Imagine Otherwise: Aimi Hamraie on Sustainability and Disability Justice

by | Oct 28, 2020

Aimi Hamraie on Sustainability and Disability Justice

by Cathy Hannabach and Ideas on Fire | Imagine Otherwise | ep 121

About the episode

Pandemic living and its merging of work and home have made many of us exhausted as we zip from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting with even more packed schedules than before.

Much of the advice about surviving our new normal privileges capitalist versions of sustainability—for instance recommendations for how to work smarter and thus free up more time to get more things done.

But what if we instead placed disability justice logics at the core of how we understand sustainability and our schedules?

In episode 121 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews permaculture designer and disability studies scholar Aimi Hamraie.

In the interview, Aimi and Cathy chat about using natural cycles to build sustainable schedules and prevent burnout, how disability culture practices like slowness and mutual aid reimagine sustainability as fundamentally collective, and why building a world beyond scarcity is how Aimi imagines otherwise.

Guest: Aimi Hamraie

Aimi Hamraie is an associate professor of medicine, health, and society and American studies at Vanderbilt University, where they direct the Critical Design Lab.

Aimi is author of Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) and host of the Contra* podcast on disability, design justice, and the lifeworld.

Their interdisciplinary research spans critical disability studies, science and technology studies, critical design and urbanism, critical race theory, and the environmental humanities. Aimi is also a certified permaculture designer, a cofounder of the Nashville Disability Justice Collective, and an organizer for the Nashville Mutual Aid Collective.

Aimi lives and works in the original homelands of the Cherokee East, Chickasaw, and Shawnee people.

Episode themes

  • A disability justice-focused concept of sustainability
  • Social sustainability versus individualistic models
  • Using natural cycles to plan your schedule and avoid burnout
  • Disability oriented podcasting workflows

“I recognize in my own life and in my activism the value of and concept of sustainability that comes from the disability justice movement.

Sustainability is about being honest about our capacity and where we’re at, about honoring the limitations that we may face in terms of time, energy, and just being alive in a time of a pandemic and in capitalism.”

— Aimi Hamraie, Imagine Otherwise


 Cathy Hannabach [00:03]:

Welcome to Imagine Otherwise, the podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism and academia to build better world. Episodes offer in depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice and explore the nitty gritty work of imagining otherwise. I’m your host, Cathy Hannabach.

Cathy Hannabach [00:23]:

Pandemic living and its merging of work and home have made many of us exhausted as we zip from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting with even more packed schedules than before. Much of the advice about surviving our new normal privileges capitalist versions of sustainability—for instance, recommendations for how to work smarter and thus free up more time to get more things done.

But what if we instead placed disability justice logics at the core of how we understand sustainability and our new schedules?

My guest today is permaculture designer and disability studies scholar Aimi Hamraie. In our interview, Aimi and I chat about using natural cycles to build sustainable schedules and prevent burnout, how disability culture practices like slowness and mutual aid reimagine sustainability as fundamentally collective, and why building a world beyond scarcity is how Aimi imagines otherwise.

Cathy Hannabach [01:19]:

Thank you so much for being with us today.

Aimi Hamraie [01:22]:

Thank you.

Cathy Hannabach [01:23]:

This month at Ideas on Fire, we’re focusing on how to build sustainability into our daily routines, as well as the longterm projects that we’re part of. I was really excited to have you back on the show—you were on a previous episode—because I think you’re someone who foregrounds sustainability in virtually everything you do in really interesting ways.

You model how to do so, how others can do so, with integrity and compassion, including a lot of self compassion, which is something I know a lot of listeners struggle with.

To start off our conversation today, what does sustainability mean to you? And what are some of the ways that you foreground it in your work?

Aimi Hamraie [02:04]:

That’s such a great question. I think I have a complicated relationship to the word sustainability because in my scholarship right now, I’m working on a project that’s basically about how architects and urban planners, when they try to design for sustainability—and they mean environmental sustainability—it doesn’t always consider the costs to humans and other forms of life in terms of what the ends of sustainability are.

Sometimes there’s a very productivist focus in the concept of sustainability. But I recognize in my own life and in my activism the value of and concept of sustainability that come from, for example, the disability justice movement. It is about being honest about our capacity and where we’re at and honoring the limitations that we may face in terms of time and energy and just life and being alive in a time of a pandemic and being alive in capitalism.

Aimi Hamraie [03:14]:

So when I practice sustainability for myself, I’m usually thinking about what I am able to do as one person in a given day and what I’m able to do with other people in more extended timeframes or through delegation or collaboration. And then just being really realistic, lowering my expectations constantly of what I think I can do.

This is something I’ve had to learn how to do because I’m a disabled person and I don’t have infinite amounts of attention and energy to give to things.

Aimi Hamraie [03:54]:

When I was a younger scholar and even before that, when I started graduate school, I didn’t really have a concept of sustainability. I just sort of worked and worked and worked and worked and lived crisis to crisis.

I was constantly tired and probably drank too much caffeine and things like that. And that had a lot of consequences for my body and my health. So I’ve had to really intentionally slow down, set boundaries with myself and with other people, and evaluate how much time it’s going to take me to do something and figure out if I am going to be able to do it. And if not, to let people know.

Aimi Hamraie [04:39]:

Some of the ways that I foreground sustainability is that I’m really into planning my time. This is a practice that actually comes from a very productivist mode of doing planners and to-do lists and stuff like that. But I use it to slow down time.

I have my planner that I do once a week and once a month and then I go back after I plug in everything I have to do and I say, “Where can I plan rests? Where can I plan slowness? How can I move things around?

I try to do that with my students and my collaborators as well. Right now with teaching, our semesters are planned to be the same length, but we don’t get any breaks because they don’t want students going home because of COVID. So I’m reconceptualizing the pacing of this semester so it’s more sustainable even without a break and what that might look like and try to do the same thing with scholarly collaborators and other people.

Cathy Hannabach [05:50]:

You mentioned how you’ve learned to build more sustainable practices into your life over the years. I think that’s something that a lot of people are experiencing right now: figuring out that their previous way of moving around in the world and approaching their work just isn’t possible right now for a whole host of reasons.

How did you actually go through that journey? How did you realize, “Oh, lots of caffeine and moving project to project and cramming in as much work as possible,” which I think is something a lot of academics can identify with. How did you go about identifying that those are practices, number one, that you could change that could be different, and then figuring out what kind of different you needed it to be for yourself?

Aimi Hamraie [06:42]:

Yeah. I love that question. This has really been the focus of my ethics with self-praxis I would say for the last seven or eight years.

I was diagnosed with ADHD relatively late or relatively recently in my life. I wasn’t diagnosed as a child. I was diagnosed in my first year on the tenure track. I had suspected that I had ADHD for a long time, but of course the circulated signifiers of ADHD are often young, hyperactive children, often boys. So there are a lot of people who live without a diagnosis and as a result of that, can’t access accommodations or treatment.

When I was starting my job as an assistant professor, I was having huge issues with executive functioning, which is the ability to manage all the tasks I had to do and think about them and order them and all that kind of stuff.

Aimi Hamraie [07:49]:

I was experiencing so much burnout from the combination of moving to a new city, starting a new job, living in a different region, all of that kind of stuff, and having to write a book. What I learned through this process and really one of the great things about accessing a diagnosis, which of course not everybody has access to for financial and other reasons. But one of the really good things about it was that I was able to connect with other people who also have ADHD. There are all these adults, there are therapists, there are people who write books, there are Facebook groups that have executive functioning hacks and just a real community-centered sharing of knowledge around how to inhabit a way of thinking and feeling that is outside of the capitalist norm of productivity. And how to do it in your own way without totally giving into that capitalist norm of productivity, without being this efficient worker who works a 9:00 to 5:00 and then does whatever else.

Aimi Hamraie [08:55]:

It was through developing that as a community and also as a political identity and relating it to my other disabilities as a political identity and learning and sharing knowledge and sharing my own knowledge with other people that sustainability really just became a central focus of my life.

The idea that you can write a tool or a protocol and give it to someone else and they can use it or tweak it and do something else with it, all of that is extremely valuable to me. It contributes to the sense of there is a collective affect of disillusionment, exhaustion, and anger.

Aimi Hamraie [09:54]:

There are tools that we may have that we can share with each other and they’re not just the sorts of self-help tools that we may think that they are. They’re actually ways that we can join together with others in resisting the things that are demanded of us, of slowing down and giving ourselves permission and each other permission to slow down.

During the pandemic, it’s changed even more because so many more people are encountering barriers related to their executive functioning—whether they have ADHD or another disability or not—because of all of the attention that is required of us through these digital means.

It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to postpone. It’s okay to cancel. It’s okay to negotiate an extension on an assignment. That’s really a relational thing we have to make available to each other because the institutions and structures that we work for are not going to do that for us.

Cathy Hannabach [10:59]:

You mentioned disability justice as giving you a lot of these kinds of tools and helping you develop these tools that you share with others. I know permaculture is another primary framework that you draw on in this kind of work.

First of all, for listeners who aren’t familiar with disability justice and permaculture, would you be willing to give a little bit of an overview? Then I’d love to talk about more about kind of how those play out for you. But for folks who are new to these, what are disability justice and permaculture?

Aimi Hamraie [11:29]:

Great question. I’ll start with disability justice. This is a movement framework that was created by disabled people of color and queer disabled people really within the last ten years. It’s a response to the dominant disability rights framework, which is very much rooted in the concept of an individual disabled person or an individual consumer.

Disability justice is more liberation centered. It’s explicitly anti-capitalist. It’s about interdependence. It’s about collective forms of access and liberation. Some of its principles include sustainability and the idea of wholeness—that we are all whole, regardless of what we’re doing or what we’re capable of or not capable of. We deserve dignity and respect and all those sorts of things.

Disability justice also draws on transformative justice and abolition. So it’s rooted in the kinds of relationships that we forge with each other, often though very slow ways, as a means to create a foundation for a shift away from the types of institutions that police, surveil, and exploit us.

Aimi Hamraie [12:55]:

If anyone’s interested, you can read more about disability justice from Leroy Moore, Patty Berne, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mia Mingus, and Alice Wong. These are all people that come from that movement. And there’s a lot there about sustainability and we can come back to that.

Aimi Hamraie [13:19]:

The other thing is the permaculture movement, which is incredibly complicated in its history. Essentially, permaculture is a method of environmental design that is about balancing and promoting care for people, care for the earth, and care for the future. It comes out of this pattern language of the forest and thinking about how forests are self-sustaining ecosystems made up of many layers, parts, and specific ways of interacting with humans, some of which are more sustainable than others.

We have a clear example with the wildfires in California that the removal, displacement, and dispossession of Indigenous peoples in California, who were living in the forests and maintaining them and doing controlled burns and things like that, has resulted in an imbalanced ecosystem that is not self-sustaining and is having these larger conflagrations.

Aimi Hamraie [14:27]:

Permaculture is really about asking the question of, how do we create sustainable systems and to do it in a way that is different from mainstream environmentalism that is about recycling and doing these green capitalism things like “Oh, we just buy this product that is slightly more sustainable.” Those are very performative ways of thinking about how ecosystems work and they’re often confined to specific channels of intervention.

Permaculture wants to open it up and ask questions that are a little bit more bold and promote different kinds of solutions like change agriculture, change forestry.

Aimi Hamraie [15:19]:

And then there’s this really cool part of it, which is a lot of where my interest comes in, that’s about activism, people, and organizations. There’s a concept of social sustainability. This comes from people like Starhawk and Pandora Thomas, who’s the founder of the Black Permaculture Network. They are thinking about how we can design sustainable relationships and/or community organizations. If you’re building a community garden, but it’s going to take three years to clean up the soil, how do you build the relationships that are going to keep people in that project for several years?

Aimi Hamraie [16:03]:

In the work that I do as a permaculture designer, I get to ask those kinds of questions and bring in more of my toolkit as an activist who came up in anarchist and punk cultures. Mutual aid is a really big part of how interaction, connection, and interdependence are practiced in those spaces and I combine that with what I’ve learned from disability justice organizing for the last ten years or so.

I put these together to think about casting a very wide net in terms of what kinds of lives, ways of participating, and bodies are valuable and ought to be centered. What kinds of social analysis needs to be centered, for example, around the intersections of race and sustainability and race and disability and environment? All of that stuff comes together for me. I’m trying to think about it also theoretically in various ways. But I think at a minimum, they’re aligned projects.

Cathy Hannabach [17:16]:

I’m noticing there’s more of a conversation or the beginnings of a conversation now six, seven months into the pandemic. People are trying to figure out the lessons that they’ve learned from the past six or seven months and figure out how can they put them to work in the future—whatever that is going to look like, whatever this post-pandemic feature will end up looking like.

It sounds like a lot of those frameworks that you’re talking about in terms of building communal structures, relationships, practices, and habits can work beyond the current moment and have a lot to offer there. It’s not just, how can we get through the current moment (which is frankly hard enough), but also what are we learning about ourselves? What are we learning about each other? What are we learning about our families and how we define those and redefine those that we want to take beyond this current moment? It seems like both disability justice and permaculture have a lot of lessons to offer in that practice. Are you also finding that in your communities?

Aimi Hamraie [18:19]:

Yeah, absolutely. I use these frameworks every day in various spaces. I’m grateful that I was able to engage with these frameworks before the pandemic because it helped to prepare me emotionally and in terms of the facilitation of conversations and negotiations that are required in this time because we are all exhausted to varying degrees, some people more or less so than others.

People are negotiating risk and information about risk and harm and potential harm in ways that are very stressful but necessary. They’re having to rely on each other and build relationships and trust people sometimes that they don’t know very well to have a pod, whether it is for getting your groceries or your children being able to go to school or whatever. Or, having someone drop off your medication. There’s a more diffuse pattern of how we relate to people now, in a way, even though we’re more isolated.

Aimi Hamraie [19:47]:

There’s just so much burnout too. I see with a lot of activists and scholars say there’s so many events. Everyone is really tempted to make a fancy video for their class, but it takes twenty-five hours to do it. So it’s about being able to say, “What is really necessary and important here? What is really our capacity? Where can we take a step back and not take every opportunity that comes up?”

Most importantly, how can we be in solidarity and have really hard conversations and work towards chipping away at all of these institutions that historically have brought so much harm? If now we’ve been destabilized, it’s an opportunity to practice and show each other that there are other ways.

Aimi Hamraie [20:41]:

I see so much of that, whether it’s in mutual aid organizing or in the classroom. So many people’s lives have been made extra precarious or their labor has been made extra extractable. People are mad and trying to funnel some of that into, “Okay, let’s build the next thing now with the way that we’re feeling, even though we’re exhausted. And let’s not do it in the way that we would have done it before because those ways are often grounded in ableism and white supremacy.”

Aimi Hamraie [21:26]:

People are more willing to have those conversations now, I think. They are reality-disrupting conversations, but so much of our reality is being disrupted on a constant basis now, for better or for worse. So it does provide an opening, I think.

I have seen also lots of people who are burnt out on building relationships and doing mutual aid and that’s fine. It’s actually good self care to say, “I cannot have a conversation about this right now. Can we do it in six months?”

Cathy Hannabach [22:08]:

A couple of months ago, you published this really fantastic zine that draws on a practice that you’ve done for many years that teaches folks how to map out their semesters using moon phases and seasonal patterns. You focused it specifically on this fall semester, I think, to give people an in who are new to this kind of practice.

I really love this as an example of how to build sustainability into daily routines, especially this year. What are some ways that people can use natural cycles like moon cycles, like seasons, like whatever is applicable in their geography and in their life, to both figure out how they want to interact with others and with their work during this time but also set some patterns for after or beyond?

Aimi Hamraie [23:03]:

Yeah, thank you so much for asking this. I can say at the outset that this is a type of practice that’s one of the things that I have found my way back to in the last few years. When I did, I was like, “Oh, okay.”

One of the reasons I was feeling so out of sorts is that I had become misaligned with time and the way that time manifests in my environment. My ancestors were all farmers in Iran for however many generations, longer than people can even remember. My parents are the first generation who were…my parents are refugees. They were dispossessed of land and displaced and came to the United States. They’re in the first generation that was also then disconnected from that relationship to the land. There’s a lot of mourning and anxiety and just all sorts of stuff around that.

Aimi Hamraie [24:10]:

When I was growing up in the diaspora, watching my parents and grandparents try to survive in the United States, in this place where they didn’t really speak the language and the plants were all different and all the social norms are different, what I saw them do was grow gardens and save seeds and grow the seeds that they brought over with them and just connect to time in different ways.

One of those ways was through my grandfather, who was so amazing for so many reasons. He was a fruit tree grafter and amazing gardener. He taught me about the moon phases and the predictability of time. He was literally like, “Wherever you are in the world, this is how the moon behaves. And this is how you can chart the evolution of time on a day to day basis but also months and years.” So it was a constant between living in Iran or living in the US or wherever else people were.

Aimi Hamraie [25:16]:

When I was in graduate school, I started gardening for the first time since I was a child. I started really small, just in little pots on my porch. I eventually grew most of my produce there. The practice of growing, planting a seed and watching it grow and taking care of it and living in relationship to it and in a reciprocal relationship and fermenting food that I wasn’t going to eat. All of these things made me slow down and notice. I felt happier. I felt less frenzied. I felt less anxious. It’s scaled up from there in different ways.

Aimi Hamraie [26:25]:

What I realized at that time and what I think about constantly now is that the agrarian cycle—for people who had a relationship to that, whether themselves or ancestrally—the agrarian cycle is the opposite of the school year cycle. The school year cycle says that at the time that you should be slowing down and getting ready to hibernate for the winter, you should instead be having panic attacks over deadlines and interacting with hundreds of people and actually increasing the energy and sense of frenzy and activity in your life. And then maybe for two weeks in the winter, you take a break and then you’re at it again at the start of the spring semester.

That does not feel good to anyone. It’s also why, when we get to summer, it’s so hard to be productive. Summer could be a time of beautiful thinking and writing and all the stuff, but we’re just exhausted. So I’m thinking about the ways we do have control over that. I don’t get to set the calendar for the university, but I do get to pace myself.

Aimi Hamraie [27:24]:

I get to think about time in different scales. In my zine, I use the moon phases as a tool but also as a metaphor for thinking about time in terms of increasing and decreasing the amount of energy and attention we want to give to something.

If you’re planning like a unit in a class and you look at your semester calendar and the patterns of the moon phases and realize the semester starts on a new moon, great. You can introduce new topics and by the time we get to the full moon, we can have a quiz where we make sure everyone understands. Then we can do a little bit of review and then move on to the next new thing.

But sometimes the semester starts on a full moon and sometimes you want to start with something that students may already know about that’s really familiar and then go through the process of introducing them to something that’s unfamiliar a little bit later.

Aimi Hamraie [28:22]:

I’ve been doing this for several years now. I’ve just found that it’s incredibly helpful to plan the semester that way, even if it means changing my syllabi slightly from semester to semester, because it sets a pattern and it gives a logic to what is happening and an appropriate pacing so that you’re not spending only one day on something that actually requires several days or a week. And then similarly with the pacing of the semester on a whole or writing projects or things like that.

Aimi Hamraie [28:55]:

I just wrote this piece that is kind of like a poem called “Protocols for Writing in the Autumn.” One of the things that I say in that poem is that you should write on the timescale of the radish seed, which germinates very quickly, but revise on the timescale of the pawpaw seed. Pawpaws are a native tree in Appalachia, in Ohio and Tennessee, where I live. They grow very slowly and they don’t produce seeds or they don’t produce new fruit for eight years. It gives you a sense of what timetables can exist.

In nature, in the nonhuman world, there are different time tables and they’re not all useful for the same things. But if you pick your alignments, then you may come out of it feeling a little bit more balanced and connected and things like that.

Cathy Hannabach [29:59]:

Do you find that you use moon phases or these ways of thinking about increasing or decreasing energy to structure the Contra* podcast?

For listeners who don’t already know about this podcast, first of all, go listen to it. It’s amazing. One of the things that I really love about it is how you put together the conversations with the guests but also how you work with your team there. Is this an approach that you’ve built into your team’s workflow?

Aimi Hamraie [30:29]:

That’s such a great question. The idea of a podcast workflow is something that you introduced me to when I was on your podcast, so thank you for that. It’s a little bit of scholarly mutual aid in podcasting.

The way that we have done the podcast in the past has been wide ranging because different people in my lab have different types of expertise and skills. Generally, what we did until the most recent season was we would dream and think about, who do we want to be on the podcast? We would make appointments and interview people and then there was a whole production process that included the editing and mastering and stuff, but also getting transcripts and making show notes and doing simple English summaries and links and all that kind of stuff for accessibility.

Aimi Hamraie [31:28]:

It’s one of the philosophies of the work that we do in the lab to be really slow and not to exhaust ourselves and not to live on university timetables. Sometimes things just take longer and that’s okay. But a lot of the production would end up getting done in December after a year of recording pretty much the entire year and then producing the episodes and putting them in the order that we wanted them to be in and stuff like that.

I really liked that in the sense of its slowness, but then there was at the end of the process a lot of work over the winter. Sometimes you have time for that, sometimes you don’t. This year we definitely don’t have time for that because we’re curating an art exhibition that’s showing in January.

Aimi Hamraie [32:26]:

So what I did in the summer when COVID started was I started a series called Solidarity Chats, which were about disability and mutual aid. And there were some episodes about eugenics and different things, kind of what people should know about disability during COVID.

I produced all of those pretty much by myself with Kelsie Acton, who does the simple English summaries. But it was different because I was teaching from home and the temporality of everything had shifted. Suddenly, because I wasn’t commuting to work, I had extra time to do things like have short conversations and edit them and put them up. So it was produced really quickly and not out of any imperative for productivity. It was just sort of how it happened.

Aimi Hamraie [33:20]:

In having strategic conversations about the podcast moving forward, one of the things we decided was to do both in the future: to have more formalized seasons that tell a story and we can record them all ahead of time and put them in order but also to feel free in between to release episodes whenever it feels good and not have to be on a schedule.

In some ways that’s the opposite of a moon-phase approach because it’s very unstandardized, but it’s about internal rhythms and realizing interconnectedness because we don’t have to put anyone else on our schedules either. We can just be like, “Hey, you want to have a conversation about this?” And if now’s not a good time, we can just do it later. There’s no pressure.

Aimi Hamraie [34:08]:

A cool thing about podcasting to me is that there are so many podcasts in the world that if I don’t produce a season for a while, nobody’s going to care. They’re going to have other stuff to listen to or they can go back and listen to old episodes. It’s not tied to my job or anything like that. It’s about tuning into the internal temporalities of your team and collaborators, checking in, and practicing consent around energy and time and things like that.

Cathy Hannabach [34:46]:

That seems particularly important these days—important all the time but I think since everyone’s dealing with shortened time spans and shortened attention spans and more stress, it seems particularly relevant now.

Aimi Hamraie [34:57]:

Yeah, absolutely. We can just produce less stuff. It’s okay.

Cathy Hannabach [35:02]:

This brings me to my favorite question that I get to talk with folks about that really gets at that big why behind all of the projects and the approaches that you take with your work. That’s that version of a better world that you’re working toward when you write zines, when you collaborate with people, when you participate in mutual aid, when you just hang out and chat and are co-present with other people.

What is the world that you’re working toward? What kind of world do you want?

Aimi Hamraie [35:34]:

Wow, such a good question.

Cathy Hannabach [35:36]:

I know, it’s giant.

Aimi Hamraie [35:38]:

But I love it. I think about this question all the time. I would say there are many worlds that I want and they overlap in certain ways but on different timetables.

I absolutely want a world in which there are no prisons, police, nursing homes, institutions, and places of incarceration. I want a world in which we get there because we have built strong relationships and communities that are all about good communication, checking in with each other, and making sure that we’re thriving and have what we need. Where scarcity and fear are not the kind of ruling affects that determine how we make all our choices.

Aimi Hamraie [36:31]:

I want a world in which we don’t live election cycle to election cycle in sheer terror and in which we divest from electoral politics but also aren’t as threatened by it. I think that world comes after the first one I said.

I want a world in which all bodies are understood to be good, beautiful, worthy, valuable, and whole and where there isn’t violence against queer and trans people, Black and Indigenous people, and other people of color.

I really, really want a world in which people feel in balance and aligned. I don’t know how to get there. It’s a world without trauma or something like that. I really feel like we need that world because sometimes our trauma is what holds us back from all these other things and makes it hard to build relationships and practice sustainability.

Aimi Hamraie [37:37]:

What I’m describing are abolitionist worlds, and transformative justice worlds, and disability justice worlds. Maybe they’re permaculture worlds in a way. I would hope that in such worlds, people would have more ethical relationships with land and with nonhumans and with other humans. Certainly less colonial relationships.

That’s my vision. I don’t know that it’s a utopian vision though, because I anticipate a lot of friction getting there. And I also feel like there are little pockets of it that already exist and that’s where I try to spend my time.

Cathy Hannabach [38:21]:

Well, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing all of these ways that you are imagining and creating otherwise.

Aimi Hamraie [38:29]:

Thanks so much, Cathy. It was great to talk to you again.

Cathy Hannabach [38:37]:

Thanks for listening to another episode of Imagine Otherwise. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire and this episode is created by me, Cathy Hannabach. Audio editing was provided by the awesome folks at Pro Podcast Solutions. You can check out the show notes for this episode on our website at, where you can also read about our fabulous guests and find links to the people and projects we discussed on the show.


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