This conversation between Gail Lewis and Foluke Taylor (available for free until Dec 31st) is a new addition to Confer's 'Women on the Couch' online module.
This collection of pre-recorded talks provides fresh insight from a range of female perspectives on diverse matters such as addiction, race, goddesses, ecology, rituals, adoption, childlessness, self-harm, sexual harassment and the menopause: https://www.confer.uk.com/module/module-women.html
This is a conversation between psychotherapists Foluke Taylor and Gail Lewis, both of whom try to live their lives through the ethical guidance of Black feminism. Taking Black feminisms, in the plural, to combine descriptions and theorisations of the racist, mysogynist, heteronormative structures of power that condition the lived realities of black and other people racialized as minority; but to also offer directions in living in, through and beyond the strictures of these structures of power. In this, and rooted in a privileging of the emotional as a site of knowing, Black feminisms are seen as offering poetic languages and structures from which alternative forms of 'personhood' can be generated and lived.
From this starting point, and with reference to a small number of quotations from what could be a vast array of authors (e.g. essayists, poets, musicians, psychotherapists), Foluke and Gail converse with each other about why and how Black feminisms have much to offer the 'consulting room' and why it should be taken up as gift full of resources by psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic communities of practice.
Gail Lewis is Reader Emerita in Psychosocial Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. She trained as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. Her political subjectivity was formed in the intensities of black feminist and anti-racist struggle and through a socialist, anti-imperialist lens. She was a member of the Brixton Black Women’s Group and one of the founder members of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent, Britain’s first national organisation for black and other women of colour. She is currently writing a book on black feminism in Britain and has written on feminism, intersectionality, the welfare state, and racialised-gendered experience.
Her publications include ‘Race, Gender and Social Welfare: encounters in a postcolonial society’ (2000), Polity Press; ‘Citizenship: personal lives and social policy’ (2004), ed. Polity Press; ‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’ (2009) Studies in the Maternal; ‘Unsafe Travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements’ (2013) Signs: journal of women in culture and society; ‘Where Might I Find You’: Popular Music and the Internal Space of the Father’, (2012) Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society; ‘Questions of Presence’, (2017) Feminist Review, Issue 117; ‘Black Feminism and the Challenge of Object Use’ (forthcoming) Feminist Review. She believes that open and honest conversations across differences, including intergenerational conversations, are the pressing issues of this moment of hate-filled crisis. She is an Arsenal fan.
Foluke Taylor is a psychotherapist, writer and teacher. She has been in practice for over 25 years, drawing on Black feminist, relational psychoanalytic, and narrative approaches, as well as on knowledge gathered in nonconventional study spaces. Along with her partner and their five children, she spent 10 remarkable and formative years living and working in The Gambia. Now based in London, she works in private practice, and as a school counsellor, and as creator and facilitator of various group writing spaces. Foluke has an MSc in Creative writing for Therapeutic purposes (CWTP).
Her work engages therapeutics, poetics, and activism as dynamically interconnected experiments in being and living otherwise, that support wellbeing in racialised and marginalised people. She has contributed to and participated in several of artist Barby Asante’s performance installations ‘Declaration of Independence’, in Britain and Europe. Currently, she teaches on trauma at NAOS Institute, and on CWTP within the faculty of Applied Social and Organisational Sciences at the Metanoia Institute. Recent publications include a bio-mythography How the Hiding Seek (2018), and As Much Space as We Can Imagine: Black Presence in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2019). She has contributed a chapter to What is Normal? to be published by Confer in November 2020 and is currently completing a book on the development of a Black therapist’s praxis for PCCS Books.
Link to Confer's 'Women on the Couch' module: https://www.confer.uk.com/module/module-women.html