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The Whiteness Issue

September 2017


The first issue of The Racial Imaginary’s website centers around constructions, deconstructions, and visualizations of/around whiteness, white identity, white rage/fragility/violence, and white dominant structures. We have envisioned this as a mobile space to be periodically updated with new work.


We have gathered here work by scholars, MFA students and cohorts, theater artists, photographers, sound artists, painters and multimedia artists, poets, and essayists in order to create a matrix of interconnected work, both new and previously shown, that interrogates one of the most toxic ideological strongholds threatening our collective survival.


The Institute begins with a focus on whiteness because we believe that in our current moment whiteness is freshly articulated: the volume on whiteness has been turned up. Whiteness as a source of unquestioned power, and as a “bloc,” feels itself to be endangered even as it retains its hold on power. Given that the concept of racial hierarchy is a strategy employed to support white dominance, whiteness is an important aspect of any conversation about race. We begin here in order to make visible that which has been intentionally presented as inevitable so that we can move forward into more revelatory conversations about race. Our first project questions what can be made when we investigate, evade, beset and call out bloc-whiteness.


We hope that these materials provide a platform for conversation, organization, and new work.


Curatorial team

Claudia Rankine, Poet, Essayist, Playwright
LeRonn P. Brooks, Curator
Monica Youn, Poet
Stephen Wilson, Writer and Curator (based in London, UK)
Emily Skillings, Poet
Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Curator
Jennifer Uleman, Philosopher
Margo Okazawa-Rey, Interdisciplinary Scholar and Activist
John Lucas, Filmmaker
Casey Llewellyn, Playwright
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Poet, Vocalist, Sound Artist
Max King Cap, Artist
Cathy Park Hong, Poet
Meg Onli, Curator
Sara’o Bery, Producer
Kaitlyn Greenidge, Writer
Nuar Alsadir, Writer and Psychoanalyst
Simon Wu, Curator and Program Coordinator of TRII


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