We have been asking ourselves: what title could have best captured our project’s anti-racist aims and intended outcomes? We are also reflecting on initial conversations with a project participant who invited us to consider: What does the conjunctional relationship between ‘whiteness’ and ‘contemporary dance’ imply? How might it be different had we positioned instead a prepositional ‘of’ between the categories?
We’ve just officially finished week one of our project and we have already questioned the appropriateness of its title, our proposed research methodologies and what power structures they assert, the hierarchies always already embedded within the research design and the varied privileges afforded amongst the project team members, and how these impact the varied stakes we each hold in the project.
As the only person of colour on the project team, the pressure I feel to not mess this up is indescribable. Yet, I am conscious also, that racism within contemporary dance and beyond is not a problem of my making.
At the end of week one I am left wondering then: how to get beyond the racialisation of my emotional labour in these circumstances?