Author(s): Koby Rogers Hall
Editor(s): Ra’anaa Brown, Nicholas Raffoul, Koby Rogers Hall
Thanks Karina! This week I want to write/think through extractivist relationships as research. Stumbling through a conversation with Alice I recently returned to Harsha Walia’s analogy, that our relationships to settler colonialism are modelling our relational dynamics with one another. That in fact we internalise Walia’s principles of border imperialism in our ways of being together: much like the dependency of present-day colonial states to rely on the resource extraction and dispossession of indigenous territories, we as researchers, writers and oftentimes activist are very used to taking from one another, borrowing without asking, and relying on the knowledge outputs of others for our own survival.
It is interesting to me in this second year of my PhD research to return and revisit practice and theories that have sustained me thus far - from migrant justice movement organising, to critical art practices, to archiving as cultural activism. With another one of my (patient) supervisors I am continually reconciling my choice to do activist research within institutional walls, and to maintain critical interventions when accessing the rooms of power, white supremacy and so-called authority. And still as a white cis female, able-bodied, young mother, artist and activist researcher, I maintain how lucky I am to be working on this project with you all. And that the best way forward for me is to write with you and not for the project. Karina speaks authentically to the multiple timeframes and project legacies the ARC-ABLM teams inherit, while reflecting on the methodologies that will frame our proceedings: “what is it that this project is giving to the Canadian Black community?”, she asks us, “and how?”
And so I am thinking aloud with you, Ra’anaa, Karina, Nick, and anyone reading this:
On the above I can say that data management becomes a contentious issue, and perhaps this is why Ra’anaa and I have been slow to start on this design: who will we be interviewing, yes, but how will their thoughts be organised? How are databases dysfunctional (and I hope to hear more from Alice on this)? And when we talk about research ethics and consent concerns, where are the relationships in this data mining? Hopefully these are instabilities we can rectify through ongoing training, and our continued collaborative writing assignments. Ra’anaa calls in a reminder to familiarise ourselves with intersectional frameworks, as these are at the forefront of BLM and Afrofuturist movements.
In reading the research curation article proposed as methodology for the larger ABLM project - which I am looking forward to us discussing as a group - I want to look into how each of us positions ourself in this critical curation and relationship to the work, to the people whose lives and creative practice this project touches. I want to hear from you - your thoughts and feelings - on how each one of us can do the work of building right relationship, with ourselves, with our collaborators, and with the future constellations we wish to see.
Koby Rogers Hall, PhD Humanities Candidate