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'Doing good in blackface: a consuming story'

WhiteSpaces Learning Gatherings 2022 #2: Wednesday 30 March 2022

Join us for a conversation on the paper ‘Doing good in blackface: a consuming story’ (2021) by black feminist activist and political theorist, assistant professor at Geneva University (Switzerland) Noémi Michel.

Article summary This article re-visits failed intervention. I consider the latter as a telling case for understanding racism’s renewal at the crossroads of neoliberal humanitarianism and persisting ideologies of racial innocence in contemporary Europe. Whereas dominant public debates and scholarship tend to locate anti-racism’s most urgent challenges in the struggle against far right-wing populism and extremist white supremacy, I claim that it is no less urgent to grasp how do-gooders’ (anti-)racism (exemplified here by the Swiss section of A.I.) hinders anti-racist efforts. In dialogue with critical race, queer of colour and Black feminist literature, I show that do-gooders take part in complex processes that consume – both by burning and eating – political anti-racisms stemming from subaltern traditions of resistance. In other words, blackface, both as a practice and as an object of debate, not only consumes the attributes of people marked by racial difference, but also the very energies necessary to contest that violent consumption. This article, in short, tells a story of consumption. The article is part of Issue-15 of Darkmatter Journal (De-)Facing the dark face of Europe; the on-going struggle against blackface and anti-Black racist imagery. Bel Parnell-Berry and Noémi Michel, eds.

Event times: Universal Central Time/GMT: 17:00-18:30 European Central time : 18:00-19:30

Joining links will be forwarded to those registered prior to the event.

This event is the second in a series of 'learning gatherings' being organised by the White Spaces Network in 2022.

The White Spaces learning gatherings are part of a process of learning and change through dialogue. These events are conceived and organised by Gaspard Rey and Shona Hunter as part of White Spaces Network activities. These events build out of our experiences of being in dialogue across academic and other contexts. The broad aim is to gather to learn with others who are engaging with ideas of global colonial whiteness in antiracism which challenge substantialist approaches to white identities. The purpose is to extend and create a network of support for our antiracist thinking and practice. Without making prior assumptions as to how and in what ways that might materialise.

We hope that you’ll be interested in this project and that you’ll be able to join us for this session and then stay interested enough to engage further.

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