Prefigurative Information Politics – Strategies for Survival, Resilience, and Liberation – An FSU talk with Dr. Amelia Gibson

Prefigurative Information Politics – Strategies for Survival, Resilience, and Liberation – Not THAT sounds complicated, when I first saw the title, I was  like ‘”Whoa!”  But the note that Dr. Amelia Gibson made, that we find ourselves being in a unique space- criticizing institutions we are a part of, and grappling with our own complicity – the struggles – personally, socially, and as a community that have surfaced are real.  It also was well noted that these struggles were always there, just brought to light more of late.  That was pretty powerful to realize, and usually would not come up in conversation unless you, me, everyone made time to just sit and discuss and consider, like we all used to be able to do in graduate school 🙂

I was taken back to the controversy at Chapel Hill with “Silent Sam” as Dr. Gibson referenced the conflicts and decisions that were made over that marker of so many things beyond the physical statue.  The topics of medical eugenics, and the issue of marginalization, totally different than the issue of poverty was am examination well worth the mention.

Dr, Gibson’s mention of Tania Sutherland’s work as well shows the extensions of her research and the depth that it took  Emphasizing the point that there is much in responsibility that we need to learn, especially when there are so many individuals that latch onto a protest or issue without knowing the full – all-sided facets of all involved, well pointed out on her  part.

The distinction of coercion versus compliance as well was a GREAT avenue to examine and discuss.  Touching on cancelling culture in the same area, tying to Meredith Clarke’s work, and encouraging individuals to be just that, individually question informational systems and institutions in lieu of these issues reinforced the research she was diving into.  I appreciated the specific look and research Dr. Gibson had taken on, but also took the time to share the importance of what at first seemed a very, above-my-head scope of research, and yet in so many ways surrounds each of us in our daily lives.

I loved the observation Dr. Gibson made that many people don’t seem to “have the capacity” to work through these contemplations, issues, and ultimately discussion on these important issues.  Many simply feel it is not worth their time to look outside of their own knowledge base, and I do see that as a major downfall and cause of so many divisions in so many.  The observation that the anger directed at collective institutions often backfires when the marginalized communities are impacted negatively as a result.  There are so many comments, points made without a thought process of the implications on the intricate communities that make up who we are as the United States, not just own own interests.

Certainly a strong point was there are so many people that are  willing to accept actions based on seeing that this is the only way, or thinking that is the only way a system works, or has worked. In education, I certainly see that as a downfall, not willing to see a different approach than has ever been attempted, even a different viewpoint and giving that viewpoint a chance to take a different turn, a different attempt at changing education slightly and seeing if there is a “better” that results.  It seems so difficult for us to get to that point as a nation.

I loved the ideas Dr. Gibson began to reference as far as resilience, “Black Girl Magic”, referring to Megan Stallion,  (the clip that Dr. Gibson showed was great), referring to Black Boy Joy, and the fact of how marginalized communities always have to maintain a heightened sense of awareness.  I do not think we discuss or come across this train of thought enough.

Certainly this says much but what many do not realize?  With the  removal and decline of school librarian positions in schools, it will become even more difficult to be guided to see two sides of every issue.  Dr. Gibson’s research was refreshing in that it reminded us there does need to be time taken to take more than we can see and feel, into deeper consideration.

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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