What exactly are the breaking points that force us to seek a fresh point of reference, to steer ourselves in the collective direction of healing?
We are at a point in time that demands we actively reckon with how we’ve wronged one another, and how we’ve allowed our world to deteriorate to this point of decay. Subjects that were once taboo are now being broached — the prevalence and danger of white supremacy, the realities of postpartum depression, and the urgency of a dying planet, for instance. Historical facts are being brought into question, be it how The New York Times’ 1619 Project upends previous notions of America’s beginnings or how we now celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day. The marginalized are reclaiming their place upon the world stage.
There is not so much a demand for renewal as there is one for recalibration, an insistence that we reconsider the power structures and uneven dynamics that have fed into damaging cycles and stories of the past. Creating a better version of ourselves requires effort and agency, yes, but also a willingness to unlearn the structures that have upheld unjust balances of power. There is something to be said for rediscovering our past selves, lives, and homes. To go back in order to move forward. After all, we cannot shed an old skin without knowing what core remains in its absence. So what exactly are the breaking points that force us to seek a fresh point of reference, to steer ourselves in the collective direction of healing?
For this issue, we’re looking at the ways in which we have been forced to recalibrate our understanding of ourselves, our history, and our role within the wider cultural conversation. We’re curious to understand what events — personal or public — have caused you to question your truths, and how you rebuilt a new narrative in its place.
How do we encourage critical thought around stories that may have once seemed heroic, but are actually harmful? How do we build new stories, new ways of living, together? What comes next, and do we truly understand what is happening now? How we can make room for a wider form of story? Tell us about a time when questioning facts led to a new reality, and what aspects of yourself you had to redefine. Tell us about tipping points and what it takes to rectify a situation. And when society begins to move in a new direction, what holds, and what do we retain?
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- 11: Actionable Storytelling
When the Ferguson shooting and protests erupt in 2014, I am stuck in my own cocoon, mourning recent betrayals in…