Engaged dis-identifications, NOTES#4: deflattening fragilities

1. Po-ethic inquiry: Social Ego

 “(…) you must confront the fact that “whiteness” is a social ego as void of inherent identity as the personal ego, and you have identified with it as much as your very own name, but without being willing to name it.” (Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, in Radical Dharma – Talking Race, Love and Liberation)

2. Stretching spaces:

  • Whose pain [matters]?
  • Who is in pain?
  • Who is in(flicting) pain?
  • What happens when whiteness others itself from the pain of racism?
  • What happens when whiteness un-numbs to the pain of racism?
  • When will we start to hold ourselves accountable for the pain of racism in ways that do not re-center the suffering of bodies that embody whiteness?
  • How can we separate feeling pain with feeling fragile, weak or insecure?
  • If individual hearts cannot hold collective pain what will be necessary for me to understand that ‘my heart’ is not ‘mine’?

3. Nuancing affectabilities

Fragilities are not that fragile. Fragilities can be:

alluring, enticing, seductive, convenient, comforting, soothing, self-indulging, reassuring,  egotistic, addictive,  disturbed, tedious, predictable, willful, instrumental, imune, perverse, cynical, rotten, agonizing, triggering, threatening, painful, terrifying, incapacitating, haunting, manipulative, unscrupulous, deceitful, degrading, disparaging, weaponized, violent.

 

4. Incubating performative practices

Fragilities are one of the main components of ‘our individual/collective shit’. A first step to deal with our shit is to unclog it from our own systems, move it around so that it can be felt/noticed (stomach cramps) and released so that it can be composted.

An enema is a procedure used to help stimulate the bowels in the hope of relieving constipation or to cleanse the digestive tract. During an enema, fluid is introduced into the rectum and large intestines through the anus. After holding in the fluid for several moments, the user expels the liquid and additional waste from their body. This can help to push waste out of the colon to both relieve constipation, and to cleanse the digestive organs.

 

Image credits:

Stills from ‘Social Ego’, a video-performance by Dani d’Emilia created as part of the residency ‘Pause & Affect’ at ]Performance s p a c e[ (UK). The video was inspired by the work developed within the context of the collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures as well as the book Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation, in which Rev. angel Kyodo williams uses the term ‘social ego’ in reference to the psychic, epistemic and social barriers that white people inherit and reproduce, feeding the operating system which prevents us from seeing, hearing and feeling whiteness including our own.

Engaged dis-identifications is an artistic-pedagogic collaboration between Dani d’Emilia and Vanessa Andreotti that explores the workings of non-notional possibilities of co-existence through performative practices. It attempts to translate post-representational modes of engagement into embodied experiments that reconfigure the connections between reason, affect and relationality.

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