Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Last week was full. Last week was engagement with and for Sawbonna: Justice as Lived Experience. Lived experience means that our personal experiences matter. All of our personal experiences. Why is this so? This is so because the personal, public, and political are siblings, conjoined, wherein action and inaction, too, speak with one voice. A voice that says see me, hear me, even as not a word is said. In each of my dances with Sawbonna last week, what became clear to me, yet again, is that community is a vital manner in which we engage. In the case of each of last week's encounters the contouring framework of community was: justice. What surfaces as I continue the profound emotional unpacking of my experiences last week, is how re-languaging speaks us. Words, definers, signifiers  such as: privileged, offender, academic, victim, black, white, student, educated, uneducated, justice, prison, healer, wound, power, entered the conversations. Endless lists of words, signifiers, definers. Though I would have liked to have my biographies to state, Margot is a Red Raven Speaking About Fudge, what was necessary for me to make "sense" in each of those settings, was for me to situate my lived experience in a manner that invited engagement within what is broadly understood to be the "justice" terrain. At Public Safety, with The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, with Transforming Communities, and at The International Conference on Penal Abolition, each of the places I shared Sawbonna, I had to be contextualized, as did each other speaker there. Sawbonna invites conversations about how our (mis)use of us versus them might become less "painful." How white privileged "us" and "thems" and more "abused" us and "thems" and more and more of us and thems might continue to find places of us with them, which is not the same as saying we must "like" them and they must "like us. It simply means we stop beating up our very selves and others, and share in the complex, paradox-steeped terrain that is justice as lived and shared experiencing with. Sawbonna is a minuscule part of this re-languaging. In the context of re-languaging justice as a lived and living experience, I am a Red Raven Speaking About Fudge.

CBC Nova Scotia, Halifax: Sawbonna and Poetry and Restorative Justice

CBC New Brunswick, Moncton: Sawbonna/Restorative Justice, L'heure de pointe
At "access a tous les sujets" choose: 17 h 13

CBC Ontario, Ottawa: Sawbonna: On Meeting the Man Who Murdered Her Dad and How Writing Played a Rolehttp://www.cbc.ca/ottawamorning/2013/07/17/margot-vansluytman-on-forgiving-her-fathers-killer/

Master's Thesis: Sawbonna: Justice as Lived Experiencehttp://dtpr.lib.athabascau.ca/action/viewdtrdesc.php?cpk=308&id=48984

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