Skip to content

BRANCH MAGAZINE: Gentle Dismantlings

Winter 2023 - Branch issue 7 - Gentle Dismantlings - out now

Calling All the Wild Ones

“We do not live in a simulation—a streamlined world of products, results, experiences, reviews—but rather on a giant rock whose other life-forms operate according to an ancient, oozing, almost chthonic logic. 

Snaking through the mist of the banal everyday is a deep weirdness, a world of flowerings, decompositions, and seepages, of a million crawling things, of spores and lacy fungal filaments, of minerals reacting and things being eaten away—all just on the other side of the chain-link fence.” 

Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, 2019

If there is one word we could use to describe the current task of facing ecological destruction in ways that enable the survival of our species along with the six million others who dwell alongside us, perhaps that word should be redefinition

For in defining ourselves as separate from (and superior to) our more-than-human neighbours—animal and vegetal, machine and algorithmic—as subjects in a world of objects, we drink from the well of “deep, unnamed sadness” that the Native American botanist Prof. Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer speaks of when describing species loneliness—a sensation felt deep in the bones, which emerges from the loss of earthly relationship after centuries of ecological domination. 

But what if there is a different way forward? How can we foster a just, equitable and joyful transition through alternative means of kinship and worlding? How can we redefine business-as-usual, not only with regards to how we view ourselves but also the intricate webs of more-than-human connection which make us, us? 

Most importantly of all, how can we gently dismantle the structural forces that prevent us from interacting with each other—and all other life on earth—with care and celebration?

Making of Gentle Dismantlings
Collage behind the scenes of Gentle Dismantlings

To bring this special issue into being, we invited more-than-human feminisms around the globe, from India to the Bahamas, to join us in uplifting emergent interspecies worlds within this world. We combined forces for the first time—across a magazine for the internet and things1, a magazine for a sustainable internet2, and a critical design studio3—conversing across platforms, cars and cockpits in between the spätis of Berlin and the misty shores of Vancouver.

Exhausted by the daily inundation of media and hot takes on the inevitability of climate change, we decided to experiment in moving beyond a damage-centered approach to one that was desire-based4.  

In an open call for contributors, we sought far and wide for the wildish happenings that were actively engaged in fostering decolonial, feral, queer, intersectional and ancestral technologies (long evoked by communities on the margins). We invited future activisms rooted in pleasure and joy, and social imaginations that would energise. We received an enthusiastic response from projects, happenings and dream-spaces around the world—abundant evidence that the next generation of posthuman feminisms are already hard at work, reframing ecological, structural and technological forces in ways that make change. 

We are pleased to share the most notable tales in this (very special!) special issue, many of which are still in active emergence. By exchanging notes across alternative ways of being and dwelling alongside, they express the many ways that global injustices (from species extinction to technological accumulation) can be ever-so-gently, yet powerfully, transformed. 

The diverse nourishments of these seven featured pieces are designed to be absorbed like vitamins: metabolized slowly and in your own time, fostering wisdom and inspiration:

Gentle Dismantlings Zine
Gentle Dismantlings Zine

We have also included a Gentle Dismantlings zine which expresses how the writings above, while separate entities, can also be combined to build a galaxy of possibilities. The zine can be printed out at home, folded, shared with others, and then unfolded into a poster.

With these assorted tales—wild, nascent, messy, joyful, still being born—we start to make a thousand small cuts into unjust systems—the kind that make good trouble. We honor all those who ‘made a fuss’ before us, and all the fuss yet to be made by those still logging on.

Through them (and through you, dear readers) we invite new worldings to emerge, a mosaic elegantly bound with the care-full weavings of interspecies fellowship and regeneration.


Kit, Julia & Michelle

Gentle Dismantlings How to Fold Zine
How to fold the zine