Material Praxis for Ritual Healing

Our Slow Living Cookbook began as a paratext. In October of 2020, our last semester of university, we prompted our peers to respond to a call for sick speech in an anonymous essay in Queer.Archive.Work.’s Urgency Reader 2 (2020), as we adjusted to the strange situation of virtual learning during a pandemic. Now post-university, this call for sick speech echoes as a call for remedy.

The format of an online cookbook was introduced through Tiare Ribeaux’s Bioplastics Cookbook for Ritual Healing from Petrochemical Landscapes, which exists as an open-source ritual in webpage form. But what began as a resource to share with others eventually became a way for us to keep in touch and retrospectively served as an armature to propel thoughts forward into praxis. In this assemblage, thoughts, recipes, conversations and interruptions, borrowing from Anna Tsing, become performances of livability.

Referencing J.R. Carpenter, who "evokes the term 'handmade web' in order to draw attention to the physical body...to suggest slowness and smallness as a form of resistance”, the text is published as a hand-coded website with the generous support of Xpace Cultural Centre. It is a conversation, documented, and throughout it we shared feelings of grief, longing, and healing without over reliance or burden. Asynchronously written thoughts, tangential comments, and recipes interrupt and weave together; the experience was slow, a form of processing that had no deadline. We invite you to click through, to jump forward and backward. This garden offers reflections on slowness and recipes in slow work. Conversations vary from mothers to frogs and frontiers; fermentation and plastic; on mounds and decay. There is more to be found throughout.

*More information about this project can be found here*
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