Equality is white: cinema, race, and power

The main objective of this panel is to remove the white racial experience from invisibility, hence from normality. In cinema, as in other fields, only non-white bodies are usually marked by an idea of ​​”raciality”. Our horizon here is to produce advances in “naming the norm”, giving clear outlines to this experience, in a kind of whitenography, as Michelle Matiuzzi affirms.

The idea of ​​calling marked people as white also comes from observing the constant updating of the historical division of labor, where black bodies are called to speak only when their speech is confined within the trace race. We want to create an environment where the white anti-racist work, here connected to cinema, can be thought, mapped, visualized. Racism, as Grada Kilomba says, is a problem for the whites, after all. That the nonwhites have to solve it is, therefore, a double exploration: this panel wishes to act against it.

Assuming the ambiguity of replacing white bodies in an interface of visibility, it is desired here that the political works of these people must, necessarily, operate according to a certain negative program, in which “unlearning, undoing, silencing and boycotting cease to be mechanisms against black people and dissenters in general to become a sort of self-destructive ethic of which the white alliance work depends,” as Jota Mombasa says.

After all, a white anti-racist program that doesn’t go through paternalistic strategies of maintaining power, as for example the rhetorical figure of “giving the voice”.

How, at last, does “being white” produce a mode of circulation and access within the field of cinema and festivals? How did this marker act in the cinema environments, sets and in the paths in relation to this circuit? How do the ideas of “equality”, “plurality” and a demand for “union” act as disguises for the maintenance of privilegie structures? These are some of the basic questions that make up this proposition.


* Suggested readings