Hospicing Modernity

Hospicing Modernity

With Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti and Giovanna de Oliveira Andreotti  •  Recorded August 5–6 & 12–13, 2023

A 4-part webinar series

There is no genuine possibility of hope if we cannot face all aspects of reality and of humanity: the good, the bad, the broken, and the seriously messed up." With this profound insight, "Hospicing Modernity" emerges as a thought-provoking and hard-hitting book authored by Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti. Through compelling stories and metaphors, Andreotti delves into the deep influence of modernity on human thought, behavior, relationships, fears, and desires. She invites readers to provide palliative care to a dying modernity while simultaneously offering prenatal care for the emergence of a new and yet-to-be-defined future that holds the potential for greater wisdom and responsibility.

In this webinar series, Vanessa, 47, and her daughter Giovanna, 23, embark on a cross-generational conversation that sets the stage for an exploration of the decline of modernity and the monumental challenges and possibilities that lie ahead of us. Together, they candidly discuss the complexities of confronting humanity's wrongs and our shared complicity in perpetuating harm. They emphasize the importance of facing our shadows, metaphorically and literally composting our "shit," navigating tightropes, and moving with storms together.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in what Vanessa terms "probiotic education" — an education that supports our collective digestion of the challenging circumstances unfolding within and around us. Rather than prescribing fixed beliefs or solutions, the webinar offers tools that strengthen our intellectual, affective, and relational capacities, equipping us to confront the complexities of multiple realities. It encourages us to learn from past and ongoing collective mistakes in order to make only new mistakes in the future, and to show up differently for the planet. Vanessa and Giovanna kindly request that participants temporarily set aside their conditioned desires for easy hope, quick solutions, clear-cut answers and simplistic visions of the future. Instead, they invite us to sit with the magnitude of the challenges we face, both within and around us, without turning away, throwing tantrums, drowning in the pain of it all or giving up.

Watch a short talk by Vanessa:



We have a limited number of full and partial scholarships available. 
The scholarship application will ba available through July 27, 2023.
Notifications will be sent on July 31. 

Scholarship applications are now closed.

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Module 1: Facing our shadows in the shadows of modernity: looking at the broken mirror and not turning away

Aug 5, 2023 10:00am - 12:00pm PDT

  • What is modernity? How do you know it is dying? What are the implications for humanity?
  • How does modernity colonize our conscious and our unconscious? How does modernity keep us in a self- infantilizing state?
  • How does modernity condition our internal infrastructure? How does it limit possibilities for wellbeing?
  • How does it impose impairments in our neurobiology and adaptability?
  • How can we confront our resistance to facing inevitable imperfection?
  • How can we challenge and parent the most difficult, immature, broken, trauamatized, and insecure parts of ourselves?

Questions from the Towards relational accountability deck: What does your ego feel entitled and justified to do? to what extent do these entitlements and justifications limit the scope of your relationships and your capacity to face and address the challenges at hand? What emotional states are you actively avoiding and at what cost?

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Module 2: Composting Shit as the most difficult requirement to becoming good elders and ancestors for all relations

Aug 6, 2023 10:00am - 12:00pm PDT

  • What is the accumulated shit we need to collectively learn to compost and why is this so hard to get started?
  • What kinds of escapist mechanisms do we use to avoid composting shit?
  • How is this different for different generations? How do incoming generations feel bout inheriting uncomposted shit?
  • To what extent is it possible to find joy in shit composting? What are the first steps in learning to compost shit?

Questions from the Towards relational accountability deck: What are you assuming as universally true, real, normal, right and desirable and how does that reflect your own background? How is your privilege a loss? What does your privilege prevent you from seeing and experiencing? How can your assumptions become harmful? Who could refuse to work with you on legitimate grounds? Who/what are you accountable to and how come? What accountablities are you denying, rejecting or neglecting? To what extent are you being driven by desires for innocence, benevolence and hopefulness?

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Module 3: Learning to walk on tightropes with honesty, humility, humor and hyper-self-reflectivity

Aug 12, 2023 10:00am - 12:00pm PDT

  • How do we move through the fog at the edge of precipices together without throwing ourselves or each oher off the edge?
  • Which kinds of hope can get us stuck?
  • Which kinds of hope can help us show up differently?
  • What is the role of the imagination in all of this?
  • What if our imagination has also been colonized?
  • How can we interrupt conditioned patterns of behavior and desire that are unconscious?
  • How do we learn to see ourselves as both cute and pathetic?

Questions from the Towards relational accountability deck: How is our approach to the problem part of the problem? What other ways of seeing, doing and being are already viable, but unintelligible to you and those around you? What are you missing out on? In which ways are your idealizations, expectations, perceived entitlements and fragilities preventing you from facing the parts of the problem that challenge your self-image and your story of reality? In which ways are you reproducing patterns that center around your conditioned desires for recognition, validation and prestige? How can these desires limit your capacity to relate and collaborate differently?

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Module 4: Moving in (mega)storms with a decolonial compass directing us towards deeper forms of sobriety, maturity, discernment, and responsibility

Aug 13, 2023 10:00am - 12:00pm PDT

The story of the Catalyst Program of UBC: report “Moving with storms” (hospicing and repurposing institutions)

Western culture “growing up” and the role of ancestral cultures in offering direction rather than detailed instruction

Exercise: Seven steps back and seven steps forward/aside

A pledge of generations

Learning to be and to breathe water

Invitations for release from the Towards Relational Accountability deck:

Let go of “the script,” the familiar linear single story that simplifies complexity, gives us a false sense of security and severely restricts our imagination

Let go of “the ruler,” the desire for feeling right and righteous that gives us a false sense of certainty and self-importance and prevents us from decentering ourselves and being present

Let go of “the bubble wrap,” the desire to please those you want validation from and the tendency to go along to get along to achieve harmony and placate conflict

Let go of “the steering wheel,” the fantasy that you can control the uncontrollable, placate uncertainty, plan flawlessly and achieve predictability

Let go of “the filtered selfie” (ego), the attachment to the carefully curated profile you crafted for yourself, which turns you away from what is difficult and uncomfortable

Let go of “the dictionary,” the expectation that meanings will be fixed, universal and stable, open up to the ambivalence, ambiguity, movement, and fluidity of language

Let go of “the flattened identity card,” the fantasy that you are self-transparent, objective and coherent, that you are in complete control of who you are and who you will become. embrace the mystery of our existence.

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti is an internationally celebrated Latinx educator and the new Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. She is a former Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and the former David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education. Vanessa’s research problematizes approaches to education and global change that reproduce paternalistic forms of relationships; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric ideals of sustainability, equity, justice, and change. Vanessa is the author of Hospicing Modernity and one of the co-founders of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective, which promotes the practice of depth/probiotic education.

Giovanna de Oliveira Andreotti

Giovanna de Oliveira Andreotti is a recent graduate in psychology, a dancer and a dedicated dance instructor. Through involuntary inherited biological circumstances (aka being Vanessa’s daughter), she has been a life-long (un)willing test subject and insightful critic of depth/probiotic education, having an invaluable perspective on its risks, generative potential and impact. Giovanna's insights stem from her deep immersion in the zeitgeist of GenZ. As a representative of this generation, she critically embodies their collective aspirations, concerns, frustrations and resilience in the face of a future that feels compromised and stolen.