BWS), an organisation for former SWAPO detainees of which she was a founding member and chairperson. She is passionately known as a national and international social, gender equality and human rights activist. Visolela is also founding member of Women’s Solidarity Namibia in 1989 and works there as the current director as well as at the Dolam Residential Child Care Home, a home she started for vulnerable children. Visolela Rosa Namises carries a lot of knowledge of traditional and herbal medicine of her Damara Culture. In 2016 she initiated the pilot vegetable garden project, which includes traditional arts/ medicine; a place for healthy peaceful living and a role model of sustainable development for the rural community. Her heart beats for healing in a holistic way.
Georgina Hâ-tani + Khoes (13) is an organic word and sound enthusiast. She's explored lyricism since the age of nine, appeared with her grandmother and great aunt as part of the Outa |Haiseb cultural group and has a passion for percussion. Nesindano (Khoes) is a storyteller through voice and word. As creator of bio-diversity comic, FreeRangers, part of the duo ²blend and as an artivist, she currently researches/explores stories of past futures through experimental sound play and poetry. They are from the Khoekhoe and aaWambo people and live in Namibian capital, |Ae||gams.
With ancestors from almost every continent, Lily-Rakia Chandler's life’s work has been navigating the many nuanced ways oppression affects people. With Building Bridges at the Great Falls, a Native-led social justice collective, she has served as Cross-cultural Convener and Youth Mentor, co-leading several Decolonization workshops. Recent projects include facilitating workshops on Dismantling White Supremacy, and leading solidarity groups for Loretta Ross’ courses, “White Supremacy in the Trump Era,” and “Calling in the Calling Out Culture“. In her free time she enjoys studying her Native language (Mohawk), making plant medicine, singing, drumming, and her son Rafael.
Main image by Mother Earth art at Dreamstime