Thursday, April 17, 2014

on objectivity, neutrality, and biases

"i run on feelings fuck your facts/deception is the truest act."

On reactionism vs. cooptation/adaptation: postcolonial strategies

Mobutu vs. Moped: "Authenticité has made us discover our personality by reaching into the depths of our past for the rich cultural heritage left to us by our ancestors. We have no intention of blindly returning to all ancestral customs; rather. We would like to choose those that adapt themselves well to modern life, those that encourage progress, and those that create a way of life and thought that are essentially ours."
OK, so that's if you believe there is such a thing as 'essentially ours.'

See also: Vice Guide to Faschion


Das Racist is my jam.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Matika's Ambitious Project: Abolishing Negative Stereotypes

Matika Wilbur Project 562. Reppin Natives.

sorority princess cutouts

the prank that never was: the white princess cutouts on the lawn of a local sorority, painted brown/tan. my husband's silent protest against the reigning ideal of white beauty and its effect on women of color.

Gentrification, Segregation in art + life

I've recently had the pleasurable agony (?) of stage managing a play for a friend Tyrone Brown-his company Brownbox Productions (a Seattle-based theatre company dedicated to the creation, development, and production of re-imagined Black theatre). It's called The Negro Passion Play--asking the question, "What if Jesus had been born black and in the Jim Crow era Southern US?"

One notable thing about it is the literal suspension of disbelief when it comes to segregation.

We seat the white audience first in house right, and then the black audience separately, second, in house left. Then for the second act, there is an announcement that the audience is allowed to desegregate. The first two nights, nary one or two black souls drifted over from house left to house right. Yet, the white audience quickly moved over to the black side.

I am totally reading into it more than needs to be read into it--but that's what art historian-theorist-pretentious people like me do--it brought to mind this general idea of gentrification, segregation in our city and culture, and 'white' art spaces vs 'black' art spaces--the difference between going to a theatre event in North Seattle vs one in South Seattle--the fact that a friend of mine went to a 'controversial' theatre reading and not a single soul mentioned anything about race, in a primarily white audience in north Seattle (U-district, which really isn't that white, but North vs. South generally moves from mostly white to much nonwhite)--the dynamics are so obvious. When I attend an event at Langston Hughes Cultural Center, I know what or whom to expect; when I attend a non-black event, I know what or whom to expect (generally, white folks).

What happens when Drake crosses over into Lily White Turrell-territory?
What happens when country musicians incorporate rap into their songs?

How do we move beyond these entrenched spaces and places that are race-based, or can we? As a non-black, non-white person, where/do I belong in either of those spaces?

Respectability Politics, working within the system, and nuances of Ban Bossy

The more you make radical ideas "palatable," consumable to the mainstream and status quo, the less it's going to be about movement or revolution and the more it's going to be about stasis and staying-the-same-tion.

We have a right to be Malcom X angry and radical. It may not be a sustainable way to be so wrapped up in the pain of the world, but we(some of us) need to let off steam--consider it as a safety valve/slow release of anger, catharsis, rather than a passive-aggressive, submerged activism.

Concerning all this, about the Ban Bossy campaign, which is about striking using the word "bossy" (especially in relation to females taking leadership and authority) in order to enact gender parity (I think?)...I don't feel particularly angry about the campaign or anything. But in discussion with my rad woc solidarity friend Dana, we discussed a Facebook thread amongst our friends.

In response to Dana's posting of local black Feminist and new Stranger WOC (Represent!) Danielle Henderson's thoughts here...some of our friends disagreed with Henderson, more in favor of the Ban Bossy method (So I gathered from a cursory glance at the posts).

In response to the Friends' response to Danielle's response to Ban Bossy.... I personally think that to protect all potentially assertive women from pain (or criticism!) through thought and word policing may not be building in them the character and "fuck you" attitude that comes with having been roughed up, bullied, as well as the empathy and compassion from being in a marginalized position.

In other words, if the system is corrupt, rather than say "hey let's not talk about its corruption by protecting the vulnerable (delicate, floral? Hmm) women" I say, let's muck things up, fuck things up, and riff/revolution/jam til the system gets better.
And that's just my personal opinion/perspective/method. Thoughts?