Training for the Not-Yet: Imagination as a Collective Exercise of Care

Lecturer: Jeanne van Heeswijk

When the future is so unknown, how do we train for this, for the “Not-Yet”?

“Training for the Not-Yet” is a foundational part of my practice. It’s about practicing modes of embodied being together and thinking about which different realities need sharing and practicing. What are the ways we can commit ourselves to share in different realities that are non-linear or are not there yet to be fulfilled? To create space for this but while doing so not replicating the same problems and the same structures, and to create pathways—emotional, physical, even financial—that allow people to be there, to show up, and to take time to imagine.

The exhibition Training(s) for the Not-Yet took place at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht. It brought together practitioners from a wide range of disciplines to share their knowledge and methodologies on social engagement, radical collectivity, and active empowerment for ways to be together otherwise. The exhibition evolved through a series of trainings ranging from “dreamscaping” to radical listening, from creating sanctuary to enacting radical care, from fighting housing struggles to building solidarity economies, and from composing intersectional alliances to becoming collective. “Training for the Not-Yet” is a curriculum of community learnings, performative workshops, theoretical frameworks and learning objects that are currently hosted on, a collective online publishing platform that will be changing and growing as it hosts past and future trainings, digital interactive tools, exercises, and resources, with the ability for participants of trainings to make edits and annotations, and put learnings online.

The first session introduces the topic of Training for the Not-Yet followed by a presentation of learning objects and community learnings. We will discuss a series of “Trainings,” and we will collectively practice some of the exercises that are part of it and that were made available for the collective online publishing platform. For the second session, participants will be asked to create a “collective exercise of care” based on their own practice for the online platform.

Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local.” Her long-term community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and pedagogy in order to assist communities to take control of their own futures.