Frontiers Augmented highlights selected authors from our issues to create a means for deeper engagement with the content published in the Frontiers Journal. The most recent special issue, Deterritorializing Frontiers 42.3, edited by Frontiers Co-Editors Silvia Solís, Wanda S. Pillow, Kimberly M. Jew, and Darius Bost, highlights author Clelia O. Rodríguez, Ph.D., from the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning and the Department of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto.
Decolonizing Is an Act of Radical Love
My textual offering “Fui, soy, seré” bleeds windows where sneak previewers are welcome so long as they understand the difference between borders and boundaries. Here’s why understanding it is important: The Humanities were never mistaken. They, as the pillars of one particular Knowledge, never erred. The emphasis on validating education through consonants and vowels, as the only format to push a few to the top and the rest underneath, are the identities we are simultaneously obligated to accept in private, even when we are publicly forced to believe we are not accepting them. Both, the mistake and the error, are part of the one-sided curriculum that is sold at premium prices to continue a higher learning in fragmentations. The written word enables patriotism to burn down and rupture hunger for truth whose historical origins reside in a shiny Biblical apple, supposedly. Bodies augmented by the nectar of a tricky action done allegedly by a woman named Eve. So, just like in colonialism, the colonizer is not mistaken. The colonizer has not erred either. The strike performed by the delicacy of skinning of animals is the cultural leathery whip that keeps humans like myself in the X-files folder. Red folders piled on top of the Title X what-to-do-when-shit-hits-the-fan recycled recommendations because those who get to make decisions on “controversial” cases are only interested in a diplomatic outcome saving legal feels to the institution. That is what happens when the business of the written word seals with ink that no errors or mistakes cannot be made in the Humanities.
That, with a phonetically emphasis on ‘That’ with THAT, is the relation between the decolonizing approach to writing, to being, to co-existing, co-learning and co-teaching in the textual offering I chose to write about the verb to be in the past, present and future tense. Because decolonizing, in the theoretical sense of the word, has nothing to do with how my grandfather explained it to me where time exists and yet it doesn’t. Because we do not penetrate borders nor we walk through them. Because they do not exist. To be uprooted from the land, like an extraction of the molar teeth without anesthesia, is terror. It is the act of deterring in the Humanities that keeps the core of the terror going. Because despite the knowing, the seen and the heard, the borders continue to live rent-free in the mind. Before the illusion of division crossed me, I had already learned pedagogies of the land.
This is why there is an urgency to learn how to include think-feel approaches from people with cultural and historical hangovers. The ones who bleed dried up tears calcified by the winds created by those who, despite their analysis, extensive readings, great networking and their reaction to the word “ally,” are not still listening. There is no explicit or metaphorical availability in language; English that is, to transcribe knowledge from lived experiences. Or Spanish for that matter. Decolonizing, as act of radical love, as I have written in my book, is not part of specification folder like if there was a tab-system. One gets hit, abused, yelled, silenced and killed by the correctly spelling of “un-meh-ri-KAA.” The constant ways of seeing us, the others who were otherized by others, is a reflection of humanity smiling back at you. You, the others classifying us, under every numerical and alphabetical format, see through a binary system that is composed of an opposition. That’s it, two points castrated to the possibility of existing in a cosmovision that outdates every scripture in the world. This binary is when desertification drowns humans because these very same humans are still protesting the banner of ‘Water is Life.’ The possibility of dialogue beyond colonialist attempts to represent is what lies beyond the window for the curious visitors who come to visit the place of boundaries.
Clelia O. Rodríguez Ph.D., is a global scholar, speaker, mom and auntie, born and raised in the ancestral lands of the Nawat, the Chorti-Maya and the Lenka Peoples, what is presently El Salvador. She is the founder of SEEDS for Change, an educational transnational collective bringing together Black, Indigenous and People of Colour to co-create pedagogies of liberation. She is the author of Decolonizing Academia: Poverty, Oppression and Pain (Fernwood Publishing, 2018) and is currently working on two manuscripts, The Politics of the Uterus: The Who, The What, The When, The Where, The How the Why and Pedagogies Under the Microscope: Air, Water, Earth and Fire.
Editor’s “Outro” by Silvia P. Solís
Clelia O. Rodríguez is a force to be reckoned with. The think-feel in her writing walks me through a grown milpa with mecate and a machete in my hand, ready to work and ready for the danger, lista para lo que ya está y no deja de venir – la violencia. Her words shatter any manufactured respite, at the same time that she plants pedagogies of the land through lessons of remembering, of defending, and of respect. Collaborating with the special guest editors and contributors of Deterritorializing Frontiers exposed the realities of institutionalized feminist publishing. From the inception of inviting and mentoring authors, through the ins and outs of copyeditors, email miscommunications, the uncertainties of COVID-19, to finding ourselves, proudly holding the first multilingual issue by scholars, thinkers, and artists speaking from the geopolitics of the global south. We invited Clelia to be the featured author for Augmented to further a much needed conversation from her article “Fui, soy, seré: (Mal)nacida, (Mal)criada, (Mal)hablada, (Mal)educada, (Mal)aventurada” and her larger conversation from Decolonizing Academia.