December Issue

The Transfer of Power

Editorial

December is a time for transformation, deep shifting, and death before rejuvenation. This December looks back upon a year of immense death and looks forward with hope of immense transformation. Or rather, this December holds the weight of a world mourning knowing that there is no other place to go other than through immense transformation.

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Here, where I am on Turtle Island, we have made a sort of ritual of “Democracy” in which every four years, the month of December is the United States government’s time of potential transition. As we sit between the presidential election and the presidential inauguration, between the previous year and the one to come, we spin visions of change and hope and transformation. We make resolutions and imagine some administrative or cosmic page turning by which THIS time something might finally shift enough for us to really feel it.

I wonder what “transfer of power” really means. I want to see a picture of the practicalities. How do we combat the rigidity of our power structures and move into an era of fluidity and collective empowerment? Who is taking these dreams and making them tangible? It’s already happening.

In the United States, our whole national government is so deeply invested in imperialism, capitalism, and white supremacy that the presidential “transfer of power” can feel insulting. While so much attention is focussed on the bureaucratic shifts within the empire, I turn toward sites where I can see power moving through hands, through bodies, through land, through generations and where that fluidity can be felt. I turn toward artists and activists who are actualizing the concepts of reparations and land rematriation. I turn toward organizations changing the way we hold and share resources internally and with our community. I turn toward practices of holding power in our bodies through sensing and feeling and visibilizing that power through learning how to be in relationship with others. 

We make revolution as we make community as we make ensemble. 

With this December issue of the Grand re Union magazine, I give gratitude to the Black Lives Matter organizers pushing from every side to create a better present and future for Black people, the Indigeous peoples of Turtle Island calling for us all to relate differently to the land and our histories, and to the art makers and organizers for the broad imagination and practiced skill of rehearsing the previously unknown that we need to make a change we can feel.

Hannah Meleokaiao Ayasse