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Artwork by Lianne Marie Leda Charlie @littlesalmonwoman our minds could never access, we must relearn how to centre pleasure and joy in the absence of power over. We must let go of control, of domination. We must approach each new relationship with the life around us as a potential portal to new pleasure and joy through a deeper connection than those that can exist in the context of competitive separation.

This is hard work. Listening and communication are essential to developing these ways of relating, but it is much easier to talk over than to listen with. We must listen and truly communicate with the life around us. Com-muni-cation, etymologically, is a mutual gift-giving. Not extracting whatever we so desire and running with it, but the act of simultaneously giving and receiving. We must be honest about the fact that we don’t always know how to listen to our bodies, how to eat according to what they need, how to move in order to access their hidden stories, how to feel free in every corner of ourselves. We must sit in the awkward unknowing of new movement, and then we must move. We must be honest about where in our lives we are confronted with relationships of competition, extraction and transaction rather than mutual joy, pleasure, trust, love and support.

Repair can come in many forms, but a key one is reconnection – with self, with other, across difference and with non-human life. Reckoning with what we have lost through conquest of ourselves and our relationship with land and life is the first step to healing, so that we can be who we need to be in an era of ecological breakdown and social crisis.

Zahra Dalilah is a black feminist writer and activist from London.

Issue 319

Resurgence & Ecologist


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