Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Grada Kilomba - Oct 2010

- Racism as a procedure of amputation which is included in the 'infernal circle' of otherness
- No agreement is possible within reason - racism requires dealing with forms of unreason
- In Lisbon, Kilomba's street was renamed, by locals, the 'street of the monkeys.' This reveals the fantasy that the Afro-Portuguese were not only not Portuguese, but not human
- There is a wish to be invisible to avoid being hounded in a racist context - racism becomes an obsession which interrupts normality
- Blacks are kept busy with racism - it presents itself as a political possession, or a ghost which continually reappears
- People would obsessively ask, 'where are you from?' in order to hear an exotic story - racism is thus a kind of voyeurism
- This voyeurism can overlap with a modern primitivism, in which the black subject possesses something anterior which whites have lost
- Excitement is what has been lost (postcolonial melancholia)
- This primitivism has been called 'positive' racism because it idealizes the black, but there is nothing positive about it because those constructed as others become embodiments of both sexuality and 'primal' aggression, both of which have been massively repressed for the purpose of civilizational projects
- the 'game of racism' requires both sweet and bitter words, and the entanglement of love and hate
- Dissociation and displacement occurs in white voyeurism, with the depoliticization of texts marked as racial
- Shame and guilt must be differentiated - the moment of shame in whites is a very important moment of recognition of the possibility of plural perspectives
- It is not about morality, but psychic processes. Shame, unlike guilt, can be positive

- Psychoanalysis deals with the human body as an iceberg, with the water level at the eyes, and the subterranean unreason below the brain and the line of sight
- Therefore Kilomba tells politics through subjectivity, in the tradition of Fanon
- The concept of Plantation Memories described memory as embodied in institutions
- Racism is the moment of being abstracted from the present and installed in the past. A mise-en-scene which places the subject in the plantation once again

- A good psychoanalyst asks no questions. Just record the text, and let the analysand associate, layer by layer, into rich details
- Little Red Riding Hood can be used as a narrative of sexual abuse and a way to approach past trauma in children. This is because it contains unconscious codes to symbolize conflicts

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