Engaged dis-identifications, coLab#2: radical tenderness me-in-you

RADICAL TENDERNESS is practicing attunement

It is listening to collective unuttered wisdom, nurturing intrinsic, rather than productive value

It is engaging with each other beyond desires for consensus, coherence and control

It is dancing beyond the loop of identification and dis-identification

It is letting go of possessions, of possessiveness

It is feeling part of a wider metabolism with a much longer temporality

It is queering time

It is setting what matters in the time when we no longer inhabit this body

It is to be sense-full, to allow our state of wondering to stay open, without always trapping it into meaning

It is not holding “being” hostage to “knowing”

It is presencing what we don’t know, what we can’t know, and what is unknowable (in ourselves and in others)

It is quieting the narrativization of the world and enjoying silence with each other


RADICAL TENDERNESS is being receptive to the teachings of our shadows

It is fermenting ourselves, mourning illusions, composting our shit

It is balancing the use of our pre-frontal cortex and our pineal gland

It is looking in the mirror and confronting what is not beautiful without
turning the gaze

It is disinvesting in arrogance, superiority, and status

It is to embrace oneself as both cute and pathetic

It is being courageously vulnerable

It is knowing that we pee, we poo, we cry and we puke

It is about being the ocean, watching the waves

It is going beyond projections and compensations

It is decentering, disarming, decluttering, discerning, deflattening

It is not being afraid of fear, disapointability, or nothingness

It is discovering a whole bus of people inside oneself

It is not casting upon everything a blanket of interpretation


RADICAL TENDERNESS is engendering new forms of co-existence

It is engaging through artful participation

It is respecting different medicines and working through affinities and differences

It is tuning in with, not just empathizing with

It is witnessing ourselves and each other moving between our comfort, stretch and panic zones

It is knowing that people can begin to heal when they are heard

It is breaking the cycle in which people with trauma are demanded to share their stories in order to be validated

It is ‘mandar obedeciendo’, as the zapatistas say

It is relating beyond identity, knowledge and understanding

It is dissolving the limits and weight of our bodies by allowing others to move through, with and for us


RADICAL TENDERNESS es el dolor de traspasar el corazón (or the pain of piercing the heart)

It is turning the heart into a verb: corazonar, senti-pensar

It is neither me nor you, it is me and you, me in you

It is not about belonging, it is about being whole with the whole shabang

It is not either or, but both and more

It is looking at painful and difficult things with the love of really wanting to see

It is tending the wounds created when the skin holding one body stretches and tears in order to receive and be refigured by another

It is learning from repeated mistakes in order to only make new ones in the future

It is listening to the non-human authority, and caring about our relationship to it

It is about being open to what we can’t and may never understand

It is conditioning the muscles that enable neurogenesis

It is learning to breathe water together


Radical Tenderness is to practice engaged detachment as we hospice a dystopic world …while respecting the teachings it offers

Radical Tenderness is assisting with the birth of something new, which is potentially, but not necessarily, wiser…without suffocating it with projections


RADICAL TENDERNESS is being critical and loving, at the same time

RADICAL TENDERNESS is appropriable and ever-changing



The Invitation for Radical Tenderness is a text written by Dani d’Emilia and Vanessa Andreotti. It registers thoughts expressed by the collective ‘Gesturing towards decolonial futures’ during the Gorca Summer Residency (Slovenia, August 2017) and the Vancouver Global Justice Living Lab (Canada, January 2018). The text is part of the broader artistic-pedagogic collaboration ‘Engaged dis-identifications’, which explores the workings of non-notional possibilities of co-existence through performative practices. this collaboration attempts to translate post-representational modes of engagement into embodied experiments that reconfigure the connections between reason, affect and relationality.
Radical Tenderness is a term Dani first encountered through her collaboration with the transnational performance collective La Pocha Nostra, with whom she worked between 2008-2016. since then she has been engaged in a deeper quest to explore what radical tenderness, as a concept-practice-affect means/does at personal,  political and existential levels. A first ‘radical tenderness manifesto’ was written by Dani in collaboration with Daniel B.Chavez in 2015, and can be accessed in the following link:  https://danidemilia.com/radical-tenderness/.

One Reply to “Engaged dis-identifications, coLab#2: radical tenderness me-in-you”

  1. So, it is about changing our culture, right down to the roots of our being, each and everyone of us… like, becoming a new species through evolving emotionally, mentally and the result is a spiritual evolution. That … is a high expectation, but I understand it. I had thought and mentioned this a good few years ago…. that we have progressed, evolved, through our practicality.. through our need to use our environment. But now, we have to evolve according to not just the environment, but TO EACH OTHER. So, that would mean we could become a different species, if we could pull it off… something other than we are now. More and better. Not sure we have enough time for that. Would really help, if we could … but, it would only help/work if the physics of the planet hold off killing us all, first. But thanks for giving a frame work toward such a possibility.


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