“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.agel kyodo williams).
SOCIAL EGO is an attempt to make a piece that specifically and openly works through some of the complexities I have been co-sensing around whiteness. It’s an embodied meditation on the need for me/us to acknowledge, release and compost this toxic shit I/we internalize and reproduce, affecting so many layers of how violence continues to be unevenly distributed across the different crisis we face.
What happens when whiteness others itself from the pain of racism? What happens when whiteness un-numbs to the pain of racism? How can we separate feeling pain with feeling fragile, weak or insecure? How can we 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 release the superficial an inherently violent modern-colonial forms of security based on fixture and separability, undoing attachments and social selves whilst also feeling grounded in a wider metabolism?
The video was created as part of the residency ‘Pause & Affect” at ]Performance s p a c e[ (UK). It was inspired by 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.
Concept, installation and performance: Dani d’Emilia
Camera: Matt Mahony-Page
Editing: Matt Mahony-Page and Renata Ferraz
Color: Flávio Almeida
With special thanks to:
Bean, Benjamin Sebastian, Uhuru Ali moor, Sarah Amsler, Sharon Stein, Rene Suša, Elwood Jimmy, Camilla Cardoso, Dino Siwek, Flávio Almeida, Fernanda Eugenio, Vanessa Andreotti and Musagetes Foundation.
This work is part of a series of investigations I have been engaged in within the context of a fellowship I was granted by Musagetes Foundation in 2018/19. During this period I also worked with Vanessa Andreotti and the collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures on various pedagogical practices within the frame of an investigation entitled ‘Engaged Dis-identifications’.
More info about this work here: decolonialfutures.net/portfolio/engaged-dis-identifications-fellowship-overview/