thank you to a_n for affording the development of rainbow tribe project by granting a travel bursary to go to New York in 2017. sorry writing this has been like pulling teeth. thank you for your patience. these blog posts connect the proposal for the grant, my intentions, and experiences and ideas since. its a note take.

“Resilience is the product of agency: knowing that what you do can make a difference,.” (Bessel Van Der Kolk).

Endurance – what an endless demand to endure does to a person – endurance not as aspiration but as a word expressing the realities of “resilience” and “sustain”

Sara ahmed: “what does it mean to have a body that provides an institution with diversity?” Ahmed, Sara. 2012. On Being Included: Racism and Institutional Life. Durham: Duke University Press. 49

Coupled with this: “This oral history of twentieth century violence has never been collated or collected, but it is there and it is shocking.” Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History (2016) p xvii

i am lobbying for a survey on racism sensing it part of British Library or British Museum’s or some such civic duty as a public institution.

Why is it that we do not nationally understand our history of racism, that it is contested? What is hindering our development? Why are our structures so resilient? The racialized categorization of human subjects is one of the most resilient forms of global  genocide – lets not shy away from what resilience has achieved – it serves as an useful apparatus with which to dominate and oppress “…resiliency of racial, ethnic, and national schemes….” Henry Louis Gates. Jr in Stuart Hall, The Fateful Triangle Race Ethnicity Nation xii

I think of resilience as a numbness – damage control

Speaking later about Bunce Island a slave fortress, Olusoga provides a useful metaphor in describing the ruins: “…there are sections of wall that remain upright more out of habit than structural integrity.” p4 Resilient weathered structures engrained with blood.

Resilience is elitist and privileged implying that bouncing back into shape is possible. It is not. Let us look at the roots of trauma – individual and collective – and we will find that it is precisely the structures that hark resilience that require critique.

Vulnerability, precariousness, oppression, dehumanisation, threat, genocide, climate catastrophe.

What might make space “safe” or “safer”

What are our fundamental needs that, when met, allow our imaginations to roam free, towards actioning imaginings



How to take care of the lives you have entered.

What do we mean when we ask permission.

The illusion of care without doing the work of care.

Who are the curators that don’t have conflict of interest.

Selective argument of free speech – don’t have to pay consequences.

Economics and diet > early deaths of African Americans and South Asians in NYC

Transformative Justice

How can we define violence?

When is  language violent?

How are our understandings of violent language leading to oppression and structural violence apparent in “hierarchical scaffolding” SH XI

Non Violent or Non Confrontational Communication


> bothered

> give objective factual description (no blame/emotion)

> what i feel is

> identify my need underneath the feelings that’s giving rise to the feelings

> optional: make a request – concrete and measurable (not a demand or ultimatum)





Racial Justice Training

”Do the arts and education constitutes a critique of value rather than act as expressions of value, or can they?”

“Does the insistence on value stifle the darker, more violent, less affirming ghosts of the unconscious imagination or demand of us that we repress our discontent?” Ladkin, and Bojesen, “Against Value in the Arts and Education”​, (2016) p.5

“What counts as a liveable life and a grievable death?” judith Butler Precarious Life




Ayuerveda Restaurant Amsterdam 93rd st with Lisa Merrill cosy like someones home or maybe thats how it feels always in Lisa’s company I think thats it.

Heads of state dont recognise the humanity of difference.

Distracting politics.

Politics of action.

Legibility and race.

How do we ensure dialogic engagement is accessible.

Who gets to own narrative. Whose interpretation matters.

Change agents.



” Men who act, to the extent that they feel themselves to be the masters of their own futures, will forever be tempted to make themselves masters of the past too.” Hannah Arendt, We Refugees

How can we define refusal in political terms.

Refusal is the point of origin of any politics of transformation.

Exit, dissipation, escape.



Refusal of status by the powerful.

Small acts of disobedience.

The refusal of privilege.

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” “Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”

The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice – sandro mezzadra

Racial tensions are at breaking point. We have the power now. How do we harness it.

Personal accountability



Call out culture

I was given the first Art Forum Ive ever owned. It’s heavy. Rather than talk about that particular cover,  Elizabeth Catlett’s Black Unity (1968), the exhibition*, the magazine exchange/gift just prompted prolonged conversation, amongst the three men whose company I was keeping in the gallery, about Knight Landesman.

“..what has been increasing is the capital invested in – and extracted from “culture.” Here is where the avant-garde still p[lays a role in both art and life – and it tends to be a problematic one, with artists split between “artistic” and “activist” practice, knowing the more they insist on their autonomy, the more they collude with their own instrumentalistaion.” Thomas Elsaesser on Sven Lütticken’s ‘Cultural Revolution'”, FREE ENTERPRISE, in Artforum, Nov 2017 p87

“Real empathy is also the labour of comprehension: mind-work, not gut-work alone.” Alyssa K. Loh on virtual reality and empathy, I FEEL YOU, in Artforum, Nov 2017 p210

*”…the shows were effectively segregated from each other [“the Place is Here” and “Soul of a Nation” Nottingham Cont.,  and SLG, and Tate respectively]. There was a missed opportunity to create a platform for conversation between black artists in the US and the UK. Such a dialogue might have productively investigated the interrelated civil rights movements that impacted and revolutionised art making practices, alliances, and pedagogy, while tapping into the urgency that many artists feel today when faced with racism, xenophobia, and nationalism flourishing globally.” Cheryl Finley on “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” INDEPENDENT MEANS, in Artforum, Nov 2017 p229