History

Land

In March of 2019, I inherited a home on 6.7 acres of land in rural south Georgia after my father passed away. It was a home my parents planned to live in after they retired, both having multigenerational roots in Georgia. I did not expect to become a steward of this land and I expected my parents to live longer than they did. However, as someone who has been shaped by abolitionist organizing and Black feminist thought, I am inviting this unexpected inheritance as a opportunity for fugitive planning. The house and land, the do.deca.hedron, is currently being used as a residence for Black and Indigenous LBGTQ+ people that is focused on healing relationships to space and power through arts and abolitionist practice. The house currently has 2 residents with plans to weave in 4 - 6 additional people throughout the summer and fall being mindful of COVID 19 distancing protocols.

Stewarding this land is an exercise in healing my lineage's relationship to space and power. My mother's people for example, still live in Sparks, Georgia, where I remember spending some summers as a kid at my Aunt Lucille's house. The Yearbys, my mother's people, moved to Sparks after reconstruction times from Brooks County, 20 miles away from the do.deca.hedron. One of my enslaved ancestors Cain Golden, worked in the cotton fields at Okapilco Plantation in nearby Brooks County Georgia that was owned by the Scriven-Gaulden family. That plantation is today owned by a Wall street billionaire who has converted it into a hunting preserve for the Georgia bobwhite quail.

Do.deca.hedron is practicing what it could look like to return to the scene and perform abolition by expanding Black geographies. Personally this project is asking me to be open to receive help and support to steward this land from my loved ones and within and beyond my larger social networks. After over 10 years of doing prison abolition work and being engaged in Black queer feminist thought and organizing, I have learned the importance of the arts as a powerful tool for building the imaginative capacities and developing the material strategies of abolition. For example, I am inspired by Cameron Rowland's, Depreciation, 2018 an art installation that is the result of Rowland forming a non-profit to buy one acre of the former Maxcy Plantation on Edisto Island. Rowland used a restrictive deed to lower the real estate value of the land to $0 so that it could be removed from relation of ownership, thereby abolishing its capitalist value. This one of many examples of how Black artists and Black art praxis operates as a crucial entry point into abolitionist work and crafting abolitionist strategies. Thinking with Rowland, this project is experimenting with how to deal with the exchange value attached to land while honoring the use value of land as that which makes our existence possible.

I welcome any financial support you can offer this project. Thank you for your support,
Treva Ellison