During lockdown When the buck stopped with me every second of every minute of every day You will never know how much your voices Kept me afloat
“Hallo C, I’m calling to get your food delivery together, is it a good time?” F: your voice is so melodious, so calm, so velvety, I smiled and relaxed every time I heard you on the phone And I kept you talking a bit longer than I should have done so I could enjoy your voice like glorious warm soft sunshine at the beginning and the end of the day Cushioning me so that everything felt not just doable but that I was warm and safe in a big soft pillowy snug
Pushing myself to write more whilst the moment is here, but writing honestly and meaningfully requires getting through a lot of barriers and it feels like there is a lot of inner resistance right now. Resistance or just tiredness..? So hard to say… but at this stage, just trying to keep things moving, putting one word in front of another. Following on from my last post about Decentering Power, I wanted to share this drawing of my own experience of decentering dynamics (particularly given my recent experience of double caring during lockdown). With the outer world references in orbit.
I’m doing some research and creative thinking about how we reconfigure power, for real. In a way that really transforms lives, experiences and relationships. Using visual and sensory devices to keep with the material experience and achievement of change. One strategy is to think through the sticky points and divergences between two transformative projects challenging the centre and the centralised: the Tecnopolitica body of work; and a set of decentering power projects with a strong focus on decentering knowledge and whiteness.
Donna Haraway’s treatment of ‘Vision’ in her 1988 Situated Knowledge text is extremely helpful for my work, as it explores Vision in a political and epistemological context, giving a switched on academic framing to my use of (audo)visual research techniques. Haraway uses Vision as a metaphor to unpack ways of seeing, knowing and positioning.
She criticises the all-seeing Eye of the God-trick (the conquering gaze from nowhere that represents and marks bodies, while itself remaining unrepresented and unseen).
She advocates for embodied situated Vision that recognises and deconstructs it’s own positionality, specificity, difference, technologies and prosthetics for seeing; in the process making itself accountable, responsible, answerable.
She problematises ‘Seeing from Below’ and the vantage points of the subjugated:
OK this is hard. I can dig deep and I can seek inspiration and I can enjoy all those precious moments with little one. BUT. But. but. Knowing that schools may not start until September, and even then there is the prospect of further closures over winter cold and flu season. AND. And. and. Knowing the rough set of emotional and material needs in the family (including my own). AND. And. and. Knowing that if any of us get ill, the set of needs on the cards will ramp up exponentially. ERGO. Therefore. ergo. This is hard. NOT EVEN TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the wider social picture. The doctors and nurses without sufficient PPE. The communities without doctors at all. The people living in loneliness, in hunger and/or in fear of an abuser. The challenge of ‘walking through the portal of Covid19 ready to imagine a better world and fight for it‘. ERGO. Bloody. ergo. Gotta prioritise and put in some space and structure. Gotta get to work.
I’ve missed some days here as the multi-multi-tasking burnt up writing time and space. But just finished a work deadline, little one had a nap today, we finally found out the landlord will fix the heating and I even managed to listen to a webinar on an Internationalist Response to Covid19. So.. back soon X
Writing sometimes feels like survival. Writing from the inside out. One word after another. One step at a time. Climbing out of the suffocating layers of precarity and non-stop circumstances. Getting a breath. Seeing some light. Filling some of my own space. Getting to grips with own agency again. Making a plan.