The White Gaze
Claudia Rankine and Athena Farrokhzad
Citizen. An American Lyric (2014) is the fifth poetry collection of renowned poet Claudia Rankine. Through seven chapters, in short prose and pictures, Citizen portrays racism and racist incidents from American daily life, from the average American to public personas like Serena Williams, and victims of police shootings.
In just a few years, Citizen has achieved cult status and, as the first poetry collection ever, landed a spot on The New York Times’ fiction best seller list.
As an academic and a Professor at Yale University, Rankine has been interested in whiteness and how this affects people’s view of the world. This is the focus in her play The White Card, which will be read on a stage outside the US for the first time when it is performed at Litteraturhuset this evening.
The white gaze is also central to Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad’s poetry collection Vitsvit (White Blight) from 2013. Rankine and Farrokhzad will meet in conversation about racism, whitened and privilege.