Exercise 1: isipin (imagine)

Visualize (3 min)

Take the time to imagine your place of origin, your motherland. Even if you have never been to this place physically, imagine what it could be or feel like. Move further back in time and visualize the land as it naturally was, before cities, technology or globalization. Before colonization, genocide or war.

Write (7 min)

Write down your visualization. Be specific and include as many details as you can. Center in on specific elements such as the environment, or a moment of exchange with another living being or creature.

  • Describe the environment. What does it look like? 
  • Are you alone or are there others with you in this environment? 
  • How do you exist in this environment? Do you play a role in this space?
  • How do you feel in this environment? Note any bodily sensations, emotions, smells or colors.
  • Describe your relationship to others or with nature in this environment.
  • Did anything happen in this environment? For example, it can be a gathering that took place or an exchange with another living being or creature. If so, describe.

Inspiration from past participants:

  • An untouched piece of land, in all of its original beauty and splendor.
  • A ritual by an indigenous tribe or a gathering of community.
  • Swimming in the ocean with sea creatures native to these surroundings.

Reflect (10 min)

Reflect upon your visualization and writing, individually or through collective conversation:

  • What was the world that took shape in your visualization? Was it an environment you have seen before? 
  • Were there living beings or creatures in this environment? What was your relationship to them?
  • Did you hold a role within the visualization? If so, what was the role that you embodied?
  • How did this world make you feel? Why do you think so?
  • Was it easy or difficult for you to visualize this past? Why or why not?
  • As a group: Thread together each of these stories. Are there any themes or throughlines that have formed between these individual visualizations?