terugluisteren: Jeremy Lent & Luis Bracamontes

Tijdens het festivalweekend 2021 onderzochten we, samen met journalist Wouter van Noort en filosoof Jessica van der Schalk van de NRC Future Affairs podcast, hoe we weg kunnen komen uit de zingevingscrisis die onze levens beheerst. Het uitgebreide interview met schrijver Jeremy Lent en de voordracht van spoken word artiest Luis Bracamontes kun je hier terugluisteren.


We bestaan niet alleen maar uit ‘selfish genes’ want de geschiedenis laat juist zien dat samenwerking en symbiose inherent zijn aan het leven, al op het niveau van de kleinste organismen. Voor Lent is symbiose dan ook een sleutelbegrip in zijn werk. 

“And over those millions of years, as we evolved to be humans, we developed moral emotions. So rather than overcome our selfish gene and learn to be moral, actually we deeply feel emotions like compassion, we deeply love people who are generous, we have a sense of fair play. We deeply feel a sense of morality arising from our group identity.”

En dit is pas het begin van het gesprek, waarin we komen te spreken over hoe Lent biologie, ecologie, kwantumfysica, neurowetenschappen met oude inzichten uit het taoïsme, boeddhisme, neo-confucianisme en het wereldbeeld van inheemse culturen met elkaar verbindt.

Luister het hele gesprek hier

"We deeply feel a sense of morality arising from our group identity." Jeremy Lent


Na afloop van het interview geeft spoken word artiest Luis Bracamontes een voordracht over hoe ook persoonlijke identiteit onderdeel is van de grote symbiosis van alles. Lees het gehele gedicht hieronder terug (in het Engels).

“The future is queer” by Luis Bracamontes

What is the future of meaning?
I mean…what is the meaning of
future? Is there even any future to hope for?
And I know it’s meant well. But what do we mean when we mean well?
And…may I ask, do we even mean well? Is it mean to say this may seem meaningless? 

What do you think?
Because it feels as if our future is an illusion packaged as a commodity
The carrot and the stick, and us the oblivious donkeys
forever chasing the novelty 

It’s hard to be optimistic about it all
When every system of meaning is crashing down
The higher the hopes, the harder the fall

You can’t trust the government. You can’t trust religion
You can’t trust each other
You can’t trust yourself 

As we drown in these post-truth, deep fake, fake news
Lost in our relativistic worldviews
Where do we go from here? No seriously, where do we go from here? 

No generation in human history has ever been this lost
We are “rich” and “modern” yes, but at what cost 

Because what does progress mean when some move forward at the expense of the others?
Trapped by the paradigms of white supremacy and neocolonialism
Exploitation in the shape of the free market and performative environmentalism
We like it when oppression tastes familiar.

We want to break free. We want to flourish and find authenticity.
We crave a feeling of togetherness
Shared experiences at the deepest level of interconnectedness
Yet we end up alienated in this rat race
Just another sad lonely faceless carcase 

So here’s a question: When the dust hasn’t settled and it’s all up in the air,
who am I but pure potential ready for whatever else is out there?
Intersectional alchemy
My name, my gender, my race, my believes
all become intertwined
A holistic symbiosis of me myself and I

And as I come into my truth this is when I realize
My future is not bleak. My future is loud.
My future is queer! My future is proud!

Because who are we when we don’t question what is expected of us?
when we don’t challenge how we are supposed to look?
when we don’t fight for who we love?

Queerness is the cornerstone of our liberation
Queerness is a permission to be authentic
Queerness is transformation, unapologetic
Queerness is challenging bigotry and remain skeptic
A journey of self-compassion

Isn’t that what we all want?
Being free to weave our own strand
In this intersectional web of meaning
A harmonic dance of life
Complex interweaving, yes you heard that right
Forever changing

I know deep within me the future is queer
Radical imagination and a change that’s near
Truly meaning who you want to be
In this complex network of life, the queerest, truest,
most authentic self you can be.

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