The Other Country that You Are: A Performative Essay and Video Work exploring Radical Kindness in the Chilean Peoples Uprising of 2019

Alys Longley

Abstract


This attempts to instantiate Lisa Samuels critical orientation of ‘withness’ in regard to the activist work of Chilean artists within the protest movement of October 2019-October 2020. It presents writing and poetic video performance made through observation of, participation in and solidarity with the fight for a new Chilean constitution. 

 

Radical kindness is framed here as a crossing from tolerance into resistance in performances of care. This multi-modal essay leans further toward provocation, performance and poetics than scholarly argument in an attempt to explore style itself as form of solidarity and withness. 

 

This essay considers the creative vitality emerging from activist movements as hubs for the development of emergent systematicities (Haraway, 2019). The Chilean Social Movement created spaces for testing new worlds - conceptually and quite literally. In thinking-with artworks and actions emerging in this movement, this essay explores withness beyond the authors everyday in Aotearoa New Zealand, to consider how in extreme spaces of activism, situations of kindness and violence, unity and destruction, generosity and loss can become entwined. By positioning radical kindness as resistance to a status quo, this essay frames an approach to kindness that can include violence, awkwardness, tension, even rage.  


Keywords


Chilean Social Movement, Withness, Performance Writing, Radical kindness, Poetic research

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References


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