Performance art: "white sins"
@anna valeska pohl🖤
Photography: @maria camila salazar 🖤
"White Sins came to me, unexpected. But actually all of my projects do to be honest. White Sins is a response to white supremacy, to white culture, to the brutality of the US police the entire world witnessed during the pandemic, to the ongoing colonialism, the abjection of the black body and our belief in whiteness as a form of purity.
I believe that we looked at George Floyd because our lives were on hold. We couldn't escape into the dullness of our daily lives, driven by consumption and distraction. Instead all of us who are so used to our privilege that we don't even notice it, felt for some long moments the uncertainty of the future. This uncertainty that can be an abyss of breathlessness is the reality for so many people in this world. They aren't allowed to dream their future because their body can be taken any moment.
When the Black Lives Matter protests started, I found myself trapped in speechlessness. I kept sitting in discomfort till the questions arose:
How can I use my white, privileged body to honor those who are oppressed because of the color of their skin? How can I give a voice to those? How can I speak in my own voice, but not speaking about myself? How can my privileged body help to heal?
White culture with its false promises, its ideologies full of lies and power tales, is a culture of sins. The seven deadly sins, of greed, of grinding, of endless consumption, of crave, with no hope for so many. A culture of fallen angels, and false prophecies. A culture of blood and black milk.
The White Sins project will be continued and expanded. My collaborators Carmen Lafran, Michael Pöpperl and I intend to speak more and deeper about the history of colonialism, enslavement, about our construction of whiteness, about a new future. The uncertainty of this pandemic carries the possibility to rewrite the future beyond the structures that make people suffocate." (Anna Valeska Pohl, artistic director bambule.babys)
Photo: Carmen Lafran & Anna Valeska Pohl while dissecting one of the seven deadly sins, at the first preshowing at Untergeschoss der Pandora Art Gallery, captured by Maria Camila Salazar.
Part of the inspiration for this project comes from Ta-Nehesi Coates, Between the World and Me.