This essay takes up a collaboration between Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq and Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory to theorize a form of dominant public I call an “ugly public.” Ugly publics rely on the difference between audiences (the people in the room) and publics (which are not quite people and rely on a series of texts) to come into being. Ugly publics result when a dominant public is pinned down and made to feel feelings associated with minoritarian positionings. Crucially, in ugly publics, these feelings do not result from empathizing with minoritarian subjects but rather from confronting their own dominance.

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