What’s Going On?

May 29th 3-5pm 2022 on Zoom

When Marvyn Gaye sings What’s Going On ? – what comes to you?

“What’s Going On?” is study. Now, when Marvin Gaye starts singing, that’s study too. It’s not study that emerges out of the absence of study. It’s an extension of study”. 

Fred Moten & Stefano Harney, The Undercommons

What is pre-occupying you at this time? What is your study? Who and what are your companions?

That life is complicated is a fact of great analytic importance.

Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights

We start with a playlist – what song or piece of music would you add to a playlist that speaks to these times? We invite you to share your chosen song or piece of music on the list so that it can be added to a collective playlist. 

“A song has a consciousness, almost, a life of its own”

Jude Rogers in The Sound of Being Human

Some of the organising committee’s pre-occupations and some of the readings/viewings/listenings that have been accompanying us with these pre-occupations:

Contending with multiple polarisations

The disarrangement of Brexit and its aftermath

The corruptions of government & big business and the erosion of rights

Navigating the pandemic and its on going presence and impact – Refusing the Death Drive Story: A Psychotherapist Reflects on HIV, COVID-19, Trauma, and Queer Attachments in a Time of Plague(s).

Living within a climate crisis / capitalocene

Wondering about loss and mourning  – Freud – Mourning and Melancholia

Fearful of the surges to the right – Rebecca Solnit : On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway

A continuous war – A War Without End – Ursula K. Le Guin

The afterlives of enslavement, the on going attempts to deny the realities of racism and ‘a past that is not the past’ – Christina Sharpe – In The Wake On Blackness and Being

“We might continue to imagine new ways to live in the wake of slavery…to survive (and 
more) the afterlife of property. In short I, mean wake work to be a mode of inhabiting and 
rupturing this episteme with our known lived and un/imaginable lives. 

Christina Sharpe

If haunting describes how that which appears to be not there is often a seething presence, acting on and often meddling with taken-for-granted realities, the ghost is just the sign, or the empirical evidence if you like, that tells you a haunting is taking place. The ghost is not simply a dead or a missing person, but a social figure, and investigating it can lead to that dense site where history and subjectivity make social life. The ghost or the apparition is one form by which something lost, or barely visible, or seemingly not there to our supposedly well-trained eyes, makes itself known or apparent to us, in its own way, of course. The way of the ghost is haunting, and haunting is a very particular way of knowing what has happened or is happening. Being haunted draws us affectively, sometimes against our will and always a bit magically, into the structure of feeling of a reality we come to experience, not as cold knowledge, but as a transformative recognition.

Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination

Kathryn Yusoff  :  A Billion Black Anthropocenes – how the world has always been ending

“Precisely because modernity (and premodernity) is secured in a subjectivity that is inscripted at the onset in race, the diagnostic of the Anthropocene does not unleash any ethical crisis in liberal discourse about who is targeted by these material practices. What is at stake and what is on the front line are defined through the color line. The disembodied monuments and matter of the Golden Spike point but don’t name. This is why the Anthropocene is configured in a future tense rather than in recognition of the extinctions already undergone by black and indigenous peoples.”

Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None

Arthur Jafa :  His new film is a post-human slow-motion seascape.  
AGHDRA is an attempt to reckon with that trauma, a function of the horror movies during Japan’s post-war rebirth. By melding the spirit of a John Coltrane improvisation with a Turner painting, Jafa’s film evokes the yawning space that exists between past and future worlds.”  

“Love Is the Message slyly asked “Who are you going to listen to, the people who got us into this mess or the people who survived and continue to survive it?””

Articles about the film can be found here  and  here

An excerpt from the film by Arthur Jafa and a conversation with Rinaldo Walcott can be viewed here.

Managing lies – Federico Finchelstein –  A Brief History of Fascist Lies   on the psychoanalytic history of lying. 

Attacks on socially just perspectives on the therapeutic project – what to make of them?

A playlist in the making :  

What’s Going On 

So Much Trouble in the World 

Breathe : Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Toshi Reagon

“We are far from free of the mirror’s other sides, our ghastly, nasty selves, the monsters in our dreams as well as waking lives – ourselves, each other, our worlds, our universe. More and more, as best we can, through our selfish selves and with our selfish selves as partners, may we reach out-in a little, and a little more, and keep on helping ourselves and each other, to the extent we are able, which may be more than we imagine. In Chapter 12, I try to sketch something of the way we shift and stretch, to grow with new conditions, but, also, to evolve with demands made on us by pressing inner dynamics, our own personal thorns, and the often furious suffering of others. One would think there is nothing new in suffering, but we manage to invent twists and turns that exploit this capacity, and call for creative gestures that sometimes border on the wondrous”.  

Introduction to The Psychoanalytic Mystic by Mike Eigen.