On Cuddling

From the terrifying embrace of the slave ship's hold to the racist encoding of 'cuddly' toys, On Cuddling is a unique combination of essay, poetry and imagery that contends with the way racial violence is enacted through intimacy.

Informed by Black feminist and queer poetics, Phanuel Antwi focuses his lens on the suffering of Black people at the hands of state violence and racial capitalism. As radical movements grow to advance Black liberation, so too must our ways of understanding how racial capitalism embraces us all. Antwi turns to cuddling, an act we imagine as devoid of violence, and explores the act as a tense transfer point of power.

Through archival documents, visual art, multiple genres of writing, as well as fragments of interviews and fiction, it becomes clear that racist state and economic violence has always been about the (mis)management of intimacies, and so too has resistance and solidarity.

Publication Date: 
November 20, 2023