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Social Justice and Feldenkrais Pt 2: Whiteness, Social Disparity and Feldenkrais

This blog series was sparked by the following works:

Prentis Hemphill on Street Somatics

RAZORFEMME on Colonial somatics

Andrew Suseno on PARCON Resilience

Navild Acosta & Fannie Sosa’s Black Power Naps


Reparative donations can be made to creators above and:

African People’s Education and Defense Fund

Indigenous Environmental Network


Whiteness, Social Disparity and Feldenkrais


Any discussion of demographic disparity in rest and the systematic distribution of trauma and anxiety amongst certain populations is a discussion of national, racial, and class oppression.


None of us can live without anxiety and pain, Moshe Feldenkrais acknowledged that these are natural aspects of life. But if, as the Feldenkrais Method suggests, learning occurs best with rest and recuperation, then what does this method offer to people who cannot rest and recuperate because of genuine threats?


With the remarkably small number of black and brown practitioners and the complete absence of black and brown professional trainers and program directors (to my knowledge), is it reasonable to say the Feldenkrais Method is a ‘white’ method? Is the Feldenkrais Method accessible or even appropriate for black and indigenous communities that face constant and genuine threat from the state and vigilante violence? In other words, is this work helpful for those whose anxiety stems not from inaccurate conditioning but from genuine social oppression and violence?


If the Feldenkrais Method continues to make universal claims about human behavior, maturity, function, and neurobiology, then it must address these questions.


If the Feldenkrais community aspires to be relevant and valuable to all people on this planet, and not just those who meet a threshold of resources and access, then our work must address these questions.

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©2020 Connor Voss Feldenkrais Practitioner, Artwork by Tad Beck, Rosalie O'Connor