Deep Colonisation Recovery Circles

People hands in grey shades
Photo by McKenna Phillips / Unsplash

What can we do about the injustice and trauma in our society and communities?

Colonisation was the brutal theft from communities around the world, of their land and resources, perpetrated largely by European nations. It continues, slightly disguised, today through military and economic imperialism and exploitation of ‘poor’ (often resource rich) countries by ‘rich’ (increasingly socially impoverished) countries.

The social and emotional context of power-over and domination which gave rise to colonisation has continued through European (and other) societies and has been so present in our social education that it can be easy to miss. We call this ‘deep colonisation’. It includes, for example, (often unconscious) beliefs such as: some people are worth more than others and humans are superior to nature.

Colonisation generates trauma and is maintained through trauma, so the fundamental project here is healing: healing the histories of domination and oppression that have harmed each of us - and our ancestors - in many different ways.

Deep Colonisation Recovery Circles are one way to support the process of healing. They help us to connect personal, interpersonal and social change and healing. They are spaces to bring together personal and political, inner and outer, where we can explore recovery and healing for ourselves and our wider societies.

In small, supportive groups we meet to explore and practise personal and cultural decolonisation/detraumatisation, taking one area of life (e.g. education, money or food) at a time. We ask: how has this been colonised in me and my life - and what could my first practical steps towards decolonising or healing that be for me?

Join us on April 8th session!

April 8th, 2024 Monday · 14:00 - 16:00 UTC
Deep Colonisation Recovery Circles
April 8th, 2024

I’ll be sharing the practice of Deep Colonisation Recovery Circles. The idea developed when a group of us were meeting to think about doing an action for COP26 in Glasgow. We wanted to do it in a way that embodied the different world we long for, rather than the reactive activism we were all exhausted with.

Someone (I can’t remember who it was) suggested that we do a check in round on ‘what has been colonised in me’. The resulting sharing was powerful and moving, so we decided to do it again, this time, picking an area of life to focus our thinking and feeling on. It worked so well that we always began that way. I found it so potent that I wanted to do a whole session that was just about that and from there it developed from one sharing circle into a practice of several. The outline of how I’ve done it is here, but it’s intended to be a living practice, so feel free to make it your own.

Hope to see you on April 8th xxe!

Diving deeper

You can use the below resources to become more skilled at this. Explore them at your own leisure, before or after checking out the workshop.

Part of the Transition movement