In 2016, I initiated the Radical Empathy Lab (REL) as a framework for my research to move from analysis to workshop and experience. REL has since moved through time and place as a question, a slogan, an intervention, as situations, actions, as affective encounter and as place that allows the laboratory to explore how to activate a micropolitical and holistic making of social empathy as an approach on post-representational curation.
It is an on-going social and research laboratory for alternative and holistic knowledge production, that embraces relational –versus informational– learning, and what Brazilian theorist Suely Rolnik calls “the knowing body”; it experiments with transdisciplinary holistic advances, in which the cognitive intertwines with the non-semiotic. The lab strives to emphasise and activate the reconnection to our sensing and knowing bodies, the sensual and experiential for creating critical consciousness, interconnectedness and to sharpen our senses for an “active micropolitics” (Rolnik).
The Radical Empathy Lab explores new forms of being together, that momentarily allow to reflect, to re-feel and undo a reactionary an-aesthesia (Greek: an-aesthēsis: without sensation), that is often nurtured by neoliberal capitalism and by dominant, separationist and systemic structures. By moving from singularity to collective activity REL investigates the relation between micro and macro dimensions of agency, as potential practices of freedom and self-empowerment that decolonise and de-subjectivate the (social) body and its relationality to the Other.