Shop > Artists' Books

$21.00Out of Stock

The Anti-White Space

Samiha Meem
Samiha Meem
Artists' Books
15.5 × 23 × 0.6 cm
92 pp

“Comfort is about an encounter between more than one body, which is the promise of a ‘sinking’ feeling. To be comfortable is to be so at ease with one’s environment that it is hard to distinguish where one’s body ends and the world begins… White bodies are comfortable as they inhabit spaces that extend their shape… In other words, whiteness may function as a form of public comfort by allowing bodies to extend into spaces that have already taken their shape.

…spaces we occupy do not ‘extend’ the surfaces of our bodies… Having been singled out in line, at the borders, we become defensive; we assume a defensive posture, as we ‘wait’ for the line of racism, to take our rights of passage away. If we inherit the failure of things to be habitual, then we might also acquire a tendency to look behind us. To be not white is to be not extended by the spaces you inhabit… When you don’t sink, when you fidget and move around, then what is in the background becomes in front of you, as a world that is gathered in a specific way.”

- Sara Ahmed, A Phenomenology of Whiteness, Feminist Theory Vol. 8 (pg. 158), 2007

This manifesto looks at the direction of contemporary architecture through the critical lens of the anti-white space, a space that removes the ideology of whiteness that is ingrained in our practice hence becoming more inclusive. The presence of privilege in space puts pressure on people of color to defend their conflicting identities within it. Sharing themselves meant that they would be seen and being seen has never been easy. People of colour have been forced to build a pattern where they are continuously building their identities around those belonging to white people, protecting their feelings with disregard to their own, as an effort to recreate the comfort they see in white lives and to gain their approval. We are becoming more aware of this condition and sensitive to the existence of non-white needs but this also needs to extend into our practice of architecture. We see the ideologies put forth by privileged white architects, who haven’t had their identities challenged by space, and we accept it as the universal. White is the default. White is the normal. All outside it is questionable, more thoroughly vetted, and suppressed. It is unfair to force us to reconfigure our identities to cater to the white state of mind, to be able to relate to white issues, and not feel a reciprocation. If equality and unity is the intention, why is it so one-sided?

The Anti-White Space is filled with one-liners to help motivate you to dismantle privilege in these trying times.

Softcover, perfect-bound, b&w


  1. The Anti-White Space

Related Items

  1. Dani Jakob: Of a Land
  2. Donal McGraith: Leaving No Mark: Prolegomena to an Evanescent Art
  3. Sexuality
  4. Model Minority
  5. Julian Jason Haladyn: 17/13
  6. Jack Henrie Fisher: Counter-Signals 2
  7. bankleer: Finger in the Pie
  8. Maria Lucia Cattani: Pocket Space
  9. Keller Easterling: Subtraction
  10. Pascal Gielen: No Culture, No Europe
  11. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: The Rumors of the World
  12. Avery F. Gordon: Ghostly Matters
  13. Lucy Pullen: 5183 Sackville St.
  14. Michael Dopp: New Babylon
  15. Mediaworks: Nancy Paterson
  16. Sylvia Matas: In Every Direction
  17. Nathaniel Russell: Stars Etcetera
  18. Michael Werner: White Squirrel Buttons
  19. Seth Fluker: Dressed For Space
  20. Seth Fluker: Dressed for Space - SPECIAL EDITIONIncludes signed artists print
  21. Shawn Kuruneru: Shadowboxing
  22. Sami Benhadj, Tarik Hayward, and Guy Meldem: Made of Concrete
  23. Cia Rinne: Notes for Soloists
  24. Mesostic Herbarium
  25. Kurt Kranz: Schwarz: weiss/weiss: schwarz (black: white/white: black), 1928/29
  26. Nathan Coley: Urban / Wild
  27. Benjamin Phelan: Charge Clusters: The Basis of Zero-Point Energy Inventions
  28. David Maljkovi?: New Reproductions
  29. Due to Injuries...
  30. Jesse Harris : Jesse Wars Here
  31. Andrew Dodds: Lost in Space
  32. Katharina Ammann: schwarz auf weiss: zeichnerischer Realismus - zeitgenössische Positionen