WiLDING Collaboration: Moving White(ness) with Natasha Stovall PhD New York, NY
April 25 @ 9:00 am - April 26 @ 5:00 pm
“The couch in my therapy office is occupied mostly by white people. Anxious white people and depressed white people. Obsessive white people and compulsive white people. White people who hurt people and white people who hurt themselves. White people who eat too much, drink too much, work too much, shop too much. White people who are bored, envious, guilty, numb. Racist white people and antiracist white people. White people who look across the room and see a white therapist listening. We talk about everything. Except being white.”
~ Natasha Stovall – Whiteness on the Couch ~
Photo Credit sep–unsplash
Join Somatic educator Liz Koch & clinical Psychologist Natasha Stovall in an exploration of our white-ness from both a personal, social, and physical perspective. How do we create and live with a newly coherent narrative of ourselves as white bodies and white people? What sort of changes in our selves and in our actions would it take to “live our whiteness” in a new and different, non-oppressive and less oppressed way?
We’ll begin by exploring whiteness as a multi-faceted way of being, giving space to the understanding that “whiteness” is a complete abstraction that brings and has brought unquantifiable pain, violence, and suffering to non-white people for the material benefit of our ancestors and ourselves. We will attempt to go beyond, literally and figuratively, a black and white perspective to work with the ways that whiteness benefits us but also cripples us and all “others” in so many other ways.
Photo Credit: amir-kh-unsplash
Using somatic explorations we will examine the ideal white body through the paradigms of fitness, dance, and beauty that have been constructed to create an idealized body, and explore our personal relationship to this idealized “white” gold standard. Using biologically-intelligent movements we will venture into the “frozen” disassociated response within our own core and invite ourselves to dissolve the historically defended rigidity found within the “white-posturing” spine to discover our inner sense of self as living beings. Through embodiment practices we will awaken a different consciousness from the one society has provided us. By employing micro, non-linear, multi-dimensional, fluid movements we may evoke a different experience of being that concurrently flows under the cultural and historical terrain – one that is a source of strength and resiliency since the beginning of time. This biological awareness changes our sense of self, shifts our focus, and helps us emerge from the isolation of our colonized western conditioning.
As we begin to dissolve the insistence within the the objectified body we may integrate and participate in a larger conversation of human existence. Allowing ourselves this opportunity to explore, evoke, and call forth innate movement becomes an invitation to discover for ourselves a deep inner knowing that elicits profound conductivity, vitality, and playfulness….a sense of belonging. By creating a multi-layered understanding of our white experience we offer the opportunity to alter the ways cultural whiteness damages our selves, our fellow human beings, and life on earth. As we begin imaging reparative ways of being we can create opportunities to generate healing for our world, our ancestors, and all future generations.
Natasha Stovall is a clinical psychologist in private practice working with adults, adolescents and children. Her essays and cultural criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Spin. Her most recent essay, “Whiteness on the Couch”, appeared in Longreads in August 2019.
Liz Koch is an international educator, author, and creator of CoreAwareness™ focusing on awareness as key for developing human potential and awakening consciousness. With 40 years experience specializing in the human core, Liz is recognized in the somatic, bodywork, and fitness professions as an authority on the core tissue called Psoas. Both nationally and internationally published, her works include The Psoas Book, Unraveling Scoliosis CD, Core Awareness; Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise & Dance, Psoas & Back Pain CD and Mother, Maiden, Crone: Our Pleasure Playlist and her new book Stalking Wild Psoas: Embodying Your Core Intelligence published in 2019 by North Atlantic Books.