Root Work Journal - Convening in the Ark - Volume 1, Issue 1
fugitive ecologies: finding freedom in the wilderness
simple ant wonders
This work is about fugitivity and freedom.
In the spirit of Araminta
a stolen child of Africa
who found freedom in being a fugitive
“If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.”
—attributed to Araminta Ross, also known as Harriet Tubman
I came to understand fugitivity by first thinking about abolition. Abolition is the destruction and dismantling of the structures, worldviews (3), belief system, ways of being and ways of acting that oppress and enslave. In doing so, abolition moves to liberate (or set free) those from within these abusive structures. To abolish is to break down, break apart, and create the new in the aftermath of the old. In a similar way, and with a similar aim, a fugitive focuses on escaping. Instead of overtly destroying a structure, worldview, belief system, way of being or way of acting, a fugitive moves with the shadows and focuses on existing beyond the chains that enslave us. Fugitivity is abolition through the abandonment of a system that cannot find us and therefore cannot enslave us to do its bidding. Fugitives exist on this Earth but on a different frequency, rhythm and vibration. At the end of the day, we need both fugitivity and abolition in the work towards liberation and freedom. They work hand in hand to ultimately overgrow a way of life predicated on oppression, domination and hate. Fugitivity and abolition are different colored feathers on the same bird. The end goal is the same; the tactic is different.