launching in 2022, center for liberatory practice & poetry gathers a community of learners around liberatory practices: ways of being, sensing, and making that enact liberation in everyday life. 

[image: a scanned open notebook. on the left page appears Deepa Iyer + BuildingMovement Project’s Mapping Our Roles in Social Change Ecosystem Map printed out on pink paper and taped to the notebook. on the right appears a handdrawn version of the power cube that appears in John Gaventa’s article, ‘Finding Spaces for Change’. Below the cube, is typed out purple text that is not legible.]

what is liberatory practice? 

in the essay, Theory as Liberatory Practice, bell hooks writes, “theory is not inherently healing, liberatory, or revolutionary. it fulfills this function only when we ask that it do so and direct our theorizing towards this end.” in the spirit of hooks’ teachings on the liberatory potential of education and theory, center for liberatory practice & poetry gathers a community of learners to explore all that liberatory practices can be and do in our worlds.

the center’s work emphasizes the seemingly mundane interactions of our everyday lives as sacred openings for collective liberation: our interactions at the store, daily commutes, self-talk, the ways we show up in our neighborhoods, and any of our daily movements on and off-line can be fertile grounds for liberatory practice. these seemingly mundane moments make up the vast and interconnected landscapes of our lives. they produce experiences of belonging and unbelonging. they are potential sites of resistance and righteous rage. they give rise to the poetry that sustains our spirits. they reveal our inner truths to our otherwise hardened selves. they have the capacity to facilitate connection in a largely dispossessed world. 

the center is guided by the understanding that our capacity to recognize the inherent value in ourselves and other living beings of the past, present, and future, is the basis of autonomous and liberated communities. thus, the struggle to reclaim liberation in everyday life is also an invitation to trace and unsettle the bodily, social, spiritual, and political borders that have produced various sites of dispossession. ultimately, the center is an invitation to reimagine and transform our landscapes of belonging. [1] 

liberation unbound... 

in Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Tortue, Angela Davis asks, “how can we produce a sense of belonging to communities in struggle that is not evaporated by the onslaught of our everyday routines?” practices of liberation, as well as those of us committed to liberatory work, may rightfully define ourselves by our opposition and struggles against evaporation in the everyday conditions of our lives. while this binary cannot be simply avoided, do our practices of liberation have to be bound up by the systems and structures we struggle against? how do we dive deep into sites of dispossession and return ourselves to ourselves; as liberated beings unbound by that which we resist? these are just some of the questions which guide this work. how do liberatory practices exist in your life?

[image: a scan of an open notebook with handdrawn charts on both pages. on the left, three rock shapes appear to overalp with the words ‘politics’, ‘poetry’, and ‘liberation’, in different rocks. underneath the rocks it says, ‘the center’s evolving context...’. on the right another three rocks appear with the words, ‘political education’, ‘creative studio’, and ‘mutual aid’, in each different rock. in between the rocks, more circles appear that say, ‘research, tools, resources’, ‘creative initiatives’, and ‘gathering community’. above, it says, ‘the center’s working threads...’]

how and where do liberation, politics, poetry, practice, and autonomy intersect?

the center’s work emerges in the intersections between liberatory practices and politics, poetry, and their relationship to building degrees of collective autonomy. while these terms are used differently in various fields, in this context, we can tentatively understand them as follows:

liberation is the sense of freedom from forces of domination. since structures of domination, such as capitalism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, ableism, are all interlinked, liberation must be premised on the understanding that none of us are free until all of us are free. 

liberatory politics are values centered on the belief in the rights of all to live fulfilling lives with dignity and integrity, where interlocking structures of domination have been dismantled.

poetry can be broadly defined as any artistic, creative, or cultural practice that functions alongside work that is more traditionally seen as “political.” 

autonomy can be defined as a state of awareness for an individual and as a framework for a community. as a state of awareness for an individual, autonomy may describe a person who is able to bridge the gap between their own desires and the needs of the community they are a member of. an autonomous community, where all members hold this state of awareness, rests on it’s members’ capacity to see the inherent worth, in themselves and in one another as living beings. [2]

[1] the term ‘landscapes of belonging’ is a reference to ella shohat. in her video interview, The World Today With Tariq Ali - Jewish Arabs and Cultural Cleansing, she urges listeners to more deeply explore their ‘landscapes of belonging’.
[2] Rocco A. Astore elaborates on this in the article, the importance of autonomy in anarchy and statelessness, published in the anarchist library.

what does the center do? 

the center’s current streams of work are based in three actions: nourishing, gathering, and weaving.


learning is an embodied process of nourishment. the center’s living resource library compiles stories, rituals, and dreams as building blocks for autonomous and liberated worlds. in the library, you might find theoretical texts alongside resources for mutual aid, poetry, how-to guides, and other materials that emerge through the conditions and encounters of everyday life. contribute to the library ︎︎︎

[image: an animation of three scanned open notebooks piled on top of one another appear horizontally on the screen. the first notebook is yellow with green and orange handdrawn lines on it and black capital letters read, “everyday & sacred: liberation in practice.” the second notebook is pink with magenta handdrawn doodles and black all capital letters that read, “queer diasporan speech.” and the third notebook that appears on top is blue with purple handdrawn shapes and black capital letters thet read, “poetry persists, poetry sustains.”] 


gathering with others can be an act of joyful resistance. building on popular and participatory education models, the center gathers community to facilitate gatherings, workshops, and programs that may aid liberatory practices. 

[image: pink strands of warp and weft overlap. flowers are wrapped around the different threads growing in multiple directions. the weaving is handdrawn in pink lines with an orange shadow.] 


through this work, we are weaving landsapes of belonging that hold us in our fullness and complexity; we are moving toward the horizons we desire. 

[image: a scan of an open notebook with a poster overlayed on top. the poster has a purple to pink gradient and playful cursive white text of the center’s values and affirmations overtop. the text is written out in full below.] 

values & affirmations

i / we define and redefine liberation on our own terms;
i / we exist in the spirit and tradition of abolition;
i / we hold dear the radical potentials of everyday interactions, encounters, and events of life;
i / we heal what can be healed; honor, mourn, and bear witness to what cannot;
i / we regard care as a collective responsibility and collective process as a guide;
i / we pull the horizon forward and lean in deep;
i / we practice poetry to persist, sustain, and nourish;
i / we build degrees of autonomous thinking, systems, and communities;
i / we time travel to organize and reimagine the boundaries of our belonging;
i / we transform and unlearn, becoming microcosms of the worlds we will one day inhabit;
i / we are audaciously still tender, joyful, and dangerous;
i / we practice abundance, abundance, abundance, abundance.

who is on the team?

the center is founded by kimi hanauer and organized in conversation with an evolving team of Weavers and Guides.* please stay tuned for updates and ways of getting involved. 

2022 Weavers: Denise Shanté Brown, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Lizania Cruz, Kearra Amaya Gopee, Katie Giritlian, Bomin Jeon, Georgia McCandlish, and Malcolm Peacock. ︎

*Weavers and Guides are roles defined by Deepa Iyer and BuildingMovement Project’s Mapping Our Roles in Social Change Ecosystem Map. 

say hello!

︎ liberatorypractice@gmail.com 
︎ @practice_liberation

as the center slowly emerges, this website holds space for our process and aspirations. 🌺️