Active Witnessing: Decolonizing Transmogrified Ontology and Locating Confluences of Everyday Acts of Reconciliation




Eriksen, Machenka

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This research is inspired by Albert Memmi’s paradox of the colonizer who refuses, yet remains the colonizer, complicit in colonial structures. It is explorative, qualitative, speculative and possibility orientated. It utilizes a Critical Disability Theory (CDT) lens to seek out confluences with Indigenous Resurgence, decolonial actions and reconciliation praxis. It explores the concept of Everyday Acts as being applicable for resurgence projects and non-indigenous solidarity and reconciliation practices that center Indigenous self-determination and land and water based lifeways as paramount to ecological justice. The research design is phenomenological, embodied and transformative. It endeavours to explore some of the more nuanced pockets of possibility for emergent ally-ship, and solidarity within the context of the settler who refuses through engaging with Access Intimacy, symbiosis/solidarity, gifting economy, failure as praxis, and relationship building. It does this through a thematic literature review, an interview and the idea of email essays as Life Writing. Interview and Email essays are offered as phenomenological life writings from four Collaborators, that share personal insights and stories conveying everyday experiences of accountability, responsibility, community care, community engagement, intergenerationality, embodiment, disability, collaboration, friendship and everyday acts. In concentrating on the smaller felt spaces of engagement, this modest research project hopes to bring insight and awareness to how small conscientious intergenerational everyday acts of solidarity can catalyze meaningful change and the possibility of transformation. To conclude, the research offers a discussion and some recommendations for future research.



decolonization, disability, critical disability, settler colonial, indigenous resurgence, ontology, ecology, solidarity, reconciliation, racial capitalism