Why did you choose the name Ashram? Aren’t you appropriating that word?
In a world where cultural appropriation within unequal power relations is rife, we are conscious that we are “remixing” and, some would even say “appropriating” the word “Ashram”.
Many see an Ashram as a physical space, but our intention is to invoke the original Sanskrit meaning of the word; “a place of effort” or “place of being”; as something that is beyond a physical space or even a virtual space – ‘Ashram’ as a state of mind, soul and physiology.
We chose ‘Activist Ashram’ as a decolonisation of language, to reflect the cultural diversity of /The Rules community and to honour this as a ’place of being’ for activists.
We want to pay homage to the cultural lineage of the word and the deep Vedic wisdom from which the ‘Ashram’ was born.
Who can apply for this fellowship?
This fellowship is open to activists, community leaders, organizers, bloggers, artists & other deserters of the capitalist system, age 18 & up.
Is this fellowship paid?
/The Rules will be be providing a modest stipend as part of our wellness practice.
How long is the fellowship & is there an in-person component?
The fellowship will last for one year, from February 2016-February 2017. There will be an in-person retreat for the fellows convened by /TR in February 2016 where we will bring together the cohort to share experiences, learn from each other, & help us develop what this #ActivistAshram looks like in practice.
Will the fellowship accommodate non-English speakers?
While /The Rules aims to be inclusive in all aspects of our work, unfortunately there are still challenges we face due to available resources; translation & multilingualism included. At this time, the fellowship material is only available in English & the retreat will be convened with English as the main language.
If you believe you have the ability/resources to help us address this issue, please contact us at email@example.com.
How prestigious is this fellowship?
If you think this is a prestigious fellowship, we discourage you from applying. We have no formal affiliations with anyone. We try to be at the liminal edges of all our relationships, and we hope you do too. There’s a system to be dismantled and remade. How can one look for establishment approval during this revolutionary process? Our responsibility is to our communities, our families, our comrades, and to Mother Earth. And we recognize that these are choices that we have made.
Our aim is not the longevity of our organization or job security. If we become Amnesty International in 20 years, we have failed ourselves, our generation, and generations after us who will inherit the planet we have destroyed. We must delegitimize the current system and help build the better world we know is possible. For now, this means that we are trying to get enough resources to help connect various struggles and ‘remove the veils’ at this critical moment in our planet’s history. At some point, this will also require the implosion of /The Rules as an organization. We look forward to that moment. And hope we go out like a supernovae.
In short, not at all.