A Preview of the Injured Body at the ARTs + Change Virtual Conference (Activate, Reimagine, Transform)

A Preview of the “Injured Body” at the ARTs + Change Virtual Conference (Activate, Reimagine, Transform)

A virtual gathering hosted by the University of Rochester Institute for the Performing Arts, in partnership with the UR Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center, 540WMain, Create A Space Now, and Rochester Fringe Festival.

The Injured Body: A Discussion about Racism in America

A 50-minute presentation (including film clips) that talks about racial microaggressions through the lens of my upcoming film, The Injured Body (slated to be released later this year). The presentation will be followed by a 10-minute exercise (sparked by a multimedia piece involving dance, music, film footage and text), and we will conclude with a 15-minute group discussion that parses the group’s responses.

The film’s title is inspired by one of Claudia Rankine’s poems in her book, Citizen: An American Lyric, in which she asks: “How to care for the injured body/the kind of body that can’t hold/the content it is living?”

In an effort to analyze everyday microaggressions that harm and marginalize, and assess their cumulative effects which “come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive,” I interviewed a diverse group of women of color in the Rochester area.

It is powerful to lift the voices of women of color because they operate at the intersection of numerous forms of oppression (such as racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ableism, etc) and can articulate the multidimensionality of those experiences.

I chose to approach racism by focusing on micro-aggressions because, as Claudia Rankine explains, we seem to understand structural racism somewhat but are baffled by racism coming from friends. It is disorienting because it is “unmarked.” The Injured Body hopes to home in on the language needed to mark the unmarked.


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