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You are Invited: Racialized bodies in discomfort

Updated: Jul 11


Katalin Halász and Shona Hunter, You Are Invited (still), 2022. Two-channel video installation, colour, sound, 4 mins.

 

You Are Invited is a critical intervention and exploration of whiteness as a global colonial formation and as bodily-enacted discomfort.



The video opens with excerpts of oral history interviews with the American preacher and civil rights activist Howard Kester (1904 – 1977) and his daughter Nancy Kester Neale (1934 – ), talking about the life of the wife and mother Alice Harris Kester, who was active in the American South during the civil rights movement. Alice Harris Kester was reportedly not able to keep her food down when eating at the same table as African Americans. She is one of the white women George Yancy talks about in his essay on ‘White Embodied Gazing’ (2008; 2017). Alice Harris Kester’s life is blended with recent footage celebrating the life and mourning of the death of the British Queen Elizabeth II in 2022.  

 

The second part of the video is set in the mountains of Switzerland and is narrated by the African American writer James Baldwin’s essay ‘Stranger in the Village’ (1955) in which Baldwin reflects on his time in that country.

 

To provoke an engagement with the viewers’ implication in the entangled relationship between the personal and the structural, the video works with bodily knowing and conceptualizations of whiteness as power, (class and gender) privilege, white repulsion, anti-racism and empathy; and addresses the role of affective knowledge in moving us towards political solidarity and racial justice.

 


Previous manifestations of the video installation

Gender, Work and Organization Journal Annual Conference

Stellenbosch University, South Africa, June 2023



HASTAC Conference ‘Critical Making & Social Justice’ Exhibition

The Pratt Institute, New York, USA, June 2023



IVSA Conference 'Visual Accountability: Show Don't Tell',

University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico, June 2024



IVSA Conference 'Visual Accountability: Show Don't Tell',

University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico, June 2024


IVSA Conference 'Visual Accountability: Show Don't Tell',

University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico, June 2024


IVSA Conference 'Visual Accountability: Show Don't Tell',

University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico, June 2024


You are Invited teaser (2023)




Future opportunities to host

We have further manifestations of the installation planned for 2024/25. If you are interested in hosting a manifestation of You are Invited (as stand alone intervention, or as part of a larger event, set of events), please get in touch via email.


Example of installation and panel event.


GWO2023_Collaborative event
.docx
Download DOCX • 1.36MB



Related essays and other writings

We are in the process of developing a number of academic writings and creative outputs related to You are Invited. More information will be posted in due course. Please get in touch if you are interested to find out more in the mean time.


Please note this is a post in progress and reference links are yet to be added.

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