xbracos tenderness

Dani d’Emilia, 2018. Photo Angela Alegria

Radical tenderness is a term that I first encountered through my collaboration with the transnational performance collective La Pocha Nostra, with whom I worked between 2008-2016.  The term was used in the context of the radical performance-pedagogy workshops we facilitated, and though it was not clear to anyone what it really meant, it seemed to resonate with a lot of what many of us, within and beyond the collective, were wanting to nurture. From this initial contact with the term, I continued on a personal journey to investigate what radical tenderness did for me, with me, what I and others did – and could do – through it … In 2014 Radical Tenderness became the focus of my Master Degree and has since continued to be a guiding force within my performance-pedagogy work and my every day life, teaching me about the importance of increasing care in proportion to risk (and vice-versa), and affecting my relations and modes of being in the world in different ways.

Throughout this journey I have been developing modes of engagement with radical tenderness in the form of performances, performance-pedagogy workshops, and embodied critical writing (working both ‘solo’ and as part of different collaborations/collectives).

Please refer to the different sections of my website for more info on each of these practices.

You may also be interested in accessing directly the following links:

Co-sensing with Radical Tenderness (2020) is a text I began to write with Vanessa Andreotti in 2018, based on thoughts expressed by the collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures [GTDF]. Initially called “An Invitation to Radical Tenderness”, this text has been shape-shifting alongside our artistic-pedagogic collaboration “Engaged Dis-identications”, which attempts to translate post-representational modes of engagement into embodied experiments that reconfigure the connections between reason, affect and relationality. The current version of the text has been revised in June 2020 and is available in two formats (printed booklet and online flickbook), both curated by Laura Daviña from Publication Studios São Paulo.

Radical Tenderness Manifesto, was created through an online poetic jam I started in 2015 with Daniel B. Chavez (Currently Daniel B. Coleman). At the time we where both part of the performance collective La Pocha Nostra who first introduced me to this term and with whom I worked between 2009-2016. As part of my research on radical tenderness within the context of an MA program I was undertaking in PEI/MACBA (Barcelona), as well as the transfeminist networks we were engaged with – particularly in Spain and Mexico – in this embodied poetic exercise of resistance we dive into this seemingly oxy-moronic term asking ourselves: ‘how can radical be tender – and tenderness be radical – in our alliances, our communities, and our interpersonal relationships?’

Radical Tenderness Workshops: these workshops combine performance-pedagogy (performance practice as a pedagogical process of unlearning), radical tenderness (a mode of political-poetic resistance), transfeminist (intersectional and trans inclusive feminism) and decolonial (interrogating colonial legacies on our bodies and subjectivities) approaches. I use these tools to explore ways in which we can create and nurture political-affective communities and alliances that take into account – yet attempt not to reproduce – different forms of violence inherent in our construction as political subjects. Working from the body I explore our ability to perceive others through multiple senses and modes of knowing, inhabiting the contradictions, incoherences and vulnerabilities that arise in the process of daring to blur borders between notions such as identity and otherness, individuality and collectivity, tension and trust.