“One does not use a sword to kill a snail.”

The Ligali organisation is guided by an Africentric political and spiritual philosophy. 

We do not believe it is possible to address the complexity of the many injustices we face without an understanding and grounding in both politics and spiritual faith. 

For most people, coming to terms with any injustice or trauma, big or small can be a difficult process. For example, learning about Maafa for the first time or trying to process injustices that are still occurring typically causes suffering of the heart, head and spirit. It’s similar in many ways to the seven stages of grief, first there is shock and then denial occurs. People start to say ‘slavery couldn’t be that bad’, ‘we did it to ourselves’, 'if he wasn't up to no good the police wouldnt have killed him', ‘the government didn’t know’, ‘we deserved it’…

None of this is true and is evidence of spiritual trauma. For many people with an activist, artist or a caring, empathic spirit, these seven stages are similar but different from how we process injustice. Ligali rejects the passivity of grief management and encourages the healing from violating trauma through recognition of these seven steps to elevation and resolution through active organisation.

1. Denial - This the fastest way to initially cope by helping to lessen the pain, however by losing empathy and artificially blocking the immense pain in this way our emotional state can become cold to the reality of others still in agony and in need of our help.  

2. Guilt – For many, we can ask ourselves questions like ‘why didn’t we do more to prevent this’? But ownership of a circumstance that we could not prevent can also cause us to question our own purpose. It is important at this stage to seek others who also think they must carry this burden in order to share and confront this unfair emotional load.

3. Anger – This powerful emotion is a natural response to the extreme pain of loss. It also occurs when we realise that an injustice was preventable. If left uncontrolled it can develop into bitterness and addiction to anger itself. This is when rituals that include art, music or dance therapy can be at its most healing. Most people go on protest marches at this time allowing the rage to seep out in a safe space. 

4. Reasoning – This is when we try to make sense of what has happened, not to accept it, but to understand it. We start to construct our own narrative, the people’s history. We are still vulnerable to propaganda but the process also starts reconnecting us with others that feel and can make sense of our pain. Write things down, ideas, dreams and hopes. Start imagining a better future and making it tangible.

5. Agonising – This is a dangerous phase. By now it is natural to be experiencing bouts of depression with personal reflections questioning why we feel so powerless in this struggle. It can take a long time to heal from this phase which alters us forever. Honest reflection brings us to the realisation that together we are invincible, we must work in order to effectively wield our power. 

6. Organising – This is when we start to look inwards and upwards. It is the moment we take charge of our depression and decide to reconstruct ourselves in order to once again walk with hope and purpose. Be creative, draw upon your faith, be it your Creator, your Ancestor or logic for wisdom and strength. 

7. Justice - At this stage we acknowledge and accept the reality of our loss. This process allows us to once again feel all of our emotions enabling us to heal and move on to form new relationships so we can once again work to change our world.