Maile Arvin on Kuleana and Indigenous Feminist Community
Imagine Otherwise by Ideas on Fire · 15 minutes ·

Maile Arvin on Kuleana and Indigenous Feminist Community

Community building is a cornerstone of progressive social and intellectual movements. Resisting capitalist individualism, we know how vital social bonds are in sustaining our identities, our dreams, and even our very lives.

But it’s easy to romanticize community and forget the work involved in forging and tending those social bonds—labor that often reflects the very power dynamics that we seek to dismantle.

In episode 136 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Kānaka Maoli feminist scholar Maile Arvin, who explains why she approaches community building through the Native Hawaiian concept of kuleana, or a reciprocal relationship of responsibility.

In the conversation, Maile and Cathy consider the racially gendered labor of community and responsibility as well how Native Hawaiian communities and curators are drawing on both to transform colonial legacies.

The episode wraps up with Maile’s vision of imagining otherwise in the classroom through centering decolonization and accessibility in her Indigenous feminist pedagogy.

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