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Bayo Akomolafe—The Times are Urgent, Let Us Slow Down

  • First Met United Church 932 Balmoral Road Victoria, BC Canada (map)

Àbáyòmi: The Times are Urgent, Let us Slow Down

Public Lecture with Bayo Akomolafe

In-Person or via Global Livestream

Friday April 26

7 to 9pm with Book signing to follow

Doors open 630pm


In Yoruba cosmology, the trickster, Èsù, the Òrìsà of the Crossroads, has been demonized and slandered – and well-nigh forgotten in his homeland. ‘He’ is not complaining. In fact, he is making a ‘comeback’ in our troubled times as the deity of the Anthropocene even as his slippery antics and dance steps become figurative of the kinds of shifts in thinking and practice many of us have to make. In this story, Bayo Akomolafe tells us why Èsù is so emblematic of our times, and employs the historical object of the creolized ‘Àbáyòmi’ rag doll as a figure of other places of power and other modes of thought opening up in the cracks of Enlightenment modernity.

  • Why are we so lonely today – even though we have social networks and can access ‘community’ with the click of a button?

  • What do we do about climate change, when doing more only exacerbates the hopelessness of it all?

  • Why is racism so sticky, even in spite of all the scholarship, political leadership and anti-racist activism that critique and condemn it?

  • How do we think about the people on the other side of our political preferences – those who insist on walls and closed borders and absolute power?

  • Why is it that we must now attend to our children as our elders – in a twist of roles reminiscent of the stories about Esu’s tricks?

  • And why does listening and with-nessing the nonhuman world sometimes seem like a productive thing to do even as the fire burns on the mountain?

These and other such questions are considered in this talk by Bayo Akomolafe, as he articulates a different framing of activism and sense-making, of racialization, a queer vision of time, a disturbing account of embodiment, and an urgent need to slow down in times of trouble. 

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There are 3 ways to participate in Bayo’s visit. Click each option for more information and tickets:

Friday Night Public Lecture In-Person

Tickets CAD $27

Friday Night Public Lecture Global Livestream

Tickets CAD $20

Recording will be available for you to watch as often as you like for 30 days after the event. Only for purchasers of livestream ticket.)

You will be emailed a link to the broadcast on the day of the event.

Weekend Workshop In-Person (Includes Friday Night)

Tickets CAD $282

(there is no longer a livestream option available for the weekend workshop)

Yes, you can upgrade your lower-valued ticket for a higher-valued ticket after your purchase, if spots are still available. However any downgrades or cancellations are subject to our cancellation policy. Please read before purchasing your ticket.

Author, speaker, lecturer, renegade academic, ethnopsychotherapeutic researcher and proud diaper-changer, Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional and counter-intuitive take on global crisis, civic action and social change. He is Executive Director and Initiating / Co-ordinating Curator for the Emergence Network. Bayo has authored two books: ‘We Will Tell Our Own Story’ and ‘These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters To My Daughter on Humanity’s Search For Home’ and has penned forewords for many others.

Bayo is visiting professor at Middlebury College, Vermont, and has taught in universities around the world (including Sonoma State University California, Simon Frasier University Vancouver, Schumacher College Devon, Harvard University, and Covenant University Nigeria – among others). He is a consultant with UNESCO, leading efforts for the Imagining Africa’s Future (IAF) project. He speaks and teaches about his experiences around the world, and then returns to his adopted home in Chennai, India – “where the occasional whiff of cow dung dancing in the air is another invitation to explore the vitality of a world that is never still and always surprising.”

He considers his most sacred work to be learning how to be with his daughter and son – Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden – and their mother, his wife and “life-nectar”, Ijeoma. 

For more information, visit his website here.

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