This is an offering towards our evolution, towards the possibility that instead of continuing the trajectory of slavery, entrapment, separation, and domination and making our atmosphere unbreathable, that we might instead practice another way to breathe.
— Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Thank you for reminding me that our real purpose of ‘making’ is to encourage possibilities for presencing in and through experimentation. That study is wake work toward incompletion, so we may tightly interconnect the tender synapses of our callused souls. That abolition starts with the self, so we may lose our individuated selves in favor of a blurred, irreducible sociality of the senses.
— Zun Lee
Overall, I am asking whether there exists freedom (not necessarily as a common-sensically positive category, but as a way to think what it makes possible) in this pain that most definitely cannot be reduced to mere recognition based on the alleviation of injury or redressed by the laws of the liberal state, and if said freedom might lead to other forms of emancipation, which can be imagined but not (yet) described.
— Alexander Weheliye
2022-2023 ONLINE COURSE OFFERINGS
PRACTICING EXTIMACY IN THE EMBODIED RELATIONAL FIELD
ADVANCED, 9-MONTH ONLINE INTENSIVE
INTENSIVES CAPS @ 9 PARTICIPANTS
COHORT A: MARCH 2022-NOVEMBER 2022 (CLOSED — IN PROGRESS)
COHORT B: DECEMBER 2022-OCTOBER 2023 (ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN – SEE DATES BELOW)
COHORT C: JANUARY 2023-OCTOBER 2023 (ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN – SEE DATES BELOW)
PLEASE EMAIL kefikes(at)gmail(dot)com FOR AN APPLICATION
Course Guide: Kesha Fikes
Instruction is in English with Closed Captioning
©️2022 Kesha Fikes. Permission required to reproduce or post this content.
This online intensive – experiential, existential, and theoretical – supports co-processing the effects of uncontainable racialization in the wake of desired social changes that are yet to come. We’re living a collective, psychic moment of urgency – the kind that has historically created space for paradigm shifting – where there’s intense desire by many for radical social change, on the one hand, and fiery frustrations around the slowness of systemic change, on the other. And, if race – in its manifestations with gender, queerness, sex, ability, labor, citizenship, religion, and age, and more – operates in practice as a sanctioned relational field that psychically and materially forecloses transcendence of violence, we reproduce raciality – again and again, independent of our locations or intentions – when we’re misattuned to the affective, racialized bindings that historically supersede our encounters with each other. To this end, this online intensive supports the interim: an existential space between the horrors yet to be healed and our unknown collective potential. Our method involves learning to collaboratively track and thus disrupt the things, ideas, and practices that relationally manifest raciality as the means of existence (see Denise Ferreira da Silva 2007). We draw upon a practice of embodied social theory – creating and combining everyday skills that integrate somatic awareness and social theorization – to build shared attunement to the unrepaired conditions that situate every cross-racial encounter.
…The most revolutionary act is a clear view of the world as it really is…
— Rosa Luxemburg
…That to own things did not necessarily mean one belonged;
that possession was no guarantee of control…
— Ninotchka Rosca
Proposed is co-presencing who and what we actually are with and to each other in this immediate unresolved time of now. It’s about building profound inner and ‘extimate’ awareness, together, of what we aren’t, for the sake of exploring what we need to be with and to each other – from one second to the next – in the colonial-capitalist now. Introduced and politicized is Lacan’s concept of ‘extimacy’ as an anchor for naming the necessary, foundational process of learning to be affected without, together, within a messy environment that is inherently relational in unbalanced and thus unjust ways. The interim names our experience of co-being with the unaddressed effects of our violent, unhealed pasts. We’re co-crafting the practice of extimacy – somatic extimacy – as enlivened, existential support and political praxis under interim conditions.
…My words in your hands, my words in your eyes, my words in your mind,
rubbing along and against, perhaps working your last nerve…
perhaps pleasurable, perhaps not…
— Keguro Macharia
…Dialogue initiatives are not neutral…
— Lara Sheehi & Stephen Sheehi
Our approach to social theory, and particularly our holding of ‘extimacy’, is a sensory-focused endeavor. Theory will not serve its conventional purpose of objectifying race or racial/izing experience as a distanced object of intellectual scrutiny, where focus is on knowledge production instead of engaged, unlearning of the relational harms that situate daily living. Here, social theory supports the process of applying meaning to felt experiences. It supports the process of relationally communicating one’s truth and intentions within the unrepaired historical-material fields that situate the interactions we experience daily. To this end, theory is approached as a living resource that names the challenges imposed by the waiting and uncertainties of interim existence.
A theory in the flesh means one where the physical realities of our lives
— our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longings —
all fuse to create a politic born of necessity.
— Cherríe Moraga
…To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple...
— Arundhati Roy
The primary objective of this course is to provide integrated theoretical and somatic education around ways to co-presence and co-disrupt racializing phenomena in interaction. The idea is that integrated somatic and theoretical literacy in action can/may support the interim period in question. The discursive essence of race – and its fractaled articulations with gender, queerness, sex, ability, labor, citizenship, religion, age, and more – is such that there is no, and never can be a singular definition of it, particularly not in a transnationally constituted world where race strategically allows and prohibits different things across different geographic, cultural, and historical contexts. It currently expresses itself in every dimension of evolving existence where inter-related practices of extraction and differentiation are relevant. Raciality exists in advance of us because of the primacy of relative thinking and being in the dominant worlds we inhabit. Our objective, thus, involves intimate engagement with this depth of pervasiveness as we embark upon the consciousness shifting work of re-being and re-feeling relationally across contexts.
Upon completion of this intensive you will have explored the following:
- Practice co-assessing and co-tracking, in real time, how raciality operates relationally and fractally with gender, sex, queerness, sexuality, labor, ability, citizenship, religion, age, and more;
- Practice integrating somatic knowledge and social theory as a daily, embodied practice that supports vulnerable and boundaried participation in interim existence;
- Practice reading social theory not purely as a mental, cognitive process but as an exercise in embodied transformation;
- Practice learning to vulnerably co-be within the existential space between our unresolved pasts and our unknown future;
- Practice exploring ‘extimacy’ as a foundation for potential relational repair, interpersonally and in community.
WHO SHOULD ENROLL:
This advanced course is designed for activists, therapists, bodyworkers, physicians, healing artists, conflict mediators, cultural workers, professors/teachers, advocacy professionals, etc., who situate their work in the realms of social justice praxis and are regarded with know-how in one-on-one or group/community work. It’s also ideally suited for those wanting to bring such work into one-on-one or community settings. This is not an introductory course and thus is not suitable for those new to thinking about raciality. This course is for individuals who have experience with long term social process work and its inherent challenges and uncertainties.
- A capacity to be with the inherent messiness of raciality;
- An established personal practice and/or ongoing communal or therapeutic support for being with social conflict;
- Extensive experience processing your own interpersonal/intimate trauma.
Support During the Course:
- There are no assistants for this cohort, but the content and its very delivery are pedagogically designed to support deep individual and collective containment in a cross-racial setting. Please note that “safety” is neither our objective or the course definition of containment.
- Conflict management: if you experience unresolving conflict within or with another in the class, the instructor will intervene in this process, as appropriate, after class.
- Closed captioning
This course is offered in 3 sequences over 9 months. Meeting times are as follows:
Modules 1 through 5: 10am to 3pm PST / 1pm to 6pm EST / 18h to 23h UK / 20h to 1h Nairobi
Modules 6 through 8: 10am to 4pm PST / 1pm to 7pm EST / 18h to 24h UK / 20h to 2h Nairobi
NOTE: an additional cohort may be added to support multiple participants residing in locations that are 10+ hours ahead of PST. Please convey your interest if this applies to you.
Sequence I: Social Theory Embodied – Reading Raciality in the Relational Field
Module 1 – Cohort B: Dec 17-18, 2022 / Cohort C: Jan 7-8, 2023
Module 2 – Cohort B: Jan 28-29, 2023 / Cohort C: Feb 18-19, 2023
Module 3 – Cohort B: Mar 11-12, 2023 / Cohort C: April 1-2, 2023
Sequence II: Feeling, Writing & Narrating Racial Opacity [Prereq: Sequence I]
Module 4 – Cohort B: Apr 22-23, 2023 / Cohort C: May 13-14, 2023
Module 5 – Cohort B: June 3-4, 2023 / Cohort C: June 24-25, 2023
Module 6 – Cohort B: July 15-16-17, 2023 / Cohort C: Aug 5-6-7, 2023
Sequence III: ‘Extimacy’ as Praxis: Querying Resonant Connection & Repair in an Unresolved World [Prereq: Sequence II]
Module 7 – Cohort B: Aug 25-26-27-28, 2023 / Cohort C: Sept 8-9-10-11, 2023
Module 8 – Cohort B: Oct 6-7-8-9, 2023 / Cohort C: Oct 20-21-22-23, 2023
**You will be required to purchase some books for this course.
**There is a course mutual fund – funded by course participants – to financially support those who may need to draw from this source for tuition.
**Funds for our mutual account are gladly accepted from participants to support those who currently can’t meet the Tier 1 rate. These funds will be held until the completion of the course. If no one uses them they are returned to those who funded them.
Tier 1: Gross household income at/under $40,000 & no retirement, assets, or family income/wealth (at present or in the future via inheritance) – Modules 1-5: $180 each / Module 6: $270 / Modules 7-8: $270 each
Tier 2: Gross household income at/under $65,000 – Modules 1-5: $300 each / Module 6: $450 / Modules 7-8: $550 each
Tier 3: Gross household income at/over $65,001 – Modules 1-5: $390 each / Module 6: $585 / Modules 7-8: $685 each
Contact Kesha if you are unable to afford Tier 1 to process fee adjustments and/or coordinate payment arrangements.
What’s included in your payment: live instruction, course preparation & Zoom tech support, course syllabus, and one 1.5hr live Q/A review between each Module, for Modules 1 through 6.
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