Getting Lost, Making Sanctuary, and Courting Monsters | Bayo Akomolafe (The Emergence Network)
On this episode, our guest is Bayo Akomolafe, a speaker, author, fugitive neo-materialist com-post-activist public intellectual and Yoruba poet. But when he takes himself less seriously, he is a father to Alethea and Kyah, and the grateful life-partner to Ej as well as the sworn washer of nightly archives of dishes.
The convener of the concepts of ‘postactivism’, ‘transraciality’ and ‘ontofugitivity’, Bayo is a widely celebrated international speaker, teacher, public intellectual, essayist and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak. He is also the Executive Director and Chief Curator for The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will dance with Mountains’.
Bayo joins me to speak about lostness as a relationship, his unique take on escape and exile, migrant bodies in the tourist wake, the place of decoloniality and post-activism in a tourist world, making sanctuary from fugitivity, and the monster as the face of hospitality. Enjoy!
Introduction / What is Home?
Lostness as a relationship
Escapism vs Exile
Trapped in our Activisms
Migrant Bodies Subsidizing Tourism
Making Sanctuary from Fugitivity
Why is a Monster an Image of Hospitality
Bayo Akomolafe - Lostness, Sanctuary and Monsters
Chris: Welcome to the End of Tourism podcast, Bayo.
Bayo: Good to be with you, Chris brother. How are you doing?
Chris: I'm good. Thank you. I'm very good. On this lovely Oaxacan morning. Thank you for joining us today.
Bayo: My pleasure.
Chris: I'm wondering if you could offer our listeners a little glimpse of what the world looks like for you, where you are, today.
Bayo: It's dark. It's kind of hot hence the sweat on my brow. There's a humming machinic noise coming from somewhere? Just around the corner. It's mostly like this on these Chennai nights. I mean, Chennai in India with my family and our home. And, um, yeah, it's good.
Chris: So, I'd like to start our interview if I could with consideration to your personal travels. So, in your book, These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to my Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home," you speak to your daughter, writing, quote, "your Yoruba grandmother has a nickname for me, Ajala travels."
You write, "don't bother figuring it out. The reference is also quite lost on me. I hear it in her voice anytime she calls, a bafflement that often borders on worry. "You travel too much," she'll say, noting that even my dad who was a diplomat, never traveled quite as frequently. The irony is not lost on me. I leave you behind. I leave my dear Lali and travel far away to talk to strangers about finding home."
And so being a Nigerian born man, having studied the Western tradition deeply and finally settling in India with your wife and daughter, what have your own travels taught you about home and belonging?
Bayo: The way Yoruba people would say that is "Ajala travels" which is were quite interesting to hear you say that "Ajala" because of the way we treat the letter J right. And yes, my mother still calls me that. She's still quite fascinated with how often, well, not for awhile now, given the pandemic situation, but I think one of the most profound lessons that I'm learning has to do with the impossibility of home, the impossibility of desire.
Um, that home is not just a place. I think that is quite obvious to many people that would listen to this. Home is not just a place. It's rather a placemaking ritual, that convenes memory and desire and loss and possibility and hope and hopelessness in reticulated networks of becoming. We are not in charge of how home turns out to be.
We are part and parcel of it's reenactment of how the world comes to create the conditions for home. And it is ironic, but sometimes I find that it's in going away, that I find home. And it's and sometimes it's by staying at home, I'm traveling. I'm trying to get a sense or share a sense of home that defeats the easy conceptualization that it is static and it is originary or original.
It's constantly moving and constantly asking questions of its own. So that's how I have come to see it, especially in how I relate or how I'm invited to perform fatherhood, how I desire to show up for and with my children, how I am in love and perform that and enact it and build constructs and concepts and conditions of intimacy with my wife.
Um, these things only show up in parts and sometimes, the other parts of this puzzle require, require porosity or ecstasy moving out of place.
Chris: Well, I've heard you speak from time to time when, this idea of having to get lost or getting lost, not necessarily in order to find oneself, but to have distance and perspective at the very least.
Bayo: ...at the very least, at the very least. But when I speak about getting lost, I often mean it in the sense of meeting queer others. Meeting unspeakable others, like lostness is not inherent to the pointillistic. Yeah. You know, the dots moving through the map. It has to be a conversation with place and others co-constructing that place. It's never essential. It doesn't come out from, you know, individual beings.
It's a relationship. Lostness is a relationship with place and with others and with other bodies. So I think about getting lost, not as another naval-gazing, individualistic, human-focused activity of getting a clearer sense of things. In fact, you know, or gaining distance, as you might say, I do not dismiss that.
But gaining distance so that we can see clearer or so we can come back to the habitual modes of thinking or engage in the world. I don't think of it in that way. Most of the time I think of it in terms of staying at the crossroads or basically walking down the street long enough to get crossed out by something unfamiliar, something strange, the robber, or a comet or an ancestor or virus on its way to shapeshifting eternity, right?
Like the COVID situation. It's that it becomes a place where eloquence is impossible, where foresight is disabled, where expertise is bracketed and where we are invited to do other kinds of things, other kinds of rituals, conduct other kinds of ethnographical projects in order to meet a world that is suddenly vital, solidly exceeding our syntax and lexicon and dictionary.
That's the kind of lostness that I talk about its failure. It's a deep, deep, deep kind of failure that prohibits continuity.
Chris: Personally, would you distinguish or try to reconcile that notion of lostness with the kind of social media -bound escapism that seems to permeate so much of the tourists or touristic world that seems to be bound to an unwillingness for people in modern worlds or cultures to be where they are and to be when they are in moments such as our own.
Bayo: I wouldn't associate it with that because I think of escapism, at least in the specific sense you've deployed it, I think of escapism as an artifact of stability. Right. It's a curated offering to the citizens subject to stay put by offering to that subject who is probably undergoing some kind of disillusion or disappointment or disenchantment with the status quo.
Escapism becomes a temporary offering to relieve one of the burden of the familiar. But it always comes with the hidden codicil, that is "go, but return here because there is nowhere else to go. This is home." So it's like a department in the prison cell. And that, that notion of escapism, you know, often tends to reinforce the terrains we're trying to escape from.
Right. It's like yoga. It's like yoga for business leaders, right? Here's yoga or the way some entheogenic psychedelic technologies are commodified or rendered as artifact in order to serve the strategies and imperatives of computational capitalism.
I can say more, just, uh, just a bit more one or two more sentences. And that is, I often contrast escape with exile. Okay. Have you watched the movie? It's a Jim Carrey movie. You know, Jim Carrey, obviously.
It's it's the movie where he's the Truman show. All right. Have you watched Truman show? Absolutely. You have!
Not. I often refer to this throughout, when he discovered that he's just upon someone's game in this giant studio, this curated project, he tries for a substantial part of the film to. He, he bursts out. He drives the car really fast. He does a lot of things to escape. But it's when he performs exile, which is something different that I started paying notice.
Because escape often is the prison cell extending its territory. Right. Um, but exile is the queering of boundaries. It is, it is, it is the kind of gesture that opens up conversations or questions or ways of mobilizing our bodies to investigate what boundaries are doing and what our bodies are interacting with.
When we say we are locked in, I could say more about this later. I'll leave it at that.
Chris: Okay. I'm curious a little bit about how the history and myths of travel comes to bear on conversations such as these, right. And in your book, I'm going to pull another quote from it, from These Wilds Beyond Our Fences, if I may, and, uh, there you speak of
St. Augustine of Hippo, a fourth century theologian philosopher who shaped Western Christianity. And we're talking about some 1700 years ago. Yeah. And you quote from him, who wrote
"for we are, but travelers on a journey without, as yet a fixed the boat. We are on our way. Not yet in our native land, we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment, but let us continue on our way and continue without sloths or despite so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination."
Yeah. In your book, you tell us that "those words were once music to my ears. They gave me a sense of diplomatic immunity or red passport status. The kind of my family enjoyed when we traveled the world to get. I told myself homeless far away that I was just passing through."
And so I'm curious how you see these millennia-old narratives, influencing the contemporary desires of wanderlust and travel.
Bayo: I mean, Agustine's argument is beautiful. It's like if we desire these things than the objects of our desire must exist. Right. There's something inviting about that. And yet what it does is that it, it occludes the middle. Right. And it privileges and centralizes arrival.
Right, but so Agustine's focus is heaven. The materiality of the middle is just dismissed, entirely deleted. So his own struggles beyond the quotes that I offered, because I, um, I've often read about Agustine. He's supposedly the founder of the notion of the "federal headship theory," which gave birth to the Christian idea of original sin, the idea that we pass on sin to each other because Augustine struggled a lot with sexual desires that he could not quench. And so these were the motivations for his writing that maybe I can not get rid of this flawed body, this flawed appearances, this messy materiality in the middle, but I can long for a state of arrival.
And yes, it was music to my ears because, I was brought up in that subculture. However, what that does is that it, like I said, it kind of removes us from the immediacy of our conditions and blinds our eyes to the debts we owe to these things that support our living and thriving and caring and being home.
Right. So this is why I often rebuff or postpone or not to dismiss or to refuse arrival. To think of a world um, or a politics that is not about arrival and to think about a universe itself that refuses arrival, that maybe the universe is a teenager. Awkward, never, never quite mature, still figuring things out. Always travelling.
Chris: Hmm. I wonder because, you know, in the context of so many of, at least the, the earlier Chris, the early Christian fathers, and, and I guess the more well-known ones that I've read in regards to, this narrative of Christians being in perpetual exile. Right, out of the garden and never, ever having arrived because they're not dead yet because they haven't reached heaven. And, and what that says or what that might say to our willingness or unwillingness to be at home in our time.
Let's see. So, I'm going to turn for a moment to your essay, "Dear White People," because I think there's a, there's something really important here that might compliment what we're talking about.
In that essay you speak specifically to the tourism you saw in India in those, in that year, I suppose. And you speak directly to the tourists that you cross paths with saying, "in India where I now live with my Afro-Indian wife and daughter, there are so many of you here clad in flowing. kurtas, riding scooters barefoot, greeting others with a grave and heavy 'Namaste,' offering symposiums on opening the third eye to the people who invented the concept and flowing in and out of temples while the local folks scramble outside to erect kiosks to quote, 'support,' (read that as extort money from) your many pilgrimages."
You go on to say that "I know you don't mean to do many of these things. You do not mean to appropriate other cultural values, strip them of their embeddedness in context, package them into neat formulas or products and commercialize them. Or maybe you do because you know, no other way to approach the sacred. In any case, many of you have learned the painful lessons of colonial pasts and presents. You recognize that to displace another is to have displaced oneself."
This last line, okay. To displace another is to have displaced oneself. Personally, I often see tourism as a kind of unacknowledged offspring or grandchild of ancestral, exile, and conquest.
And I'd like to ask you what you meant by this, this line to displace another is to have displaced oneself, because it's not necessarily saying to displace another is to displace oneself in the present or in the future. It's almost saying that it's already happened.
Bayo: Right? It's like, what I said about place right. Place is, is a ritual is a collective mobilization of sense-making ethnographies. We are constantly making place. So to displace is not just to shove someone away. It's to enact costs in the environment and in ourselves. It's to create an forge and summon identities. Right? So to say to a black man, you are animal, you are on the spectrum that leads from the noble man in his glorious rationality to the animal in its baseness. You are somewhere on that, but we are on, on top, right? To immediately do that is to position oneself within that epistemology, that scheme. Like Indians would say here, that I love that I learned here: "to name the color is to blind the eye."
Right? So you're shocked into your it's like waltzing with someone you commit yourself to that arrangement. The evil people say, when a man holds his brother down, he is also down, right. Or another thing to say another probability is a bird that leaps from the ground flies up from the ground and perches itself on the top of a mountain is still on the ground.
In the self moment that I name you, I am shackled to that epistemology, so that even white privilege is a form of disability. All right. So, so it's, it's that, eh, you know, the, the idea of naming things, the idea of displacing things, you know, we're talking about contact zones, you know, Louis Pratt, named it that, places where we configure our bodies and something that is more than a dialectic, but something that invites us to be careful about what we name as master and what we name as slave.
In the context of the kinds of escapist or tourists, or, you know, I try not to use the word travelers in this context, but we'll say for the, for lack of a better word, tourists...
Bayo: it's a helpful distinction, yes.
Chris: That the people who you met on the street there in Chennai or in other parts of India, searching for culture, you know, perhaps searching for God or trying to find themselves.
What do you think is at the heart of this search for culture and the desire to find it elsewhere, to always look forward elsewhere?
Bayo: Well, I think surburbia is having death pangs and breathing with great difficulty, right? It's the longing of suburbia. It's a very helpful way to be generous to the project without pathologizing or demonizing it. That in a sense, the city is mothering citizens, and we are gestating in this modern project, together. But I like to allow that no category, no concept is so closed, that it is not open to other transversal desires.
So that in a sense, capitalism is also performing right, a longing, and also a place that is nurturing desire for its death, right? Just in the same way that the fugitive is the desire of the plantation, right? Like a fugitive, isn't just an aspect of the plantation. The fugitive is corporately, economically, ecologically, spiritually tied to the planet.
Right. You cannot distinguish the slave in the cotton fields from the plantation, right. They're part and parcel of each other. So that desirous longing for escape, for exile, for fugitivity, for marronage is the plantation as well, longing for that. Um, and I think that that allows us to be careful about our social analytics, not to get too trapped, you know, in our activisms that are poised on upsetting the colonial order. You know, we speak with such categoricity and confidence, and we do not allow that things also spill, that enemies, the flu becomes, you know, a cure for cancer or a pathogen, a fungal pathogen becomes huitlacoche, right. As delicacy disease becomes a delicacy. So things move in that way. The world is migrant in ways that escape land. But what was your question again?
Chris: Uh, I haven't regarding the, I guess the, the, the seemingly not innate, but a problematic and circumstantial search for culture or search for God or search for home... and it always being elsewhere.
Bayo: That's where I was building too for the chicken soup that led me astray. Forgive me. So I was going to say this and I say this: I feel that as we witness this, I have no empirical evidence to justify my claims you know, or to demonstrate that there is more desire for the spiritual today.
I don't know how to say that it's speculative. But there seems to be in my own experience, a lot of people wanting to do or asking questions that were not possible or held with any form of hospitality in their everyday lives. It's go to work, get back to school, or, you know, hit the commute, go on the road, blah blah.
There, there seems to be no place to grieve. There seems to be no place to share our experiences of being alive. There seems to be hardly any ground for being with each other. Right. So I guess as we eat up and consume everything that the flattened epistemology has to offer us, we are seeking.
We're seeking out something different call it culture, call it the sacred, we're seeking out difference. And that is beautiful. Of course there are pitfalls on this path of seeking difference is that we often enact sameness in the very attempts to, you know, break it.
Chris: I wanted to touch on a little bit on the master's tools. And I think you were kind of swimming around them and speaking to that, indirectly this a beautiful quote from Audre Lorde, it says, 'the master's tools cannot dismantle the master's house." And there's a line in dear white people, in your essay and you write,
"and so you, my white friends, orphans of a crowded sky are seeking like I am a way to reclaim your place on earth, you seek your indigeneity, you seek a home."
And so much of this resonates for someone like me, who, children of immigrants and growing up in a major Western metropolis and having moved to a place that I was not invited to, that I had no linguistic cultural, spiritual connection with and trying to be claimed by it on some level, in this place called Oaxaca.
And so living and working here in this place, that's very largely become a tourist town, especially in these recent years, I tend to see the enduring wanderlust touch many, many faces that are not, not just white or at least not just any more white in complexion.
Undoubtedly the vast majority of tourists are white, but many others come with the same desires, the same dilemmas, the same ideas. And progressive politics would imagine that all people, regardless of skin color or economic status to have the rights or the privilege to tour, regardless of its consequences. Right. For me, it feels like under the same spell, we would simply democratize and universalize the ability for such people to ensure that tourism exiles the local, regardless of their ethnicity or good intentions. So I'm wondering, you know, as this there's whispers and they grow louder, you know, every day about decolonizing travel and decolonial, , tourism as much of an oxymoron as that might come to sound. And so I'm wondering, do you think it's possible to decolonize tourism or is our understanding of decolonization part of the problem?
Bayo: Let me put it this way that I don't think of tourism as travel. I think of tourism as a form of stability as a function of civilizational stability. It's like going very far in order to arrive in the same place. It's heavily curated. There's a reason why it's a $900 billion industry, probably more in the United States. Now it's incomprehensively vast, right. It's industrious, it's industrial, and many historians trace its beginnings, even though that's a very vexed thing to do in the 17th century in Europe, right.
Uh, recreational travel, travel for leisure. But it doesn't feel like travel to me. What tourism does is like it's a function of layers. It's like this imperial layer that is placed upon a kind of politics, by "kind of politics," I'm using the term of thumbnail.
And to him, we are always moving. We are migrant. We are migrants bodies. We're constantly moving. It's the paradigm of the citizen that occludes the richness of our movement, right? Because the citizens of the function of the state and the state is committed to stability. And what the state wants to do is to cut off our extra limbs, our tentacularities.
You know, the octopus limbs that were, the means near and far are constantly being reworked all the time. Right? It needs the citizen to stay put because the state depends on the census. It depends on population counts. It depends on the vote. It depends on continuity and institutions. So, tourism seems to be this globalizing paradigm of stability that is imposed so to speak upon a throbbing and alive kind of politics of migrancy, which is not some romanticized notion of movement. It is already fraught with dangers and tension, the vagabonds, the refugee, people that climb into boats, people that look like me to escape into the pearly gates of the west, right?
It's that tourism is heavily subsidized by these lives. Tourism is heavily subsidized by loss, by extractivism. And those of us just stating in these arrangements are all complicit. That's a different thing from saying guilty. We're all complicit.
We're all embroiled within this saga. So, decoloniality is not like dismissing or dismantling it. You know, I hesitate to use it, use it that way. It's like finding, um, or queering its stability. I think of the decolonial as upsetting names or finding the trickster hidden within the papacy, you know, finding a pagan God hiding in the velvet, you know, luxury of the church. It's like stealing into things, right?
It doesn't need to invoke confrontational politics. It's about saying. Like the trickster. Do you think you've arrived? You think you're all that powerful? Let me show you a different glimpse of a part of the universe you don't know. Um, so de-colonizing tourism, to many people will hear that it might suggest privileging minorities, you know, in, in tourism or enacting legislation that supports even more tourism. For me, it's about the it's about the cracks and the breakthroughs that disturb continuity and easy movement.
In a sense, the virus, the COVID-19 situation the pandemic and how it has spawned epidemiological structures everywhere, making tourism, you know, your talk, your speal Chris, is about the end of tourism. It's like tourism is a lot more difficult except for a very, you know, increasingly, um, small number of people. It's like, it's very difficult. I don't feel at ease in traveling anymore. Not that it was easy, but it's even less so. Right. Because of all the things that have been put up to disturb that. Yeah.
Chris: And I'm wondering, I guess, you know, you speak of what you consider decoloniality to be, and I'm wondering if it's any different in this regard and from your notions of post-activism.
Maybe you could offer just briefly and understanding of what that is for our listeners. And maybe not what a post activist travel would look like, but how post activism might confront something like a touristic world, which I think is the contemporary incarnation of this orphanhood that you spoke in your book and your essay.
Bayo: So, post activism is I often have too many ways to enter into this, but for this conversation I might call it or hail it as the creolization of agency. To creolize, to make stranger, right. Um, Creole. I often signal post activism with a crack, with rupture, with an event, something that means that our bodies need to do something different in order to thrive.
Right. It's disabling. Post-activism is premised on disability. It's crip-epistemology. So it's not a new thing. It's not like, oh, this is a new way to get ahead. This is a new solution, blah, blah. No, it's about staying with the trouble long enough to be broken open by it in the way that a Babalawo, a Yoruba Babalawo might pierce your skin or break you in order to heal you.
Right? So it's about breaks. Um, and you know, in these times, the question, terrible question of post activism is, what if the way we respond to the crisis is part of the crisis? What if our, our quests for safety and protectionism and immunity and what if our enacting of all of these is, is even more troubling than the things that we have named as enemies?
These are not easy questions to answer, and I don't think they're, but, but they are nonetheless invitations to think beyond our immediate confines to, to travel if you will, to travel. And so to read post activism with tourism is to ask about the continuity of that project, is to invite things through the cracks that are opening up in the difficulties and the inconveniences that show up around, you know, travel. It is to ask, what does it mean to travel now?
Who is the traveler? What is traveling? Is travel about distance for instance? And this has made us experimented. I'm reading these things in the most. Is travel simply about me getting from here to there, or are there other things that cross our paths on a crossroads or even within a crossroads paradigm that invite us to shapeshift. Maybe a post activism of tourism might look like shape-shifting like transmutation, like becoming monsters.
French philosopher Gilles Deleuze would say to think is to become monstrous, right. Which I would interpret in this way, at least for our conversation, that to think is to travel. Um, but is tourism travel? ...is the question. And while post activism is not an archive of ready-made answers, it's definitely an invitation to lose our way in seeking new questions about the things that concern us.
Chris: Beautiful. Thank you. I have a one more question for you, Bayo that's. All right.
Bayo: Of course, man.
Chris: All right. So I'd like to return back to this notion or notions, I should say plural, because I'm still wrapping my head around what you said earlier, but the notions of exile and the notions of sanctuary, which also often show up in your work.
I see often a kind of confusion or reduction in these ideas of exile and sanctuary within cultures of, or subcultures of wanderlust of escape of tourism. Uh, the vacation is kind of projected as a liminal moment to escape or to escape from a release, the pressures of home.
And yet by landing elsewhere, largely unaware of our, our place as people of consequence, we can as tourists often tend to exile what home is and has been for the people whom they visit, who often claim to host them. And so I'm curious, how do you understand, how do you personally understand the relationship between exile and sanctuary?
In our time two notions that on the surface of things would appear connected, but very, very distinct and perhaps even opposing on some level.
Bayo: But I don't presume to know everything there is to know about the history of slave, slaving communities. But I've often wondered if what was called a house negro wasn't a form of escapism. Sure. The conditions were horrible, but incomparable, could not be compared to those that were not in the house.
Right. Not immediately beneath the masters thumb. Right. So that in a sense, escapism, like I've hinted earlier, still performs the work of re-linking us, you know, within a circle of convergence. It does not want to flight. It does not want flight. However, the fugitive has a rich legacy of exile and has been linked in many practices.
The practice, the medieval practice of claiming sanctuary often had the one who was accused, brought into the sanctuary place... not brought into, you know, if that person was accused, he had the option or she had the option of throwing him or herself before the grace of the church. Right. Um, and you would hold an aspect of the church and claim sanctuary and you were brought into the church and no one was allowed to drag you out or to hurt you.
People are put to death if you try to drag out the accused, right. Wow. And so sanctuary was a form of rehabilitation, if you will. Um, these were medieval practices. There are many, there are many who think that this was pilfered from pagan practices that preceded a church ...and the jury's still out of that.
I'm still very interested in reading those, um, accounts, historical accounts, but the point here is the fugitive was hardly ever returned to society. So it wasn't like recidivism, like modern recidivism is. It wasn't like, okay, we rehabilitate you. You go out there, don't come back here. Right. You are sent away.
Right. You were exiled. Fugitivity almost always led to exile which was leaving the terrain altogether. And fugitives, you know, in the United States performed marronage. They would leave the labor of the plantation and form maroon communities, you know, or Quilombolas in Brazil, you know, different states of being experiments of their own. Which that's another fascinating thing to go into.
So I feel that making sanctuary is about isn't is hardly about protection, hardly about safety, our safety, as it is about experimenting with risk. Um, so the picture is when people I speak about making sanctuary people immediately think they are the subjects of sanctuary.
It is them that we convened sanctuary around. And I like to say that, no, we are the other pillars of the church, right? It is the monster that has invaded our purity that we now have to ask questions about. And one of two things, you know, is possible, um, we can either push the monster out, try to rehabilitate the monster so it looks normal, familiar, colonial, you know, legible and intelligible um, or we can actually create the conditions for the monster to be even monstrous, to be more monstrous, we can meet the monster in the middle. Hence, you know, this, this was the reason why, well, it's not the reason why, but in my formulation of the idea of making sanctuary I often privilege or, uh, speak a lot about the haggle day.
The haggle day was the door knocker on the churches, which you would hold in order to one of the things you would hold in order to claim sanctuary. It was almost always shaped in form of a gargoyle, a monster. Right. And the question I used to ask was why is a monster an image of hospitality. Why put a monster at the edges of sanctuary?
And I think it's because it's, it's the monster that is invited into sanctuary. It's not the same individual, not a normal person, not the citizen. It is the citizen that has in the dead of night sprouted a second head. Or sprouted three eyes on his back or spread or done something or said something on speakable that is not allowed in a paradigm of say-ability that we're in. That disabling crippling embodiment is what sanctuary is about.
It's the politics, the aesthetics that surrounds this flight and nurtures it for good or ill, to become something different. Exile is always part of the politics of sanctuary. Wow. Hmm.
Chris: Maybe leave me speeches, my friend, but I don't know. I don't know what to say, but, uh, you know, it's, it's a lot to sit on and a lot to let this sit under and and maybe that's, that's just what this silence is for, to honor everything that you said and your willingness to say it, your willingness to be troubled aloud by these monsters.
Um, before we finish Bayo,, how might our listeners find out more about your work, your courses and your books?
Bayo: Thank you brother. Well, you can type my name in Google. There's a lot there that jumps out websites and video links and essays that still make me laugh today. Like, I was giggling as you.
Read excerpts from dear white people, which I wrote about 10 years ago. It's still, still funny to hear that and hear it, you know, through the lips of another person. So you can find me that way we can meet in some dream space somehow. Absolutely. So
Chris: I'll make sure that the virtual links are available for our listeners on the end of the tourism website and on behalf of them on behalf of all of this work, that and all of the worlds that we might wish to court and conjure.
I thank you deeply for your time today, Bayo and yeah, I'm just in utter gratitude for your willingness to do what you do and to do so on behalf of the world, on behalf of the strangers. And of course, you know, your family. So thank you very much. I'm going to just close with one last quote from, These Wilds Beyond Our Fenc es.
And you write, "in a culture that largely defines sanity and success in terms of how distant we are from our feelings, how far and fast we run away from our roots, how numb we are to the fluency of our bodies, daring to slow down, daring to be still is the most damning act of rebellion."
Thank you very much, Bayo.
Bayo: My pleasure.