Unpacking our library

what it feels like is good enough

“In the inclusive sense, my politics, you’ll find all of the atypical features of my character. I may run, but all the time that I am, I’ll be looking for a stick! A defensible position! It’s never occurred to me to lie down and be kicked! It’s silly! When I do that I’m depending on the kicker to grow tired. The better tactic is to twist his leg a little or pull it off if you can. An intellectual argument to an attacker against the logic of his violence — or one to myself concerning the wisdom of a natural counterviolence — borders on, no, it overleaps the absurd!!”

– George Jackson, Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson

“If black liberation is to succeed, the systems that perpetuate this racist and inhumane situation must be destroyed. And this cannot be done with rhetoric; this cannot be done with bullshit. It takes action.”

— Harry Edwards, “Moving Against the System: New Directions for the Black Struggle” in David Austin edited collection.

“A gimlet: a small t-shaped tool with a screw tip for boring holes. Wouldn’t it be wise for one to carry a gimlet everywhere one goes? Wouldn’t it be wise, intentional or even freeing for me, for us, for black women, to walk around with a gimlet sown into the hem of a sleeve….a physical, metaphorical or even theoretical gimlet? You know just a little something for those times and conditions that feel precarious and unsafe.”

― Sandra Jackson-Dumont, presentation at Loophole of Retreat: Venice

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me. No fear.”

― Nina Simone

what it feels like is good enough is a series of conversations about black and anti-colonial praxis inspired by the activities of artists and thinkers of the black radical tradition, and by Katherine McKittrick’s deep engagement with Sylvia Wynter. “I learned from [Sylvia Wynter] that sharing stories is creative rigorous radical theory,” McKittrick writes. “The act of sharing stories is the theory and the methodology.” Hosted every first Sunday of the month at the Archive Berlin space in the Wedding, this series intends to foster discussions about how we fashion our tools for liberation.

The tool is understood expansively. Like Harriet Jacobs’ gimlet, described above by Sandra Jackson-Dumont, these tools may be material or immaterial, they may be objects or concepts, spaces or songs, technologies or gestures. What these sticks, gimlets, and other tools share is that they are agentive; they enable tactics and strategies that can be wielded for our sustained freedom from fear, and toward joyous living.

Working with and from the efforts forged by previous generations, each activation will become a form of wayfinding. Invited artists and writers share their current work, their approaches to praxis, and the ongoing ways in which they navigate the assumptions, violences and extractive imperatives of the present world order. For the first four activations we will be joined by Mayra Rodríguez Castro, S*an D. Henry-Smith, Edna Bonhomme and Onyeka Igwe.

what it feels like is good enough is a part of the Unpacking our Library strain of Publishing Practices is a recurring program committed to an expanded idea of publishing not confined to the production and dissemination of printer matters but open to a multi-sensorial reflection on other ways to know and exist.

Publishing Practices curatorial ensemble: Soukaina Aboulaoula, Mistura Allison, Chiara Figone, Paz Guevara and Beya Othmani

Unpacking our library is conceptualised and curated by Paz Guevara

what it feels like is good enough is organized by Yaniya Lee

Coordinated by Miriam Gatt

Visual identity by Aziza Ahmad

Publishing Practices is funded by the Capital Cultural Fund (HKF)

First activation – March 5 / 11:00
with writer Mayra Rodríguez Castro

Join Archive editor Yaniya Lee and guest writer Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro this Sunday March 5 for the first activation of what it feels like is good enough, a series of gatherings about the praxis of liberation. We will gather at the Archive Berlin space in Wedding at 10:30 for a late breakfast followed by a conversation and a workshop.

These gatherings are meant to be small and allow for engaged conversations, for this reason we ask you to write to us a few words about your commitment to black radicalism before joining. Send your note to yaniya@archivebooks.org to save your spot at the upcoming sessions.

Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro is the editor of Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe, a collection of unpublished seminars and interviews by Audre Lorde (Kenning Editions, 2020). She is a former Research Fellow at The John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies (Freie Universität Berlin, 2018) and recipient of the Anne Waldman Fellowship (Naropa University, 2019). Most recently, Castro united with Divided Publishing in a selection of writings by abolitionist scholar Joy James, In Pursuit of Revolutionary Love (2023). Her words have been hosted by de Appel, Amant Foundation, Dia Art Foundation, Fivehundred Places, Spector Books, Social Text Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, Changes Review, and The Poetry Project among others.