Interviews on Critical Race and Trans/Queer Approaches to Filmmaking: Incommensurabilities—The Limits of Redress, Intramural Indemnity, and Extramural Auditorship
In the first part of this interview, Frank B. Wilderson IIII discusses how his documentary Reparations . . . Now (work in progress from 2008) theorizes black perspectives on loss and redress in context with his larger body of work. He further reflects upon the degree of alignment between the experimental video’s formal strategies, means of production, political aims of its participants, and audience reception. What does using a video camera as a tool for witnessing, confession, surveillance, and documentation reveal about the limits of relationality? How does the technological medium shape its libidinal thrust and aesthetics? In the second part of this interview, Cecilio M. Cooper discusses their movement away from performance and filmmaking (including Uncle Samima Wants U [2008, 2012] and SHADOWPLAY ) toward critical writing. This is a move made necessary by the way that most audiencing for these media is hostile to a performer—a queer nonbinary black transmasculine person—usually foreclosing the territorial integrity of their body, and infringing their capacity for bodily autonomy. Critical writing has made it possible, despite interdisciplinary antiblackness combining with the violent erasure of Black trans people from academic personnel, to ask questions embedded in but not foregrounded by the earlier filmmaking: What are the affective registers through which humans are emplotted into space and place? How is blackness disavowed in the ways that nonblack people understand and map the world? How does antiblackness shape how black people inhabit Atlantic World territory and debilitate their claims to it in pursuit of possessive individualism?
Copyright (c) 2020 Frank Wilderson, Cecilio Cooper
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