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Entangled resistance: capacity to radically imagine through the art of countermapping

Farmer, Kira Camille (2022) Entangled resistance: capacity to radically imagine through the art of countermapping. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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The web of possibility expands when we begin to imagine the once unimaginable. What does it look like to challenge the way we individually imagine our communities and our internalized hierarchies of representations? This thesis is an artistic inquiry that engages with social struggle, utilizing an arts-based methodology to create visibility for that which has only existed in the margins of occupied Flagstaff and to oppose what current power structures want us to believe to be unchangeable, through the example of first transforming ourselves as individuals. Coronavirus spread around the world, seeping a strange collective unrest into the forefront of our minds. Our bodies are political. The spaces through which we move are political. The streets we march in are political. The pandemic revealed there is no escaping the ways in which we embody the societies we live in. This thesis is a countermap, born of one person’s imaginings of a place but is influenced by participation in mutual aid at a time when government and capitalism were failing us; when a militant critique of neoliberal policies became mainstream. Bridging the gap between the abstract and the planned, countermapping can be an incredible tool for expanding our capacity to imagine meaningful changes to the spaces through which we move and embody. It is a reclamation of place in response to how maps have historically been used by colonizing forces to seize and redistribute land and exclude BIPOC from thriving. This countermap is a large-scale mixed media painting that explores what was, at the height of the pandemic in occupied Flagstaff, and what could be, in the following twenty years, if we continue the work of resisting a violent and destructive status quo. The map is based on autoethnographic accounts of my participation in local mutual aid efforts during COVID-19 and the following process of reinvigorating my imaginative capacity through arts-based inquiry. It is an example of the power of our imaginations to incubate the seeds of possibility within us as individuals first and to build our capacity to arrive in community transformed, ready to participate holistically and relentlessly.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: abolition; anti-capitalism; arts-based research; community; countermapping; radical imagination
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2023 17:27
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2023 17:27
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5997

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