Lettering letters of love

Lettering letters of love

Dear Graduate Students,

I’ve been thinking a lot about love these days. The kind of radical love that we and the earth need to heal, to find hope, and to forge strategies for enduring precarious worlds. In the introductory chapter to In this Together: Blackness, Indigeneity, and Hip Hop (2019) Karyn Recollet, Audrey Hudson, and Aawad Ibrahim extend an invitation to their readers to participate in the act of crafting ‘love letters.’ As a practice of “extending kin-in-the-making” (p. 6) love letters to the future honors artists, educators, scholars, and interlocutors and holds them in reciprocity. They write that: “Art gives us a way to the spirit, the heart and the soul and if we listen, our art becomes our sphere of belonging” (p. 6). Love letters create spaces for different future selves and future worlds, where “Lands overflow [and] vibrate outwards” creating other possibilities and remixes (p. 7).

Their call to author love letters to the future resonates with Syrus Ware’s Activist Love Letters. Activist Love Letters is a performance-based project that invites participants to consider their own activism and the people who inspire them. The project is inspired by the powerful letters sent among activists and organizers – words of support, rage, fear, caution, hope and inspiration. The performance-based project leads participants through a series of group writing activities to a person who moves you through what they do. Love letters are about connecting with the recipient, and creating a space to ward off isolation. Love works towards justice, care, and radical hope. Love letters can also be ways to create critical survival strategies. They engender reciprocity and attentiveness. Love, letter writing, and future worlding creates a space of care; an affective and connective tissue that binds us all in the present and in the future to come.

If you were going to write a love letter to the future who would it be to, and why? What would you say? What love letter might you write to your future self?

With love,

Stephanie Springgay