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all that we are with amisha ghadiali (fka the future is beautiful)

Jun 16, 2022

How do we live and die well?

In this episode entitled Embracing Our Pain, Amisha speaks with Vanessa Andreotti, a Brazilian educator and Indigenous and land rights activist. She is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities, and Global Change at the University of British Columbia. She is one of the founders of the ‘Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Arts/Research Collective’ and part of the coordination team of the "Last Warning" campaign. Vanessa is also the author of ‘Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity's Wrongs and Implications for Social Activism’.

Amisha and Vanessa explore what it means to live and die well in systems of dominant cultures. They share that we have developed limited capacities to face our mortality and to hold pain, hence are ill equipped to weather the storms of climate catastrophe, the rise in violence and the global mental health crisis. 

Vanessa believes that the point of life and death is to prepare people to become good elders and good ancestors. They talk about the value of elders in our communities and the importance of their life’s teachings to be passed around so we can connect with generative ways of being that activates responsibility beyond ourselves. Vanessa reveals that we have to find balance and connection, we need to break codes of worthiness, behaviours of consumption and numbing pain in order to live considerate and fulfilled lives within the bigger metabolisms where we belong. 

We learn that collective pain we are experiencing needs to be held by collectivised hearts. Seeing ourselves as a continuum of life, letting go of aspirations, idealisations and projections allows us to move beyond individualistic conditioning into relationships and responsibilities beyond ourselves. In turn this brings us closer to living in radical tenderness and balance with each other and the more than human world.

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