school abolition, age-trauma, and Random Thoughts podcast!
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Although sometimes useful, Instagram can be a depressing platform so I want to have other forms of communication with you all. As well as this, I am ridiculously busy and I don’t want you to miss out on what I’m up to.
I hope you like it!
As usual, July 2022 was a busy month!
I have been focusing mostly on NEUROMANCERS, the organisation by and for neurodivergents which I direct. This month we launched two new Constellations - Neuroqueers (for queer neurodivergents) and Space Cadets (for those who experience dissociation and/or who identify as trauma survivors). <3
Additionally, I was both proud and sad at the ending of the first run of my course Has Oppression Found a Home in You? A reflective introspective course on ageism. We had some wonderful, vulnerable conversations during our last session and I look forward to elevating the content with participant feedback. I expect the next run of this course will be around October so keep an eye out — being signed up to this newsletter means you’ll be the first to know!
WRITING OF THE MONTH
This month on Patreon I released two exciting writings: an essay on school abolition and THE WHOLE MANUSCRIPT of my 100+ page dystopian novel. I have been working on this book, called THE SYSTEM, since I was 12 years old. I spent hours and hours poring over it and being my perfectionist-self it never felt good enough. But now, at 16 years old, I felt confident enough in myself to finally release it!
Young people are continually imbued with the message that our work and selves are not good enough. This is something that was particularly re-enforced for me through school. To be valued as a young person means to be obedient and to have good grades — only one of the many problems with contemporary schooling.
I’m going to share more about THE SYSTEM, including a short extract, with my next newsletter. For now, I would like to offer some of my essay on school abolition and its importance…
Reform is not an option. School abolition NOW!
CW: ageism, school
School is an institution of ultimate repression and the voices of children and young people are continually silenced. School is tied to various forms of subjugation: it has historically been used as a tool of Christian colonialism and often gatekept for privileged white men. As it exists now, schools are an extension of the prison industrial complex aiming to punish and control young people's expression and personhood.
[Schools] are an underrated evil, a place where we are first indoctrinated into oppression, academia and the banality of capitalism.
School inmates exist in a world of bland, never-ending corridors; classrooms organised like churches where teachers preach government-approved information; of strict surveillance; of detention and exclusion units; of standardised tests to grade us on importance; of a bell that screeches our every move, organising time so we don’t have to; of pre-determined recreational time with minimal access to trees, grass, nature; of heavily regulated and gendered uniforms.
School is a space of complete depravation and dictatorship where the headteacher reigns supreme, the teachers are lieutenants and students are the disposable soldiers, empty bodies trained to hold down the violent empire that is capitalism.
- Has Oppression Found a Home in You? A reflective introspective zine on age-trauma, by Aiyana Goodfellow
Schooling should be a community-led provision, in that it is free, culturally relevant, elective, and in alignment with youth liberation. This would require a complete reimagining of social education. Even if we were to reform the curriculums, stop detentions and exclusions, and improve the standard of food to be actually nourishing, the foundations of school are rooted in capitalism.
The world schools are training us for is becoming increasingly unlivable, both materially and emotionally. Our education system is irrelevant to the reality of our being. The only answer is to divest from schools wherever possible. Homeschool the children around you. Help us cheat on tests. Support us in bunking off school. Reject homework. Fight against detentions. Reclaim learning as a politically charged process…
UPCOMING: AGE-TRAUMA & THE LIBERATION OF CHILDISHNESS
I’m so excited to be doing a workshop for Institute for the Development of Human Arts (IDHA) who are “a community of mental health workers, clinicians, psychiatrists, current and prior users of mental health services, advocates, artists, and survivors of trauma and adversity, who are interested in exploring the link between personal and societal transformation”.
Here’s some info about the workshop itself…
Age-trauma describes an experience specific to children and childhood – the result of youth oppression where we are taught to accept and normalize abuse, subjugation, hierarchy, and autonomy suppression. Liberating our Childishness allows us to access our inner creativity and freedom by tenderly reclaiming the young parts of us and young people that we have discarded.
Led by a young person with current lived experience of ageism, this unique workshop is essential for all those aligned with building a more care-filled world. Multidisciplinary artist, author, and activist Aiyana Goodfellow will offer a presentation, followed by the opportunity to engage with others in breakout rooms. Through discussion, reflection, and creative journaling, we will collectively explore the effects of age-trauma on both personal and systemic levels. This workshop is open to all those aligned with liberation and care ethics, those who have childhood trauma or negative childhood experiences, young people, mental health professionals, and peers. It will benefit all who work with young people in their personal and professional lives.
If you read the above and found it interesting, please attend my workshop on August 21st at 6pm BST! Its sliding-scale and free for those who need it - book here!
RANDOM THOUGHTS PODCAST
If you have been following me for some time on Instagram, you might know that I used to do videos called “Random Thoughts” where I would share my random thoughts about a particular political topic. Unfortunately, social media apps now priorities shorts videos over longer form rants which led to me stopping this series. HOWEVERRRRR I am excited to announce that I will be starting this series again, in the form of a podcast! As well as sharing my Thought of the month, this time Random Thoughts will be an *advice podcast*, where you can share your dilemmas, questions, ideas, and more for me to answer in the monthly episodes.
This podcast will be generously available to ALL subscribers of my newsletter! However, to submit questions please either join my Patreon or upgrade your subscription to support me at just £5 per month.
This newsletter is free for all, like most of the extensive community work I do, but if you would like to support me with a monthly tip — and get to ask me questions for the Random Thoughts podcast — see the link below!