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Dear AIME Friends,
Today at 3:15pm the 21st of October, 2023, atop the spiritually resonant Bunya Mountain, a new chapter in AIME’s journey is ceremoniously unfurled.
After two transformative weeks of reconnecting with nature and absorbing wisdom from knowledge holders across Australia, the AIME troop officially launched IMAGI-NATION.
This sacred ground, enveloped in the echoes of ceremonies and the profound wisdom of the land, serves not merely as a backdrop but as the very soil from which IMAGI-NATION will grow—nurtured by the rate of relations rather than the pace of transactions.
We stand at the precipice of a new era. After two decades of bridging divides and fostering relations, AIME is proud to unveil IMAGI-NATION—a digital country, a network of networks, designed to reconnect us with nature and each other in more meaningful ways. As we count down the 9 and a half years left before AIME’s intentional dissolution for the sake of relational health, we are reminded that every ending is but a new beginning.
For the past two weeks, we’ve been on a pilgrimage of sorts, traversing the diverse landscapes of Australia to reconnect with nature and the deep holders of knowledge that span 60,000 years. From traditional bush tucker and medicine to culturally significant sites, we’ve sat and listened deeply.
We then came together as a troop and traveled by bus from Gadigal Country (Sydney) to Gumbaynggirr Country (Coffs Harbour), to Bundjalung and Arakwal country (Byron Bay), to Turrbal and Jagera country, culminating here on the Bunya Mountains. It’s been a journey not just through space but through time, connecting us to traditions and intelligence that have been nurtured over millennia.
Along the way, we stopped in galleries and offered small groups ‘Puzzle.’ This wasn’t a show or an excuse to flaunt; it was an offering of imagination. A moment to remind people of the power of songlines, of music, of story, and of the collective energy of a special group of humans from around the world. These offerings took place in art galleries and featured artworks from Hoodie Economics, as well as special pieces donated in support of the IMAGI-NATION Gallery.
As we press a simple button to launch IMAGI-NATION, we are not beckoning you to another digital vortex designed to seize your attention and time. No, this is not a siren’s call to the digital abyss. This is an invitation to connect—truly connect—in a way that transcends pixels and algorithms.
We urge you, before diving into the digital landscape of IMAGI-NATION, to step outside and feel the earth beneath your feet, to breathe in the air that has been part of this planet for eons. Seek out the wisdom of local Indigenous thinking and intelligence; engage in heartfelt conversations with those around you. Let the natural world be your first point of contact.
When you are ready, IMAGI-NATION will be here, waiting to deepen those connections. Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of tools we’ve been crafting for over two decades, designed to bring you closer to people from outside the margins, to Indigenous systems thinking, and to new ways of engaging with the world. From river runs that accredit you to become a mentor, to imagination classrooms, to Joy corporations, IMAGI-NATION is not just a platform; it’s a Network of Networks.
We are giving all of this freely, opening up all the tools we’ve created over the last 20 years and making them open source. We don’t own the notes; we merely hold onto them for a bit and then let them go. Our aim is to create a space of connection and kindness where everyone who commences a journey into IMAGI-NATION leaves with relations from outside the margins and develops intelligence that they can then give give to others, expecting nothing in return.
As our AIME troop prepares to return to their respective homelands next week, stay tuned for more information on the first visas that will be opened up. We invite you to submit your application and be part of this groundbreaking journey.
In these tumultuous times, hope is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s the thread that weaves us into a tapestry of interconnectedness, reminding us of our relationship with nature and the songline that has the potential to lift us out of a disruptive and disconnected existence. This is a pivotal moment in history, a time to hold onto hope as if our lives—and the life of our planet—depend on it.
In the spirit of hope and imagination,
The AIME team