A Call to Gather featuring Musakhar Butt

An Engagement in Learning Through Unlearning
Saturday at 5 PM – 6:30 PM
The New School, 63 5th Avenue, Room L206, New York, NY–10011

Over the course of the evening Musakhar Butt will lead us through a focused listening of two songs with which he begins each day. By framing religious prayer through his personal practice he will introduce us to songs that call people to gather and help them consider fundamental questions regarding their place in the universe.


Following on our previous discussion-based project, the Dictionary of the Possible, Shifter invites you to join in a new kind of conversation. With the Dictionary, we worked to unpack the many meanings of the words we share. With our new series, Unlearning, we invite you to take a closer look at the worlds we share. The aim will be for all of us to unlearn our assumptions and prejudices about each other in a time when the urgency for new solidarities has never been greater. To this end, Unlearning will ask us to abandon our default ways of speaking and thinking, and embrace new ways of communicating that draw out each person’s innate capacity for both practice and reflection.

This will be a new experiment for all of us, and here are some fluid guidelines that we offer as a point of departure.

1. Each session is about a labor of love.

2. Professional amateurism should be embraced.

3. Our time is ours, and we can learn anew how to use it.

4. Economic value is not a sufficient logic for how we spend our time.

5. Rather than describe, we will enact.

6. More than speaking, we will look and listen.

7. Suggestions take precedence over directions.

8. The process matters more than the outcome.

9. The process matters most when we are all engaged.

10. We have no time for cynicism and postures of solemnity. Sincerity, humility and openness are our basic values.


Musakhar Butt was trained as a design engineer and worked on MRI, Ultrasound and Lithotrophy equipment for Toshiba America. He is currently engaged in post graduate studies at The New School, where he works as a safety officer.