Woodbine, May 10, 2021
Natasha Lennard and Matthew Whitley discuss some themes and questions from the updated paperback edition of Natasha’s book, Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life, published last month by Verso.
We talk about acting and thinking in the absence of Trump’s dominance of the mediasphere, and how we relate to debates around the “crisis of liberalism” and “collapse of the center” in a now-Democratic Party controlled government. We reflect on 10 years after Occupy, with indigenous and abolitionist movements now centered in any imagination of liberation, and the many crises that won’t be solved legislatively. We ask how to not let emphasis on prefigurative mutual aid practices–which create interdependency and care, intimacy and community–cede the ground of “policy”, which reimagines the structural conditions within which we live. And how do we find and use alternative, authentic, strategic voices in our present media ecology to articulate and build legibility for utopian horizons of flourishing and autonomy?
Natasha Lennard is a columnist for The Intercept. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Bookforum and the New York Times, among others. She teaches critical journalism at the New School for Social Research and is the author of “Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life” (Verso).
Matthew Whitley is a writer and organizer affiliated with the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council – MACC NYC. He is currently a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, with a research focus on alternative economies in Catholic social teaching. He also serves on the steering committee of the Emergency Committee for Rojava and co-edits the radical artists’ imprint Cicada Press. His poetry chapbook, “Do You Like the Word Crisis?”, was published by Commune Editions in 2019.