An invitation to RADICAL TENDERNESS

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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
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Invitation to Radical Tenderness, is a living text written by Dani d’Emilia and Vanessa Andreotti (2018-present). It includes thoughts expressed by the collective ‘Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures’ and the broader artistic-pedagogic collaboration ‘Engaged dis-identifications’, which explores the workings of non-notional possibilities of co-existence through performative practices. With the support of Musagetes Foundation, this collaboration attempts to translate post-representational modes of engagement into embodied experiments that reconfigure the connections between reason, affect and relationality. https://decolonialfutures.net/project-type/artistic-experiments/
Radical tenderness is a term that 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 and does at a personal, political and existential level. A first radical tenderness manifesto was written by Dani in collaboration with Daniel B.Chavez (2015-17), as part of Dani’s research-in-practice in the context of her MA studies in PEI/MACBA, and can be accessed in the following link:  https://danidemilia.com/radical-tenderness/.