In a world that constantly evolves, organizations must adapt and grow to stay relevant and meaningful, however we ask ourselves at what cost and to whom? Postmarginal has embarked on a three-month period of organizational transformation. The focus? To rekindle its vision, values, and mandate while decentralizing the organizational structure. To reflect its ongoing connection to Indigenous artists and thinkers, the collective has decided to involve Indigenous knowledge to understand this transformation.
The journey begins at the Kina8at Indigenous Centre (pronounced “Kinawat”), meaning “together” in the Algonquin language. The Kina8at Indigenous Centre serves as the perfect backdrop for this transformation, as a cultural healing centre created for “reconciliation, healing and rapprochement between peoples” and felt apt for the work Postmarginal strives to explore. This past weekend, diverse artists and partners from Montreal, Edmonton and St. John’s came together to be inspired by nature to forge relationships, and explore approaches to leadership. This three-month period represents an opportunity for Postmarginal to weave different approaches of governance creating a more inclusive, sustainable, and compassionate future.
One of the questions that was asked was how to create a structure for Postmarginal that can also prioritize the sustainability of all living beings, recognize the importance of those who came before and will come after, Departing from seven basic beliefs that were informed by Postmarginal’s history and shaped by a series of interviews with Indigenous scholars and cultural leaders, the participants reflected on the definition of Postmarginal, as well as its values and the actions it should lead in the future.
Simplicity and gentleness, words offered to the group by Kina8at’s elders, are key themes of this transformation. This past weekend, the participants gathered to ask how Postmarginal could respond to the needs of the world as it is. We recognized the need to listen to teachings that have long existed, and that continue to resonate today in the power of mutual understanding and compassion.
This period of introspection prompts artists and organizers to ask important questions. How can the project move forward with a complete vision of who the project serves, including the more-than-human. What structures will permit the project to flourish while allowing it to maintain its values over distance and time? How can we ensure that our creative endeavors coexist harmoniously with the natural world? What are the beliefs that uphold Postmarginal and how do we understand what the project is after six years of existence? How can Indigenous governance systems and relationality inform our project with more lateral approaches to leadership and community building?
By asking these questions, Postmarginal is taking a vital step towards consolidating its energies into a longer-term project. . It’s an acknowledgment that change is necessary, that we can challenge our current structures to acknowledge the existence of other forms of governance. .
The consulting participants include Hengameh Kharaghani, Soni Dasmohapatra, Dennis Kastrup, Audrey-Anne Bouchard, Peter Farbridge, Anne-Laure Mathieu, Santiago Guzmán, Eric Rice and Catherine Dagenais-Savard. Together, they are working towards a new framework for Postmarginal that will be sustainable, caring, supportive and respectful of the future of the planet..
This period of transformation is a testament to the organization’s dedication to positive change. It’s a journey that celebrates unity, diversity, and our interconnectedness with the Earth. We would like to thank the following funders, partners, and artists who have made this possible:
- Kina8at Indigenous Cultural Centre (host)
- Canada Arts Council (funder)
- Anne-Laure Mathieu (participant-facilitator)
- Peter Farbridge (participant from Montreal)
- Paul Gareau (consultant)
- Deneh’Cho Thompson (consultant)
- Floyd Favel (consultant)
- Marie-Joelle Tremblay (consultant)
- Catherine Daganais-Savard (participant)
- Santiago Guzmánn (participant St. John’s)
- Eric Rice (participant from Edmonton)
- Hengameh Kharaghani (participant from Edmonton)
- Soni Dasmohapatra (participant from Edmonton)
- Dennis Kastrup (participant from Montreal)