The Wandering, Winding Way of the Wound

The Wandering, Winding Way of the Wound

With Bayo Akomolafe, Sophie Strand, Tyson Yunkaporta, and Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti  •  Recorded October 19–22, 2022

The Wandering, Winding Way of the Wound
or the Politics of Cure, the Shadows of Harm Reduction, and Transgressive Networks of Care at World End

Join Bayo Akomolafe, Sophie Strand, Tyson Yunkaporta, and Vanessa Andreotti this October for a 4-part online workshop.

Step right up. Don't be shy! 

Do you wonder about the ubiquity of trauma, the globalizing pervasiveness of triggers, and the hidden curriculum of healing?

If you do, you are not alone.

Let's talk about trauma: To heal their wounds, chimpanzees would often use their palms to grab certain insects out from the air, squeeze the critters into a pulp, and then apply the stuff to their (and other chimpanzees') wounds. Wound healing practices among chimpanzees are not only examples of zoopharmacognosy (that is, the study of how animals heal themselves); they are also instances of the vast multi-species cat's-cradling meshwork that is often obscured when we think about wounds and healing as individual/isolated events. Put simply, wounds are not "owned" by the individual bodies defined by them; wounds are field-like intensities.

In a sense, every wound comes with its world. Every wound is already a political event, an intra-species connection, an obscuration of the monstrosity of bodies. One might ask then: what are our wounds doing? What are they imbricated with? What are they building?

Trauma is not what happens to the body; trauma is the body in its reiterative world-shaping, form-taking capacity, and response-ability. Trauma is how modern bodies are manufactured.

This workshop is about trauma, triggers, and trouble. I wonder about the fundamentalism of trauma discourse and what its histories as a clinical concept conceals.

This workshop is about the colonial capture of psychological wounds and the politics that sponsors them and puts them to work in the production of certain realities.

This workshop is about trauma as the modern grammar of loss. 

This is about the danger of healing paradigms dedicated exclusively to "recovery" and instigated by the worrying centrality of trauma. I ask: what/whose bodies are co-produced and reproduced when we imagine healing?  

The event is about risk of wholeness and shadows of cure.

This gathering investigates the politics of "harm reduction"; and, the need for new therapeutic configurations — a politics and aesthetics given to the eruption of the new and the unthought.

  • Our goal is to investigate what modern subjectivity obscures, to trace the lineage of bodily manufacture within industrial arrangements, and to touch the far edges of our bodies and porous membranous skins, long enough to taste their insectoid secretions.
  • We focus not on what gets in the way of healing, but on what healing gets in the way of.
  • We think through contermoder, animist, Yoruba ideas of agency to investigate the way the city produces wellbeing.
  • We inquire about what is obscured in the co-productions of healing/justice/wholeness as recovery, when framed as a return to the familiar images we are used to.
  • Ultimately, as we examine wounds as animist vocations or as multi-species ecologies, we aim to co-weave a decolonial aesthetic of submerged memory, of secret longing, of silenced suspicions, of unbridled magic, of pedagogical possibility, of sensuous touch, and of therapeutic potency.

Join Bayo Akomolafe and friends Tyson Yunkaporta, Vanessa Andreotti, and Sophie Strand for this seditious exploration of the edges of this civilized ethic.

In the wandering, winding way of the wound, a new cartography of possibility yet-to-come sprouts.

“Bring something incomprehensible into the world!”
― Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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Module 1 - Bayo Akomolafe: Every wound comes with its own world — An animist recalibration of wounds

Oct 19, 2022 8:00am - 10:30am PDT

What can bodies do? While examining the increasingly popular and deepening centrality of trauma (and "trauma-informed" approaches), we revisit the body as the site of these imaginings and projects of presence/absence. A new ontology of 'wounds' comes into focus — one that questions the isolation of the individual.

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Module 2 - Bayo Akomolafe & Sophie Strand: Decentering Trauma and Healing in the Afrocene

Oct 20, 2022 8:00am - 10:30am PDT

Have we given trauma language too much power? Bayo Akomolafe's concept of the Afrocene exposes a subterranean world of errant thoughts, flying organs, crossroad monsters, chimeric allies, nomadic gods, and lingering archetypes. Critically, the Afrocene invites something more than recovery; it invites transmutation. It thinks through palimpsests and rhizomes. The Afrocene suggests that wounds are doing more than just seeking closure.

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Module 3 - Bayo Akomolafe, Tyson Yunkaporta, & Vanessa Andreotti: Yoruba Indigenous and Other Productions of Wellbeing

Oct 21, 2022 8:00am - 10:30am PDT

In this conversation with Tyson Yunkaporta and Vanessa Andreotti, we examine the way popular expectations of healing recentralize the 'individual' and reinforce the regime of the human subject. What are we missing when we frame healing in this way?

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Module 4 - Bayo Akomolafe: Falling Together-Apart

Oct 22, 2022 8:00am - 10:30am PDT

How do we co-produce a politics of fugitive becomings that addresses the ways healing and trauma are performative reinforcements of the familiar? What cartography/ethnography is available to us? How do we take seriously Deleuze's invitation to "bring something incomprehensible into this world?" What examples can inform a transgressive politics of seditious wellbeing in times when healing is performatively linked with precarity?

Bayo Akomolafe

Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two booksThese 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, Bayo Akomolafe is the Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will Dance with Mountains’. He currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California and University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. He sits on the Board of many organizations including Science and Non-Duality (US) and Ancient Futures (Australia). In July 2022, Dr. Akomolafe was appointed the inaugural Global Senior Fellow of University of California’s (Berkeley) Othering and Belonging Institute. He has also been appointed Senior Fellow for The New Institute in Hamburg, Germany. He is the recipient of the New Thought Leadership Award 2021 and the Excellence in Ethnocultural Psychotherapy Award by the African Mental Health Summit 2022.

Sophie Strand

Sophie Strand is disabled writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Give her a salamander and a stone and she’ll write you a love story. Sophie was raised by house cats, puff balls, possums, raccoons, and an opinionated, crippled goose. In every neighborhood she’s ever lived in she has been known as “the walker”. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas, differences, mythical gradients.

She is the author The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions in Spring 2023. And she is currently finishing a collection of essays about navigating an incurable genetic disease and early trauma through ecological storytelling. You can subscribe for her newsletter at And follow her work on Instagram: @cosmogyny and at

Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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.