PHELAMANGA | The End of Lies, the Beginning of Truth

[A nonce word or 'occasionalism' is a term created - often in the moment - with abstract and mixed meanings. Usually intended to be used 'just this once' (nonce), these words aren't part of general, mainstream practice, but could be incorporated and spread with time. For example, phelamanga is a nonce word from the South African song Scatterlings of Africa by Johnny Clegg and Juluka/Savuka. As the story goes, the word was created on the spot to fill a gap in the lyrics. It is a combination of two isiZulu words: PHELA (peh-luh) which means 'end, 'finished', 'entire', 'present', 'whole', and AMANGA (uh-mung-guh) which translates to 'lies'. Essentially, the end of lies, or the beginning of truth.]

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Towards the end of 2020 I was selected as one of five futurists to participate in a writing programme hosted by the Association of Professional Futurists

"Emerging Fellowships  are awarded to some of the most promising new futurists in order to give  them a platform for cultivating their voice and to illustrate current  futures issues."

It is here that I have decided to explore the futures of truth. The intention is to develop this into a body of work; an interconnected ecosystem of explorations around the topic of truth.

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I have identified 9 topics. These are subject to change as more insight is gathered, more opportunities explored, and more ideas are formed.

PART I

  • Truth Fragmented: Rumour, gossip & secrets
  • Truth Enchanted: Magic, conspiracy, and superstition
  • Truth Embedded: Belief, myth & symbols

PART II

  • Truth Falsified: Fact, fringe & sci-fi
  • Truth Enacted: Historical archive & oral history
  • Truth Extended: Realities, memories & recollections

PART III

  • Truth Embodied: Storytelling, art & performance
  • Truth Disguised: Whistleblower, trickster & scapegoat
  • Truth Emerging: Dreams, illusions & imaginings

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The anticipated outcome is open to change and suggestion. Some ideas include:

  • A published book (physical or virtual)
  • A collection of children's books (inspired by lessons of truth)
  • A limited edition of artworks (abstract interpretations of truth)
  • An interactive online platform (open access and a living archive that people can contribute to)
  • A series of sessions on the topics of truth (workshops, podcasts, and other formats)
  • Community-based projects (collaborating with leadership, businesses, and organisations to implement change around the topics of truth)

As the saying goes: 

“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” 

To accomplish this I need a community, a network, a system of support. In the form of:

  • Conversations and sharing of ideas, knowledge and opinion
  • Connections and access to relevant opportunities
  • Funding and financial backing 

Community members will receive:

  • Behind-the-scenes stories, musings, snapshots, and findings on truth
  • Invitation to observe or participate in truth workshops and seminars
  • Availability for truth-related project collaboration 
  • Open to other requests

If this interests or excites you, here are some support options that I would appreciate:

  • Contract - what are you able to offer (financially), and what can I give in return (skills/services)?
  • Gift - what are you able to offer (finance/skills/services), without expectation or obligation of return?
  • Trade - what are you able to offer (skills/services), and what can I give in return (skills/services)?