White Psychosis and The Wake

You are invited to a screening of Eugene Nulman’s documentary, The Psychosis of Whiteness. The documentary is based on Kehinde Andrew’s paper The Psychosis of Whiteness and narrated by the author. 

This will be  followed by a panel response and time for collective reflection, drawing from the work of Christina Sharpe:  In the Wake – On Blackness and Being. 

The film sheds light on society’s perceptions of race and racism by exploring cinematic representations of the slave trade. This documentary takes an in-depth look at big budget films that focus on the transatlantic slave trade and, using a wealth of sources and interviews, it argues that these depictions are metaphoric hallucinations about race. Rather than blaming the powerful institutions that are responsible for slavery, these films rewrite history by praising those same institutions for abolishing the slave trade. Christina Sharpe states that ‘to be in the wake is to occupy and to be occupied by the continuous and changing present of slavery’s as yet unresolved unfolding’. This unresolved unfolding alongside metaphoric hallucinations about race continue to be neglected in our field and our practice as a whole.

The panel will respond to the issues raised by the film and the text as we consider the wake, racism and white psychosis in therapeutic practice, thinking and teaching.

The panelists:

Foluke Taylor – Counsellor/Psychotherapist and Writer

Dr Gail Lewis – Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and Sociologist, previous Programme Director of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck.

Robert Downes – TRS Chair, Psychotherapist.Date:16th Feb 2020.    Time: 2-5.30pm Venue: Stillpoint Spaces London. 

Reserving a place: please contact Jane at therelationalschool@gmail.com to reserve your place and to access instructions for making payment. £45 TRS members. £50 non-members. £35 students of counselling and psychotherapy.

There will be refreshments and some snacks.

Links to the pre-reading and videos are below.

Open Access version of  Kehinde Andrews article The Psychosis of Whiteness: the celluloid hallucinations of Amazing Graze and Belle (published in the Journal of Black Studies in 2016). The article inspired the making of the documentary.

Chapter of Christina Sharpe’s In The Wake On Blackness and Being. This first chapter describes the notion of the wake.

Christina Sharpe reading an excerpt from In The Wake No.1.

Christina Sharpe reading an excerpt from In The Wake No.2African American

African American philosopher, George Yancy, breaks down what is required of whiteness to unravel from the psychosis of whiteness.