Welcome to Terra Incognita Media where we are dedicated to providing nuanced narratives about race, class, and gender in relation to nature.
a social justice lens to the natural world
Our community is growing! The last three (!) years have laid the foundation for us to build an inclusive, intersectional, independent platform. We are working behind the scenes to make Terra Incognita an official non-profit — one that pays contributors what they deserve. Your support fuels us. For those who have donated $1 a month to our patreon (link in bio), thank you to the depths of the universe and back!! And for those who can’t make any donations — that’s totally okay! We love you! We want our platform to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, and if you’re a reader/follower/supporter we welcome you! Independent, intersectional feminist media that tackles the pervasive supremacy and patriarchy of the outdoor industry is hard to come by, which is why we are dedicated to continue the fight to publish without corporate sponsorship or ads. We’re not going anywhere, and we look forward to building anti-racist community with you ✨
We are so over the fact that HIStrionic crying is a golden ticket for men like Kavanaugh to avoid accountability for the violence that they cause. Read the latest essay about this very triggering time — “If anyone was wondering, this is how violent and dangerous men stay in power. This is how patriarchal supremacy functions. Those in support of Kavanaugh rushed to his side with comfort and acknowledgement of his pain as he played the victim because this country conditions us to respond with sympathy to male tears, and Brett Kavanaugh knows this.” #webelieveyou #blaseyford #anitahill
“The driving force of ongoing colonization can be seen in the optics and performance of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. At this point in our nation’s history ‘women’s rights’ is a performance piece with no substance, and White men like Brett Kavanaugh foam at the mouth, chomp at the bit, and cry to seal, bind, and reassert their power.” — new essay link in bio in response to this horrendous reality we are living in. Sending love and support to all women, trans womxn, and femmes out there, particularly Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Asian, and all womxn of color. #blaseyford #anitahill #ibelieveher #webelieveyou
We had the great honor of catching up with @jolievarela of @indigenouswomenhike after she returned from the physical, emotional, and spiritual task of hiking the Nüümü Poyo with her Indigenous sisters. We are grateful for her words, her bright energy, and vigorous dedication to her community. Follow along with Indigenous Women Hike, and donate to their gear library in Payahüünadü (Bishop, CA), so the communities who belong to the land can access it. Message us for details on how to do this and read the full interview with Jolie Varela by visiting the link in our bio. 🏕
How the Unintentional Racism of the Outdoor Industry is Getting in the Way of Creating Authentic Community. Link in profile. .
#nike #colinkaepernick #blacklivesmatter #equity #inclusion #diversity #racialjustice #whitefragility #whiteness #whitesupremacy
We’ve been discussing the surface level attempts of the outdoor industry to grapple with racism because let’s call it what it is. The problem is that most people at the top in the industry like to stick with safe words like “inclusion,” “diversity,” “equity.” And they want to define these words themselves. And while all of those things are great and necessary, we need people who can get behind dismantling White supremacy, examining Whiteness, and practicing anti-racism in their work places, at home, at their favorite national park. Because the violence of racism does not disappear in the woods or mountains. Everything is political. #Repost @vanessatreks ・・・
When I have a little more time to clear my head I’m going to write a longer piece about being pulled over in the National Park while I was driving a van full of Black women down the mountain after experiencing a magical hike together. I’m going to tell you about the park police officer who approached my van with his hand on his gun and demanded I roll down the back windows so he could see who’s inside. I’m going to tell you how he accused me of being drunk. Asked me what I was doing in the park and then told me if I cooperated he wouldn’t give me a ticket... a ticket for what I asked? Driving too close to the car in front of you. “That’s a crime in Colorado....” I led three advanced hikes over the course of three days this last weekend. I’ve personally brought hundreds of Black women to @rockynps over the past four years. I’ve organized trips at every park in the country. Inspired thousands of more to take a step into the great outdoors. I was on the cover of @outsidemagazine starred in a Christmas commercial for @rei partnered with the @sierraclub to train Outdoor trip leaders, was named a @yosemitenps Ambassador and yet this man was asking me what I was doing in the park. Asked me while still holding his hand to his gun, despite seeing our hiking gear when we rolled the windows down. Asked me what I was doing there as if he wasn’t standing on stolen land and I was somehow trespassing. This is why I turn down opportunities to speak on diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. (Continued in comments)
The amazing women of @indigenouswomenhike — Let us stop tone-policing. Stop historical revisionism. Stop historical amnesia. .
#Repost @indigenouswomenhike with @get_repost
We arrived at the suspension bridge before Baxter Pass and we decided to have lunch and be in the water. We sat in a group and we were approached by an older gentlemen. People were always curious when they saw our group and asked a lot of questions. This man asked us what trail we were hiking. I told him we were hiking the Nüümü Poyo and explained a bit. He said “oh ok.” and then walked away. A short while later he came back and told me “Ya know the way you were talking to me makes it seem like you have a chip on your shoulder.” Then I said “sir, I’m sorry if you feel that way. That was not my intention.” Then he asked me “what was the last history book you’ve read?” I answered “it was a while ago. Probably in College.” Then he told us “We’ll I’ve read four this year.” Amara asked him if he’d read any Native American history. He said no. By then two of our women got up and left the area for fear that they would speak out of anger. The man then told us that Ishi was the last Native in the Sierra. I told him “Sir, that’s just not true. We’re right here in front of you.” Then he said “well you’re lucky the white man never came through.” We said “sir, yes they did. There are five reservations in Payahuunadü that prove that.” It was a very frustrating moment on the trail that taught us patience and calm in the face of ignorance. We held our ground and the conversation ended. Then we were approached by a young couple who had heard the exchange and wanted to let us know how amazing our journey was. Then right after three women who had heard we were on the trail came up to us and said they were honored to meet us and they were in awe of our journey. They asked us what they as white women can do to support Indigenous communities. It was just what we needed after the frustrating conversation with the older man. The majority of the people we met on the Nüümü Poyo were genuinely interested and supportive of our efforts. I’m proud of these women and the strength they showed in this moment and through
We are here for this! We support Kaepernick and taking a knee. While also acknowledging that Nike is not really making any radical moves towards social justice, we are totally thrilled to see more Black, Indigenous, Brown, and Asian folks being represented in outdoor/sports media. Yes yes yes!
#repost @kaepernick7 with @get_repost
Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt
We have built our lives on top of a completely false human invention: Whiteness. Our belief and commitment to the construct of Whiteness keeps this supremacist nation going. Does that mean we have built our entire society, the schools, the hospitals, the businesses, the restaurants, the parks, the pools, the grocery stores, on a lie? New content: link in bio.
Indigenous people’s day everyday. Fuck Columbus. #Repost @urbannativeera with @get_repost
As we prepare for some Indigenous People’s Day planning... dope work by @nativeson_x
This is so absolutely offensive and disgusting, but this is White supremacy at its most overt. @apache.bicycles should stop this horribly harmful Westernized trope of Native peoples. Indigenous people are not marketing material. This is colonization. It is ongoing. The process is happening now. We are settlers and complicit if we are not Indigenous. .
#Repost @greggdeal with @get_repost
As many of you know, I love my bike. Cycling is absolutely one of my all time favorite things and one of the few things my father and I connected on when I was a kid. As @nativesoutdoors has already begun to point out, there is serious issues in the outdoor industry of associating outdoors with Indigenous people and then using that as an excuse to appropriate, take and steal imagery, likeness, and designs to sell products under a twisted sense of romantic notions of Indigeneity. The latest manifestation comes by way of a new Czech bike company called @apache.bicycles made its debut at the Euro-bike expo. As you can see, they’re using indigenous imagery, indigenous stereotypes and tropes for their marketing. The lack of respect Indigenous people get in the US is mirrored throughout the rest of the world, relegating our entire likeness to a marketable relic to be appropriated and used for monetary gain while perpetuating myths and stereotype to the rest of the world. I know a lot of Apache that won’t like this, but of course they’re are using images from all sorts of tribes, but regulating wares to tipis, feathers and white women dressed in “Indian” costumes while calling their bikes things like “Scalp”. Let’s show them how we feel about the gross misuse and appropriation model they are using to sell bikes. Let’s show them what we think of their marketing ploy and prove to them that not only are we a modern living people, but that we have not survived 500+ years of systematic genocide only to be thrust into systemic racism concerning our very existence. #wearenotyourmascot #peoplenotmacots #stillhere #peoplenotmascots #ourcultureisnotforsale
We vote that we have a @pdxclimbersofcolor night every month because the beats and B-Boy McLovin’, plus the vivacious enthusiasm from the host @annemarieisinatree_ was electric, inspiring, and rejuvenating! This is the kind of community we live for!! Thanks @basecampbrewing for providing the space for all of us to get together. ❤️we saw our friends from @alpenglowcollective.co and @nextadventure too! 🌲🌲🌲
@pdxclimbersofcolor !! Trivia night! @annemarieisinatree_ hosts and talks about why PDX climbers of color exists and why it’s important to see more inclusive representation in climbing and in the outdoors! ❤️
Show up and hang with us as we support @pdxclimbersofcolor on Thursday night! We are going to be drinking beer and answering questions in the name of this incredible nonprofit spearheaded by the one and only @annemarieisinatree_ ❤️❤️❤️we are so excited to cheers with you all! See you Thursday!
Read our latest published piece: Three Action Items for White people beginning their process of detaching from their commitment to the construct of Whiteness. Link in bio. What the hell does "commitment to the construct of Whiteness" even mean?! Our favorite podcast examining Whiteness is "Seeing White." We recommend listening to episode 37 as co-host, Chenjerai Kumanyika poses the question, "How attached are you to the idea of being White?”
—- Image of a young girl skateboarding in all white courtesy of Emily Reider
“After spending time looking at my commitment to Whiteness, I have come to realize that blaming patriarchy was a desperate and comfortable explanation that suited my White fragility quite well. I could blame men. I didn’t need to look at myself at all because I was a victim. Before I began this lifelong examination, I believed myself as outside of those other White people who voted for Trump. I saw myself as different from Trump. But those White people, Trump, and myself are of the same cloth. We are all White supremacists. Our commitment to the construct of Whiteness just looks and sounds different.” Read the whole essay by @erin.k.monahan via link in bio.
Our newest essay from Nia Abram @yourrudestfriend details the politics of Black hair as she navigates the reader through her previous experience of attending Colorado College all the while being inundated by Whiteness. Link in profile.
🌱🌬☀️We want to introduce our newest contributing artist, Clio Cy, @slutwitch666 who’s art you can find accompanying Abram’s essay. 🌫🌫🌫
Cy is a queer non-binary cyborg filmmaker, 2D artist, and writer with a degree in Film and Media Studies from Colorado College. Their work focuses primarily on sexuality and intimacy through a intersectional feminist lens. They seek to both learn and break free from rigid constraints of identity (and society) and use their work as a method of exploration and exhalation. Through the power of shock and awe, they hope to transform the world around us and make it a safer place for black, brown, and queer people.
Give them a follow: @slutwitch666
#Repost @erin.k.monahan with @get_repost
My white skin and my whiteness of which I have built my identity on are different things, and this nuance is important. Growing up, there were truths I believed about myself for having this skin: good, moral, pure, benevolent. When White people think of “race” it’s often in regard to those with non-white skin. This myopic view is what has kept us from looking at ourselves. What does it mean for us to be White? We, White people, like to think we know a lot about Blackness, (without having learned the true history of this country), but what we don’t realize is just how much is at stake when we don’t expose and disrupt our Whiteness. We have come to create our identities from a standpoint of opposition and difference — always in contrast to those who we perceive as not White. So, I have come to realize that I don’t know myself. And how can you if you have not detached from your commitment to Whiteness? We have thought ourselves as holy, a notion completely dependent on the unholy “others” that we divide ourselves from...yet we never ask those who we consider “other” what they think of us. It’s because we are afraid to know. And it’s because we already know. From an early age I was instilled with a deep fear of rape and murder. But what is more true and terrifying is my unexamined Whiteness — a completely oppressive and false construct that has led to police calls on innocent people, prison sentences, global harm, and death. How do we destroy this invisible, ever-eluding fog that governs who we think we are? How do we take down and free ourselves of a rhetorical construction? Our identities and agency have been compromised and it’s time we invest our loyalty in humanity, and no longer a system that keeps us in unnecessary fear, anxiety, and isolation. We don’t need to keep negotiating our humanity for the sake of the false promises and the impossible milestones of Whiteness. We are in ourselves enough. We need to move beyond paralysis, engage in self-reform, and forge multiracial friendships, connections, and coalitions.
We can’t wait for Refuge Outdoor Festival! It’s a weekend of camping, hikes, wokrshops, and music geared toward POC, inclusive of all!! Coming to the Seattle area September 28-30th! See you there!
Repost @refugeoutdoorfestival with @get_repost
If not now than when?
Simply put representation matters. We are showcasing the voices and faces of people of color who enjoy, want to participate, or are employed in the outdoors (recreation, conservation, and so much more). Because life is hard and we all need opportunities to have real conversations. And to build community and connect people with resources for on-going engagement.
Bringing together people at all levels in the outdoors we, the people, can meet the needs of a diverse and inclusive community.
#thetrailaheadisbeautiful #inspiredbynature #weareoutdoors #representationmatters
#webelongoutside #communitygoals #realconversations #communitybuilding #diversifyoutdoors #theadventuregap #brownoutdoors #pocoutdoors #nature #outdoorsreimagined #weouthere #pnw #optoutside #moretocome #letsmeetoutside #refugefest
As an independent, (soon to be) nonprofit anti-racist feminist media outlet, we’re at a loss for words (not really) for our vibrant community. We are immeasurably more powerful together. And we can keep going with your help. Please consider donating to our Patreon account. Even $1 helps. $5 gets you a subscription to our weekly digest of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about. Join the Terra crew and subscribe through the link in our bio. We’re excited to connect with you. You’re the reason we hustle. Thank you for wanting an inclusive, anti-racist world too.
Image via Fillip Zrnzevic