Welcome to yansoon.ink, a storytelling hub with a focus that includes but is not limited to: the exploration of ancestral foods and plants, indigenous erasure and the joy that comes with reconnection. The mythologies and stories we tell ourselves, and reimagining these stories for our modern struggles. My attempt to understand the grief of cultural and ancestral erasure is what leads me deeper into the theme of remembrance. Into researching and finding stories through landscapes, plants, foods, folklore, individual and collective memories and cultural traditions that are still practiced to this day.
In my research practices I like to incorporate both academic and non academic ways of learning, understanding, and knowing. I am very much interested in other ways of knowing, and the various types of archives available to us. The landscape is an archive, so are collective and individual memories, our body is an archive, our dreams, plants are archives, elders are archives. There is so much we can learn when we open up to new ways of listening to and hearing in our world.
A a Palestinian and Arab, I am interested in deconstructing the many layers and colonizations that have been placed upon my identity. Starting with the erasure of the zionist colonization of part of my homeland, Palestine, and the forced borders and changes in landscape this brought with it. Similarly, I am also interested in deconstructing the erasure of the very rich and diverse SWANA identities and practices under the arabization of my homelands. To add to that, growing up in the U.S. or Turtle Island, there are many layers to erasure, American assimilation, and colonization to be explored. This erasure is part of what brought me to learn about native and local plants and foods in the Levant. For me, this exploration and remembrance is healing in the sense that is brings me a sense of wholeness, of reconnection, of joy and immense love for the earth and our place in it.
I chose the name Yansoon for my website because it is an Arabic word, it is an aromatic herb / seed from my homeland, and it literally means “they forgot”. I found this meaning to be very poignant, as I believe we are living in a time where we must urgently remember, putting back the pieces of our interconnectivity. From the ancestral wisdoms and traumas, to the importance of the earth and lands we live upon, to our bodies, our minds, our emotions, and the desires we often stuff away and ignore; the importance of remembrance I believe is part of the medicine we need to address the issues of our world today. Ultimately, this space will be an examination of stories, both those we tell ourselves, and those we create to give meaning and make sense of the world we live in. An opportunity to rewrite those stories, and find a new vision for our world.