Ethical Undoings

As a visiting researcher in Goa, poetry helps me to hover in tensioned moments and engage with the ethical implications of my work in a meaningful way. Thinking about the history of this place, the distribution of power, and the privilege I hold as a white-bodied “tourist” – I grapple with the politics of my position here.

    Coming to know beyond you and I

Who am I in what I do?

Is it possible to be “me”

or am I a collection of many other things?

my ancestors, their times

a history of molecules that reconstitute themselves in my body

and all around me

Constantly becoming something else

Am I one or many?

A collection of ideas

Sifted through social and cultural politics

Implicated and messy

I am a carrier of these

A landscape of intersecting lines

               That moves beyond surface or topography

Entangled in its weave

I have a social location

And a privilege that affords me this place

So what does it mean to know?

With who I am in what I do

Not a question to be answered,

Opinion to gain,

Or destination to navigate

I begin and begin again

With an image I must shed

A map to burn

And a language to unthink

I am becoming with an ever-changing event

No solidified figure or concrete pathology

Representation defies its process

And recognition limits its flight

Marks are left and erased again

Roots are twined – signified, totalized – some become strangled

Others breathe in the spaces between

Becoming here

Is not black and white

A process of evolving – but not how I have been trained to see it

Forward and back again

Upside down and inside out

Am I one or many?

Who am I in what I do?

Perhaps – I am a body

Dusted with sand,

Age old and multistoried

Scratched surface –

Exposed

Untitled presentation

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