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Alien Possession

“Even as we exhaust ourselves in battles to save the planet, the circulations foundational to modernity, established in transatlantic slavery, live on in the contemporary production of space. Planetary circulations are leading to planetary burnout; the world as we know it is ending. But what if we shifted to a philosophy that could sustain an alternate world view beyond opposition and resistance? Among the Africans shipped during transatlantic slavery and their descendants, existed a set of spiritual practices that fuelled revolt and sustained their communities even after the world as they knew it had ended. Syncretising with other beliefs, these systems took on many names in the diaspora, but at their root was the Yorùbá philosophy of Ifá.

The encroachment of European modernity created a division within the human. Animistic spiritual possession and collective ways of being such as in Yorùbá society and mysticism were displaced and the new self-possessed property owning individual emerged colonised with ideas of autonomy and rationality. The encroachment of this colonial division is what I am calling Alien Possession.

I will interrogate architecture as a production of this Alien Possession, and working with Ifá philosophy I will explore animistic beliefs, geological time and more-than-human existence to ask how the production of space might be reorganised according to this world view. What frequencies and movements inspired by Ifá might help us channel designs for remaking the world?”

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker