The corona virus pandemic has brought life as we know it to a halt and revealed flaws in systems (that do not sustain us), opening ruptures through which, we believe, new worlds must emerge. 

While many of us have been asking questions in this time of great mystery, we also have a vital tool to provide answers- our imaginations

At Fearless, we recognise that collective acts of the imagination create shared realities: love is an act of imagination between individuals who form commitments to each other; countries are collectively imagined and reinforced with national songs, flags, and symbols; people press foreheads to the ground and circle around mountains in prayer; laws are written like spells. Collective imagination crystallises into belief systems, which then form institutions.

As our work in the streets was put on hold, we decided to tap into the power of this collective imagination (unbound). In May 2020, we launched Antidote- an online workshop series that used the Fearless Futures methodology to guide artists, activists, practitioners, makers, thinkers, mobilisers, policymakers doing innovative things in their fields in visioning long term emotional, personal, spiritual, and systemic cures in four thematic ‘villages’: 

Body & Touch: in which we imagined how we want to experience sex, pleasure, bodies, love, and relationships in the future 

Earth & Resources: where we sought to re-root ourselves in the natural systems that sustain us and decolonize our relationships to land

Power & Governance: in which we articulated what we would want future governance systems, borders, systems of protection, citizenship, and belonging to be based on

Health, Care, and Healing: where we dreamed of future systems, processes, and institutions of health care that look beyond only healing the wound, and into human flourishing

The workshops were dream tanks of sorts in which we began to chart future economies, folktales, mythologies, healthcare systems, rituals, border systems, and more. 

How will we reemerge from this crisis?

For every poison there is- an Antidote

Watch our highlight videos and listen to the podcast series below, to hear the conversations and ideas that emerged.

Workshop 1: Body, Pleasure and Touch

In this time of pandemic, we have physically distanced ourselves from each other to protect the ones we love and strangers alike and we find ourselves in a world of- no touch, isolation, separation, confinement- where it has become abundantly clear how much we need each other. 

In our fearless future, what turns you on?

In this Antidote workshop, 14 panelists- ranging from sex therapists, to queer Muslim activists, visual artists, sex positive educators, trans rights activists, and sexual and digital rights advocates- came together to suspended current realities around sex, love, bodies, pleasure, and relationships and imagine:

How will we touch each other in the future?

How will we connect with ourselves, bodies and communities?

How are bodies perceived, protected, represented, and valued in our fearless future world?

Together, we crafted a sensual, scared, tender future. Listen to find out what emerged. 

Co-Hosted by: Kaz (Nairobi, Kenya), founder of The Spreadpod- Nairobi’s first (and only) sex positive podcast 

Featuring: Rafiul Alomrahman, Gargi Chandola, Leeza Mangaldas, Monica Dogra, Aru Bose, Khatchig Ghosn, Tapiwa Sunga Konji, Vidhi Todi, Sonaksha Iyengar, Monish Odrani, Shohini Banerjee, Neha Bhat, and Shripa Pradhan, Zara Daruwalla

Watch the highlights –

Listen to the audio podcast for this workshop here –

Workshop 2: Earth and Resources

As the pandemic brought the entire world to a stand still, so quickly our skies began to clear, migratory birds came back into urban spaces. Images of peacocks roaming the streets of Bombay, flamingos filling up lakes with pink started to flood the internet. How quickly nature recovers. How quickly we can heal. And yet- simultaneously, governments allowed companies to sidestep environmental regulations in order to boost economies, industries have been allowed to continue emitting poisons while the rest of us have been locked down, and despite the total shutdown of air travel  global carbon emissions have only reduced by- 5%. Have we learnt our lesson? Are we bowing our heads to the soil? And if not, how can we? 

What in the natural world sustains you? 

In this Antidote workshop, 18 panelists working in reforestation, permaculture, Indigenous land rights, botanical art, performance art, sustainable fashion, environmental activism, alternative economies, and feminist ecologies- described what sustains them as they imaged how we will treat earth and resources in a fearless future: 

How do we give and what do we take?

What are our cycles?

How do we live with the land?

Co-Hosted by: Shubhendu Sharma (Bangalore, India), founder of afforestt- creating natural, wild, native forests

Featuring: Kirian Meli, Neha Sumitran, Vahishta Mistry, Nikki Sanchez, Shraddha Sundae, Muktasree Chakma, Bhagavati Adhikari, Manvendra, Osheen Siva, Dibarah Mahoob, Nirupa Rao, Arshia Haq, Bandana Tewari, Brikesh Singh, Cassie Denbow, Rahi de Roy

Watch the highlights –

Listen to the audio podcast for this workshop here –

Workshop 3: Power, Labour and Governance 

Before the pandemic, we were witness to a year of uprising, overturning, undoing, making anew- shifting power. It has been a year of reclamation. Historically, movements around the world have influenced each other: wave upon wave we make a new civilization. As we work towards the changes we want to see, we know how difficult it can be to step away from our struggles and take a moment to imagine a world where there is- no more oppression. And yet, it’s equally important to be able to imagine the worlds we want. 

What is the source of your power?

In this Antidote workshop, 19 panelists redefining power through their creative art practices, social justice activism, urban planning, revolutionary poetry, education, Indigenous resurgence, collective storytelling, and digital democracy, reclaiming and reforming black, brown, indigenous, dalit, queer identities in the process- imagined:

How will power be manifested in a fearless future?

What keeps us protected? What do borders look like?

How do we belong? Can we choose where we belong?

Across movements, continents, faultlines, borderlines, and boundaries we imagined power as: Womb, ancestral, embedded in the land // Relationships- past, present, and future // The dreams that have been passed on to us, the spirit world, the sun and stars (in our own bodies) // Our recollections, poetic traditions, the histories we witness and make with our living // Leadership, revisioned // Uninhibited madness, reverence, humility, empathetic, decolonized, collective.

Listen to hear more of what emerged from this conversation. 

Co-Hosted by: RhaRha Nembhard (Johannesburg, South Africa), artist and co-founder of Noirwave, an artistic movement for a borderless world 

Featuring: Yannick Ilunga, Sharmin Hossein, Gabriella, Sabika Abbas Naqvi, Mandeep Kaur, Devi Mucina, Khalda El Jack, Anja Kovak, Shreya Shankar, Sarah Naqvi, Zahra Khodadadi, Subha Wijesiriwardane, Gita, Gaia, Christina Dhanaraj, Hussain Khalid, Grace Harris, Rahi de Roy 

Watch the highlights –

Listen to the audio podcast for this workshop here –

Workshop 4: Health, Care and Healing

Our health care systems and the information we receive about our bodies often does more to increase our fears than help us see past them: our hospitals are most often sites of illness, rather than places we go to to amplify wellness or- flourish, grow; much of modern medicine neglects or ignores or dismisses our traditional healing systems and practices, we use language that treats our bodies as vulnerable, wounded, or as battlegrounds rather than resilient; and while we have been taught to pay attention to ourselves- body and mind- when we are unwell or in pain, what would our healthcare systems look like if we were to communicate with our selves with just as much attention in times of wellness as well? 

In this time of pandemic, in which our health care systems have been stretched to their limits, how can decolonize, reimagine, and create new healing systems, tools, and techniques?

What heals you?

In this Antidote workshop, 14 panelists working in the fields of public health policy, art therapy, psychiatry, disability rights, tantric healing, social justice, food, and decolonizing wellness came together to vision a future where systems, processes, institutions of health, care, and healing are radically reimagined from what we know today. 

In a fearless future, how do we care for the wounded?

What do healing spaces look like?

If you get hurt, how do you heal?

In our rupture with our current realities we were able to vision a future in which healing is:

Pleasurable // respectful of agency // rooted in our cultures, traditions, rituals, ancestral medicines // decolonized // just // happening within communities of care // happening from a place of becoming, rather than brokenness; a journey // destigmatized // accessible // integrated with the natural world around us // political // emotional // nourishing and so much more 

Co-Hosted by: Maliha Ibrahim 

Featuring: Niluka Gunawardene, Rubal Kundra, Apsara Ajooba, Raji Manjari Pokhrel, Tanya Sierra, Lisa Rudi, Navi Gill, Jasmine George, Bono Sen, Srinidhi Raghavan, Anjli Vyas, Hanim Abdul Cader, Zara Daruwalla

Watch the highlights –

Listen to the audio podcast for this workshop here –