Kinship 2022

An exploration into being together

A transformative online course exploring community, relationality & belonging in the worlds we live in. What does it mean to belong? What does it mean to be in relationship with the ever-unfurling world we find ourselves a part of? What, exactly, is community? And who do we really mean when we say we? The Kinship 2022 course is an exploration into being together in a time when being apart has fractured our relationship to self, other, and the more-than-human in ways that have left us painfully adrift. It is a timely collective inquiry into how community, relationality, and belonging can revitalise our sense of aliveness as creatures of and participants in this animate earth, and how such a renewal might influence our actions towards greater flourishing.

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. Shannon L. Alder

Curated by advaya and hosted by Hannah Close

Course preview

Course modules

With Gavin Horn, Jeremy Lent and Charlotte Du Cann. We begin by framing our collective crises through the lens of relationship. We want to ask: how have our ways of relating created destruction? Where have we been separated from reality, each other, and our more-than-human kin? Why does the "crisis of relationship" matter? We focus on the loss of belonging which resides at the core of many of the crises we face. We want to understand why belonging is integral to life, the way we relate, and how we flourish as human (and more-than-human) beings. We explore how kinship as a form of relationship and belonging is crucial during these times of unravelling.

With Douglas Rushkoff, Bronte Velez and Justine Epstein. This module explores if relationships are inherently political. The speakers look at how certain relationships are conditional, and how relationships can both serve and extract. How are our relationships being influenced or controlled? We want to ask the question: "who do *we* (really) mean when we say "we"? As collective action is called for - who is called to take action? Who is included/excluded? Does kinship bring with it a sense of responsibility for the "other"? Does the "other" necessarily imply "othering", or can we view the "other" as crucial to relationship itself?

With Gavin Van Horn, Tim Ingold and Tyson Yunkaporta. We look at the grounds on which relationships form. Where exactly does kinship arise? What is the importance of place in all of this? Why is context critical? We look at how the quality of the environment and the architecture of the spaces we inhabit informs the quality of our relationships. We explore how unusual "places”, like the internet, or a science lab, can also lead to forms of kinship, and why this is important in a time when many feel they need to retreat to pristine nature in order to feel connection (this option is widely unavailable). This module is about where we find ourselves.

With Minna Salami, Andreas Weber and Charles Eisenstein. We explore the role of the individual in relation to kinship. This module is unique in that there is a sense of "going against the grain". Many narratives around community and kinship have suggested that the notion of the individual is to blame for the collapse of healthy relationships. It is true that the narcissistic individualism peddled by capitalism has wreaked havoc. However, it is the "ism" that has caused harm, not the individual. In fact, attempts to erase the sacredness of the individual create immense harm. When people feel that they are not seen and that their needs don't matter, harm tends to follow. We explore how cultivating a healthy sense of our individuality allows us to become responsible in relationship. Can we have kinship with ourselves? Nuance is key here - because we are both individuals and we are not. It's a "both/and" situation.

With Nora Bateson, Caroline Duque and Vanessa Andreotti. We explore how community creates belonging and kinship, and how it can also fracture it (building on lessons learned from the previous module). What, exactly, comprises a community? How does kinship come into this? Can there be community without kinship? What might community mean in the contexts we find ourselves in? How does community go beyond sentimental images of sitting around a campfire? Can we be in community with those who are "not like us"? We also explore being in community with the more-than-human later in the course. We want to understand how community tugs at the thresholds between the individual and the collective - how does this tension affect the quality of our relationships?

With Andreas Weber, Tiokasin Ghosthorse amd Andy Letcher. We explore the more-than-human in our conceptions of kinship. We look at how the "new animism" may offer pathways towards healthier relationships (and a sense of deep belonging) with the sentient, living world. We explore how personhood, respect, and reciprocity play a role in our relations with our more-than-human kin. We also draw attention to the relationships with the more-than-human that are already there, waiting to be discovered wherever you are. Additionally, we ask: can we belong to a more-than-human ecosystem? And how do the biotic and abiotic dimensions of our life affect the ways in which we relate? (is technology more-than-human?).

With Sophie Strand, Stephen Jenkinson and Charlotte Du Cann. We delve into the role of mythology, stories, art, and poetry in cultivating kinship. How do stories create/relate to belonging? How do notions of kinship appear in and influence the way we weave our cultural (& other) stories? What do the stories we tell imply about our relationships? How might we transform these stories so kinship is at their core? What are the stories which come from the land that connect us to the other? How does the language of animacy weave relations in this way?

With Bayo Akomolafe, Gavin Van Horn and Rosanna Rippel. The end is near and we are asking, what next? How can we practise kinship in our own lives? How might we be able to help our communities, and those we don't belong to? We look at how we can reconceive kinship in the context of modernity. After all these discussions and explorations, how have our notions of kinship blossomed? What can we embody going forward?

Course information

The Kinship 2022 course is an exploration into being together in a time when being apart has fractured our relationship to self, other, and the more-than-human in ways that have left us painfully adrift. It is a timely collective inquiry into how community, relationality, and belonging can revitalise our sense of aliveness as creatures of and participants in this animate earth, and how such a renewal might influence our actions towards greater flourishing.

About Kinship

Our relationships are what enable us to step forth into being and enlivenment. Without relationship there is no thing, no body, no where, how, or why. So long as the relationships that sustain us here on earth are severed, so our sense of being here wanes. It is our relationships (to self, other, and earth) that offer us the greatest sense of belonging, and it is belonging that offers us the meaning we thrive on as a species.

Kinship is a way of relating that asks us to go beyond extracting value from the “other”. It is relationship for relationships sake, and for the sake of life itself. It is a form of relationship that acknowledges the deeper workings of reality by operating on the same principles as the very breath which keeps us alive: reciprocity, emergence, and sensuous awareness.

Restoring land without restoring relationship is an empty exercise. It is relationship that will endure and relationship that will sustain the restored land. - Robin Wall Kimmerer

About the course

We want to ask the questions: When we are not indigenous, _what are we? How can we belong? Why do we find it so challenging in the globalised consumerist world to practice healthy relationships and community? Can kinship arise through online relationships and those we form in demanding and fractured environments like cities? _

How do skewed power dynamics affect the quality of our relatedness? How might a sense of kinship help us navigate polarisation, and how might it encourage us to move beyond our deeply held views? How, ultimately, can kinship orient us towards greater individual and collective flourishing?

Whether or not you have unorthodox relationships with rocks, or find your wings in the world of words, we invite you to explore kinship with us, and reconceive relationship in the contexts we find ourselves in.

While Advaya seeks to hold a responsible container and work with facilitators and teachers who pledge to do the same, we do not hold a therapeutic status and therefore cannot be liable for any difficult emotions that may arise through your personal exploration of these topics. Topics will include sensitive material around colonisation, gender, race, oppression and so on. By joining this course, you agree that you will engage with the content at a pace that you are able to. Some of the things discussed may feel challenging for you - in many cases this can be a good sign! We invite you to participate with an open mind, and to build greater tolerance for views that you might not chime with ordinarily - this is to begin the journey of Kinship. It does not mean you have to agree with everything said, or that you should put yourself in a position you feel extremely uncomfortable with, but we do invite you to stretch your boundaries for the benefit of both yourself and others.

Course Includes

8 Modules
42 Sessions
21 Speakers
Curated readings, resources and embodied practices
Community discussion area
Video and audio available


Hannah Close

Hannah is a curator, writer, and photographer. She is a curator for Advaya, and is studying Engaged Ecology at Schumacher College.

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Gavin Van Horn

Gavin is Executive Editor at the Center for Humans & Nature

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Jeremy Lent

Jeremy, described by George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” is an author & speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilisation’s existential crisis.

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Charlotte Du Cann

Charlotte is a writer, editor and co-director of The Dark Mountain Project.

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Douglas Rushkoff

Named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT, Douglas Rushkoff is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age.

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Justine Epstein

Justine Epstein (she/her & they/them) is an organizer, facilitator, rites of passage guide, mentor, ad-hoc ritualist, naturalist, and lover of birds and wild things.

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Brontë Velez

Brontë is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). As a black-latinx trans-disciplinary artist, designer, trickster, and wake-worker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking and prophetic community traditions, environmental justice, and death doulaship.

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Adah Parris

Adah is a polymath, anti-disciplinary artist, tech futurist & activist whose work explores the anatomy of transformation.

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Tim Ingold

Tim is a British anthropologist & Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.

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Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson is an academic, arts critic, and researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland.

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Minna Salami

Minna Salami is a Nigerian, Finnish, and Swedish feminist author and social critic currently at The New Institute. Her research focuses on Black feminist theory, contemporary African thought, and the politics of knowledge production

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Dr Andreas Weber

Andreas is a Berlin based author & independent scholar. He has degrees in Marine Biology & Cultural Studies, having collaborated with theoretical biologist Francisco Varela in Paris.

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Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein is a world-renowned teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilisation, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.

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Nora Bateson

Nora is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden.

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Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures

GTDF are a trans-disciplinary collective of researchers, artists, educators, students & Indigenous knowledge keepers.

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Tiokasin Ghosthorse

Tiokasin (Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota) is a speaker on Peace, Indigenous & Mother Earth perspectives.

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Andy Letcher

Andy is Senior Lecturer at Schumacher College where he is programme lead for the MA Engaged Ecology.

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Sophie Strand

Sophie is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, & ecology.

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Stephen Jenkinson

Culture activist, worker, author ~ Stephen teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, co-founded the school with his wife Nathalie Roy in 2010, convening semi-annually in Deacon, Ontario, and in northern Europe.

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Bayo Akomolafe

Bayo Akomolafe (PhD) is Chief Curator and Executive Director of The Emergence Network.

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Rosanna Rippel

Philosopher. Cognitive scientist. Based in Sweden.

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What our students say

From the starting session to the last goodbyes, the course asks you to consider this a journey of the soul and heart. The mind is included but the work isn't centered there. I appreciated the work and care in the curation of the speakers, how they each add a thread to the tapestry of the topic and brought forth both challenging and reassuring viewpoints to chew on. The session rhythm I felt was good and having the other sessions to just connect and reflect was a nice addition. The community that I found myself with and within was nourishing, enchanting, and awesome.

by Naida Culshaw

Learning outcomes

  • Deepen your understanding of the role of relationships in creating healthier ways of being (both individually and collectively)
  • Discover what kinship means in your own life & rediscover your sense of place/rootedness in the world (and self)
  • Expand knowledge of different ways of relating to self, human, and more-than-human beings
  • Re-evaluate the notion of the "other" through intersectional and "multi-perspectival" lenses
  • Cultivate deeper awareness of nuance, complexity, and the value of a "both/and" perspective
  • Gather tools and practices for deepening a multitude of relationships in your own life
  • Shift your perception of kinship towards more expansive, unorthodox and/or radical possibilities relevant to the issues and contexts we find ourselves entangled in today
  • Connect with others and open up the possibility for collaboration with a deeper understanding of how to relate authentically online
  • Begin to question the line between introspection & "outrospection" (how does your individuality relate to the collective? and vice versa)
  • Expand knowledge of useful terms and concepts, and be part of questioning what a new ecologically intregrous language might look like (or a language towards flourishing for all)
  • Actively contribute and develop your ideas through consistent opportunities for feedback