Empathy, Protest and Productive Conflict: A conversation with Activist & Author Aruna D'Souza
“My friends tell me empathy is my superpower,” says Aruna D’Souza, “but I am deeply suspicious of the idea of empathy as a motor for political change.” Protest and empathy is at the center of this conversation between Aruna and Susan.
If we delve deeply into the slogan Love Trumps Hate what will we discover about personal will vs collective will? Writing White Walling: Art, Race, and Protest in Three Acts was a self-education for Aruna - an act of transformation - an exercise in what it means to be an ally “sitting and looking carefully at what people have said, without falling back on knee-jerk arguments like free speech and artistic freedom, caused me to ask - to what extent are these things just shields for us not to talk about racism?”
Meet This Episode's Guest
Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in 4Columns.org, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She is editor of the forthcoming volume Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson.