Rotten.TV Episode 1: DeComposure, Ama Josephine Budge, 2021
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A Note from the Artist: Please do not screenshot, screengrab, screen or reproduce this film in any way without express permission from the artist. Thank you for respecting the integrity of the work. Please note this film will be screened until Sunday 4th December, it will be available on request following this. Content Notice: White Violence, Abuse, Slurs, Bigoted Sentiments, Far-Right and White Supremacist action depicted.

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Rotten.TV Episode 1: DeComposure, Ama Josephine Budge, 2021

Ama Josephine Budge
Runtime: 12:41

DeComposure, by British-Ghanaian speculative writer, artist and pleasure activist Ama Josephine Budge, is a meditation on the decomposition of British Empire. Considering that a perceived deficit of economies of “composure” > aka the aesthetics and performances of Christian European civility/civilisation > became a crucial argument for the dehumanisation, racialisation, colonisation and enslavement of Black people, DeComposure reflects on the ways that whiteness as innocent/saviour and whiteness as natural/mastery is fraying and coming apart at the seams in violent and harmful ways. This white grief is like a virus, highly contagious and indiscriminate in its ability to discriminate, to violate, to hate and harm and bring the world burning down with it. But ash becomes (a) fecund matter.

As a mixed-race Black woman living in the UK, Budge utilises rituals of cleansing and gyration to reckon with being what Métis scholar, Michelle Murphy calls ‘non innocently entangled with whiteness’, : an intimately political, ecological and historical relationship of contamination, decolonisation, privilege and transformation. DeComposure consumes whiteness, digesting and regurgitating generative composites and gastric acids from which, amongst the dead, new life is born. 

‘Alterlife acknowledges that one cannot simply get out, that this hurtful and deadly entanglement forms part of contemporary existence in this moment, in the ongoing aftermath. And yet the openness to alteration may also describe the potential to become something else, to defend and persist, to recompose relations to water and land, to become alter-wise in the aftermath.’ (Murphy, 2017)

Access: There will be an audio description and transcript of the film available in the coming weeks.