Embodying radical tenderness (MA Tesina, PEI)


EMBODYING RADICAL TENDERNESS: political-affective alliances and the decolonisation of the body in the performance-pedagogy of La Pocha Nostra

* MA Tesina written as part of my studies at PEI (Programa de Estudios Independientes) directed by Paul B. Preciado in MACBA, Barcelona (2014-15).

How can we think the co-production of critical knowledge, imagination and political agency through languages that go beyond rational and discursive realms? Can performance-pedagogy activate a space where we are able to make visible, penetrate and resignify different forms of violence inherent in our construction as political subjects? How can we build unusual alliances for learning, supporting and taking action from a place where we acknowledge the desire and fears that arise from the encounter with ‘the other’? Can radical tenderness serve us as a political and affective base from which to engage in the decolonisation of the body as an artistic and activist practice? Can radical be tender? How can tenderness be radical?

This investigation proposes to think through how the performace-pedagogy of la Pocha Nostra engages with the notion of ‘radical tenderness’ as a political-affective landscape for building ephemeral communities of rebel artists. ‘Radical tenderness’ is a term that has been a central part of the performance-pedagogy practice of La Pocha Nostra for the past 10 years. In this text I draw from my personal experience as a core member of the troupe and a transfeminist and decolonial lens to our work which I articulate through 5 main inter-related theory-practice focuses and a poetic manifesto:

1- Becoming interstitial creatures: existential and performative migrations
2- Bodies at a point of fracture: working through the cracks
3- Self-decolonization: rethinking and altering hegemonic proceses of perception
4- Apropriating vulnerability as a place for resistance
5- Activating the energy of ‘the erotic’
+ Ternura Radical es.. (a living manifesto written in collaboration with Daniel B. Chávez)

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