The Future Vs. Our Futures

Tamika Abaka-Wood
5 min readSep 24, 2022

In this very hour, on this very day, I am supposed to be facilitating a digital workshop for the official future. I prepared and designed for it, because I really care about the work I do.

But I am here writing this from my basement floor Bed-Stuy apartment, with a fresh cup of cafe Bustelo straight from Key Foods and a banging playlist in the background instead. I feel good.

I hope to activate this workshop one day because I believe we behave our way into our futures, as opposed to talking about them. I am spending this workshop time repurposing the workshop design into this baby-blog post, with 5 distinct chapters.

An [abridged version] of the legally-binding contract from the conference below:

This is a conference about designing for the future.
This is a conference about experiences of time.

We think you’d be a great fit to take part in our program.
In this document you’ll find our terms of agreement.

We are a non-profit 501(c)(3).
Workshop facilitators have no compensation.
Workshops are sold seperately from conference tickets which are 60USD.
As a facilitator you may receive 25% off of workshops.

You hereby grant us permission to use your voice, name, likeness and similar characteristics for the purpose of advertising, promoting and selling.

Thank you for being a part of our community and helping us to amplify our impact in the world.

Some things about me and the way I move through the world:

_I try to think about death pretty often, as a source of vitality, decision-making and tapping into whether I’m acting as a good ancestor or not.
_I believe that the root of many of the problems in our lives come down to short-term thinking, individualism and uneven distribution of power.
_I think about knowledge, who gets to create it, who gets to authenticate it, where it comes from and why.
_I don’t enjoy paying attention to clocks, I do enjoy paying attention to rhythms. I think we need to radically rethink the way we think about time.
_I think a lot about lives that have come before me and those that will come after me.
_I want people to wear black, dress sexy and take photographs at my funeral.
_I want people to display the full range of human emotion they desire when they’re there.

Three very simple things I feel on September 24th 2022:

  1. Old ways aren’t working, but new ones are yet to be born.
  2. There are Black people in the future. And we are from multiple cultures, languages, places, classes, gender-expressions, perspectives, points of view. And the futures are already here. And they are unimaginatively designed unfairly distributed and already colonised .
  3. We’re in between — in a liminal state. There’s so much possibility to fuck shit up and rearrange the futures if we’re brave, smart and interconnected enough.

My non-legally binding contract of good-faith and fair dealing:

Dial-an-Ancestor is a project about actively creating futures.
Dial-an-Ancestor is a project about deep time humility.
Dial-an-Ancestor is a project that intends to last 100 years.

I think you’re an ancestor and believe together, in differing ways, we need to shape today for tomorrow.
In the hotline you’ll find a place to listen and a place to speak.

I am Tamika Abaka-Wood.
I spend my time and money making this happen, gratefully and happily.
Dial-an-Ancestor [+1 844 992 2996] is toll-free, globally.
As a participant you are invited to share.

You hereby grant future generations the chance to inherit context, blueprints and behaviours directly from the source.
Your voice, name, likeness and similar characteristics are for you to decide whether to keep anonymous or not.
This hotline is not for the purpose of advertising, promoting and selling.

Dial-an-Ancestor, references so far.

Thank you:
1. Nouf Alhimary
For speaking Arabic, and giving us a view into your interior world.
2. Allison Jordan
For embracing and sharing your experience of crip time through music.
3. Nu Goteh
For sharing your ideas of how to restructure the worlds we exist in.
4. Emma Warren
For setting the music-trope-archetype-not-human story straight.
5. Frank Bonsu
For bringing Ghana to the world through your sounds of wisdom.
6. Heta Fell
For bringing the indigenous Hopi tribe approach to us.
7. Jesse Hirsh
For your infectious passion and diaspora foresight.
8. Poetivist
For bringing a sermon from and for the mandem, from Ghana.
9. Reva Rutherford
For being a giant with titties swinging low over all these fucked up towns white people created.
10. Anon.
For sharing your version of how to love.
11. Sasoraye
For helping us to transcend the identity-entity.
12. Anon
For reminding us that whilst we can speak to the dead, this is about us speaking to the alive.
13. yesha townsend
For your vivid understanding of Empancipation and ‘a good ass time can’t lie’ in Bermuda’s celebration.
14. Khidr Joseph
For injecting light into this, socks off, black-out drunk.
15. Darien La Beach
For living a soft life and giving us ‘free niggas’ keys.
16. Analise Sesay
For the invite to tend the land with Common Healing.
17. Anon
For the realest parenting advice in under 60 seconds.
18. Anon
For sharing how you as a feminine man walk these New York streets and are received. I think of you often.
19. Stanley Lumax
For the 3 P’s as a navigation tool.
20. Heather Symone.
For using your certified life coach skills and spreading them far and wide.
21. Justin El
For mapping invisible webs and opening the aperture.

And the other 54 callers who have recorded messages that have not yet been featured yet, and perhaps will but perhaps won’t.

Thank you for placing yourself in context, often citing those before you, and those after you.

+1 844 992 2996.