Discussion will be led by Kelly Campbell
Reading: Excerpts from “The Ladies Have Feelings, So… Shall We Leave It to the Experts?” (1-33) from Power Politics, 2nd ed, (Cambridge: South End Press, 2002.), and “The Reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin,” Outlook (India), November 27, 2000 (https://commondreams.org/views/2000/11/27/power-politics-reincarnation-rumpelstiltskin), both by Arundhati Roy.
Arundhati Roy’s essays deal with how artistic expression is often viewed as too subjective to deal with “serious” or political issues, and how feelings are culturally positioned as an obstacle in rational understanding. Roy explains how this ideology is weaponized by institutional experts along lines of race, class and gender in order to deny and obscure the lived experiences and dissent of the human subjects of their studies. Experts are invested in obscuring the truth, Roy asserts, while artists have a drive to reveal it. Maintaining a calm distance from feelings and political struggle is only possible when it’s not your own life that is at stake. To whom is the idea of critical distance desirable? Who does it benefit, and who does it suppress?
Kelly Campbell (AKA Grub) spends most of their time feeling feelings. They sometimes take breaks to create sculpture, sound, installation and graphic art. Their work examines the roles and relationships of labour, leisure, emotion and gender within systems of power.
Image by Walter Scott
It’s fun! It’s theoretical! And you don’t have to drink beer! MAWA presents informal critical discussion led by guest facilitators. Theory and Beer convenes on Thursday evenings, once a month. Each meeting has a text-based focus, with weblinks to readings provided in advance. Do the readings beforehand or come to the Legion at 6:15 pm and pick up a copy of the text(s). The more familiar you are with the readings, the more the conversation will “cook”! The Legion is accessible. People of all genders welcome.