Unsettling Resistance: Anti-Authoritarian Experiments in Settler Decolonization
A book of lessons learned, wisdom gained, and practical strategies from those non-indigenous anti-authoritarian activists engaged in the struggle for decolonization.
From Unsettling Resistance:
This is a call-out to you and your friends doing solidarity work and resistance, smashing colonialism, and living healthy relationships to lands and peoples. We are editing a book, for publication with an independent publisher such as AK press, that will be a compilation of lessons learned, wisdom gained, and practical strategies from those non-indigenous anti-authoritarian activists engaged in the struggle for decolonization.
Indigenous people on Turtle Island (the area known as North America) have been resisting colonialism for over 500 years. In recent years there has been more widespread support of this struggle by non-indigenous settlers than ever before. In the past year Idle No More has brought decolonization into the dominant consciousness leading to wider discussions and an increasing presence of protest, direct action, and mass mobilizations.
Indigenous-settler collaboration on decolonizing actions is not new. For many years non-indigenous activists and organizers labeled as “radical”, “anarchist”, or “anti-authoritarian” have been engaged in these struggles both on the front lines and supporting from behind. Some of us settlers have only now realized our responsibility in challenging colonialism and ourselves. Regardless of whether you have been working for years in solidarity or are just beginning to put anti-colonialism into practice many complex challenges come up when attempting to work in solidarity with Indigenous communities. It is integral that we learn from our mistakes and our successes. This book aims to look specifically to those who are doing, acting and creating.
We are seeking proposals for contributions to this anthology. If you’d like to contribute, please send us a proposal and tell us about:
- The general content of your contribution (story, subject, questions, ideas)
- The form (photos, essay, poem, documentation)
- Your context: who you are and your relation to the work.
We are committed to supporting you however we can through the proposal process and, if selected, the contribution process.
Proposals should be about 250 words or 2-5 images.
(The final contribution should be no longer than 5000 words or cover 10 pages. We will be able to provide more information regarding colour and dimensions once our contributors have been selected.)
Please submit your proposal by November1st to email@example.com (and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!)
We will be contacting prospective contributors by January 1st and those selected for full contributions should submit final pieces by March 1st 2014.
Below you will find some themes/questions we are interested in. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we are open to work outside this scope.
Rethinking relationships to land and place is central to challenging colonialism and working towards decolonization.
What would a decolonized relationship to land look like for settlers?
How can settlers construct meaningful relationships to the land and to non-humans?
How do settlers deal with land ownership and the contradictions of private property?
What strategies and tactics are being explored to challenge colonial relationships to land?
2) Treaties and Relationships
Treaties are what have, and continue to, structure the relationships between settler governments and Indigenous nations as well as the economic dynamics of colonialism and decolonization.
Treaties are often considered nation-to-nation; how do anti-authoritarians engage with treaty obligations within dominant forms of political representation?
Can treaties and agreements serve as wider models for autonomy and good relations? What would this look like given the current colonial constructions of settler societies?
We are interested in how settlers build concrete relationships of solidarity and support with Indigenous communities, exploring questions such as:
How are alliances built and why do they break down?
What are the challenges faced in building these relationships? How might these challenges be better overcome? What does settler accountability to Indigenous communities look like in practice? How can settlers help build an infrastructure of resistance in colonial contexts?
What is the role of settlers in providing direct support to Indigenous communities versus organizing against colonialism within settler communities?
How can settlers contribute to building a strong movement with which to counter colonialism?
How can settlers deal with the need to bring more settlers into movements for decolonization, while at the same time calling out all forms of oppression and domination?
Beyond working to counter colonialism, settlers must engage in the difficult work of building decolonized futures. To this end, we are interested in exploring the meaning and challenge of decolonization for settlers:
What does decolonization mean for settler society and individual settlers?
In what ways are settlers currently engaging in decolonization? What are the challenges involved in this work?
How might settlers engage in a decolonizing praxis?
How can settlers support the recovery of traditions without engaging in cultural or spiritual appropriation?
What do decolonized practices of doing this work even look like?
Colonialism is a complex process with many factors. All kinds of identities and histories (individual and collective) meet to form the colonial relationship. These many threads need to be untangled in a process of decolonization.
How does a general anti-colonial consciousness become developed and brought into other struggles? How does settler decolonization relate to racism, classism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism etc.? How do migrants and other settlers with different positionalities and relationships to colonialism relate their own struggles to those of Indigenous peoples? How are Indigenous issues related to and distinct from larger conversations around racism?
What connections and possibilities are there between anti-colonial struggles on Turtle Island and anti-colonial struggles elsewhere in the world?
What shared learnings can be found with regards to feminism and anti-colonialism or queer/two spirited ways of being and struggle?