The Wandering, Winding Way of the Wound

The Politics of Cure, the Shadows of Harm Reduction,
and Transgressive Networks of Care at World End

A four-part course with Bayo Akomolafe, Sophie Strand,
Tyson Yunkaporta, and Vanessa Andreotti


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“Bring something incomprehensible into the world!”
– Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Step right up. Don’t be shy! 

Do you wonder about the ubiquity of trauma, the globalizing pervasiveness of triggers, and the hidden curriculum of healing?

If you do, you are not alone.

Let’s talk about trauma: To heal their wounds, chimpanzees would often use their palms to grab certain insects out from the air, squeeze the critters into a pulp, and then apply the stuff to their (and other chimpanzees’) wounds. Wound healing practices among chimpanzees are not only examples of zoopharmacognosy (that is, the study of how animals heal themselves); they are also instances of the vast multi-species cat’s-cradling meshwork that is often obscured when we think about wounds and healing as individual/isolated events. Put simply, wounds are not “owned” by the individual bodies defined by them; wounds are field-like intensities.

This gathering investigates :

  • the politics of “harm reduction”; and, the need for new therapeutic configurations — a politics and aesthetics given to the eruption of the new and the unthought.
  • Our goal is to investigate what modern subjectivity obscures, to trace the lineage of bodily manufacture within industrial arrangements, and to touch the far edges of our bodies and porous membranous skins, long enough to taste their insectoid secretions.
  • We focus not on what gets in the way of healing, but on what healing gets in the way of.
  • We think through contermoder, animist, Yoruba ideas of agency to investigate the way the city produces wellbeing.
  • We inquire about what is obscured in the co-productions of healing/justice/wholeness as recovery, when framed as a return to the familiar images we are used to.
  • Ultimately, as we examine wounds as animist vocations or as multi-species ecologies, we aim to co-weave a decolonial aesthetic of submerged memory, of secret longing, of silenced suspicions, of unbridled magic, of pedagogical possibility, of sensuous touch, and of therapeutic potency.

In a sense, every wound comes with its world. Every wound is already a political event, an intra-species connection, an obscuration of the monstrosity of bodies. One might ask then: what are our wounds doing? What are they imbricated with? What are they building?

Trauma is not what happens to the body; trauma is the body in its reiterative world-shaping, form-taking capacity, and response-ability. Trauma is how modern bodies are manufactured.

This workshop is about trauma, triggers, and trouble. I wonder about the fundamentalism of trauma discourse and what its histories as a clinical concept conceals.

This workshop is about the colonial capture of psychological wounds and the politics that sponsors them and puts them to work in the production of certain realities.

This workshop is about trauma as the modern grammar of loss.

This is about the danger of healing paradigms dedicated exclusively to “recovery” and instigated by the worrying centrality of trauma. I ask: what/whose bodies are co-produced and reproduced when we imagine healing?

The event is about risk of wholeness and shadows of cure.

Join Bayo Akomolafe and friends Tyson Yunkaporta, Vanessa Andreotti, and Sophie Strand for this seditious exploration of the edges of this civilized ethic.

In the wandering, winding way of the wound, a new cartography of possibility yet-to-come sprouts.

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Course Overview

  • “Harm reduction”; and, the need for new therapeutic configurations
  • Investigate what modern subjectivity obscures
  • We focus not on what gets in the way of healing, but on what healing gets in the way of.
  • We think through contermodern, animist, Yoruba ideas of agency
  • Inquire about what is obscured in the co-productions of healing/justice/wholeness as recovery
  • Examining wounds as animist vocations or as multi-species ecologies


Báyò Akómoláfé

Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two booksThese Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak, Bayo Akomolafe is the Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will Dance with Mountains’. He currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California and University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. He sits on the Board of many organizations including Science and Non-Duality (US) and Ancient Futures (Australia). In July 2022, Dr. Akomolafe was appointed the inaugural Global Senior Fellow of University of California’s (Berkeley) Othering and Belonging Institute. He has also been appointed Senior Fellow for The New Institute in Hamburg, Germany. He is the recipient of the New Thought Leadership Award 2021 and the Excellence in Ethnocultural Psychotherapy Award by the African Mental Health Summit 2022.

Sophie Strand

is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Yet it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Give her a salamander and a stone and she’ll write you a love story. Sophie was raised by house cats, puff balls, possums, raccoons, and an opinionated, crippled goose. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas, differences, mythical gradients.

She is the author of The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine and The Madonna Secret. She is also finishing a collection of essays about navigating an incurable genetic disease and early trauma through ecological storytelling.

You can subscribe to her newsletter at, and follow her work on Instagram: @cosmogyny and at

Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti is an internationally celebrated Latinx educator and the new Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. She is a former Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and the former David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education. Vanessa’s research problematizes approaches to education and global change that reproduce paternalistic forms of relationships; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric ideals of sustainability, equity, justice, and change. Vanessa is the author of Hospicing Modernity and one of the co-founders of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective, which promotes the practice of depth/probiotic education.

The Wandering, Winding Way of the Wound

A Four-Part Course with Bayo Akomolafe, Sophie Strand, Tyson Yunkaporta, and Vanessa Andreotti

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