Content Disclaimer. Please note that some of the words within this document, including the Key Terms section of this ToR are considered highly offensive to People of Colour but we have included them to support difficult discussions around the subject of race and ethnicity to support understanding and evolve thinking with the aim of transformation.
Special Thanks. Shades of Noir would like to extend a special thank to the ToR Support Rayvenn Shaleigha Dâ€™Clark art and Angie Illman as well as Editors Melodie Holliday and Aisha Richards for their contributions of this Terms of Reference Journal.
WITH THANKS TO. Contributors: Phase 5 Shades of Noir Team Peer Reviewers: Kirsten Hemmy Annabel Crowley Annie-Marie Akussah Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo Ethel-Ruth Tawe Hamed Maiye Helene Selam Kleih Hsuan Wan (Hilary) Jawara Alleyne Kai Isaiah Akeem Jamal Ken Nwadiogbu LaToya Hobbs Liberty Antonia Sandler Madinah Farhannah Thompson Matt Sesow Mercedes Lewis Parys Gardener Prudence Flint Rachel Isabel Mukendi Raju (Rage) Sachi Singh Rene Matich Samira Saidi Sanya Torkmorad-Jozavi Shannon Bono Sola Olulode INFO: W: shadesofnoir.org.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Tw: @shadesofnoir Fb: shadesofnoir
Thokozani Mbwana Timothy Nyakueydzwa Unimuke J Agada Uzma Chowdhury Yi Xiao Chen Yoko Lee Grindel Yuwen Hsieh
Illustrations & Photography: Jay Lee Cover Illustation by Kana Higashino
A Note From The Leads
Kirsten Hemmy & Annabel Crowley
24 . 168.
Expanding The Conversation
Further Resources Key terms, Further Reading, Digital Resources
WELCOME. The definition of politić is an allegorical term used to characterise the people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organised group of citizens. Politić therefore becomes a metaphor that likens a nation state to a mental corporeal, which has undoubtedly had serious historical repercussions throughout colonial history, especially in its applicability to the conditions of slavery. As this theme is being explored more than ever before in art - Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas - film - Get Out (Peele, 2017) or Black Panther (Coogler 2018) - and intersectional poetry - in its insights into the lived, everyday, collective experiences of people of colour - what now does the ‘black’ body politić look like, and how has this idea of body politics evolved in the present day? Eschewing the real life hectic complexities of the black body and ideas of ‘blackness’, contemporary racism and the connective tissue that bounds black consciousness coalesces into a single territory of pain, as is contemplated by Claudia Rankine who characterises ‘the condition of [being] Black […] is one of mourning. (Rankine, 2015). Whilst Rankine’s critique is quite a devastating criticism, the notion of ‘blackness’ as a counterpart to the pervasive modality of ’whiteness’ is eloquently typified in the duality of her commentary which identifies the dynamics of mourning in a culture where ‘black lives continue to exist in a state of precariousness’ (ibid.). But what about the possibility (and examples) of black liberation in the everyday? Despite much of the dialoge on the subject remaining highly localised to the American situation, in the modern world ‘black is as unimaginable without white as white is unimaginable without black. What we are is shaped by the other, for better or worse and the interaction is real’ (Cole, 2018). In this vein, cultural theorist Stuart Hall opted to characterise the question of black identity within a specific historical moment: ‘It has always been an unstable identity, psychically, culturally, and politically. It, too, is a narrative, a story, a history. Something constructed, told, spoken, not simply found … black is an identity which had to be learned and could only be learned in a certain moment’ (Hall  1996c, p. 116). ‘The body is steadily bombarded by the media… floating free in virtual realities and lost in neurotic networks; it can no longer convey an illustration of wholeness but rather become the expression of a fundamental disintegration of identity’ (anonymous, 2018). How then can we discuss the treatment of the black body in the present and the legitimacy of the claims of threat that it poses in consuming black bodies altogether? 6 // BODY POLITIĆ.
Through looking at several high-profile art, film and pop-cultural references, we can together undoubtedly begin a discussion of the several types of consumption that impact upon the black body surrounding the turn of the century and beyond? This ToR explores this and more!
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A NOTE FROM THE LEAD.
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When exploring the concept of politić, I had to truly consider not only the illustration of wholeness, but rather the expression of a fundamental disintegration of individual identity. I suppose in this you have to similarly ask: “when will the black body escape (from) the guise of the white imagination?” It is, at least for me, an exploration of self; of collective people, nations, ideologies. And It is by no means an easy question to answer. Despite many critical attempts to navigate questions of inequity and disproportionality many still, in my opinion, continue to suffer a chaotic relationship to the truth. Therefore, to insist on truth in times of chaos (Peterson, 2018) is imperative, lest we backslide. Perhaps then, truthbecomes the metaphor that can be used to illustrate an evolving body politić; objects emerging from this discussion illustrating the many reverberations of nuanced emotions that forms the contemporary body politić. In settling on a title for this ToR I thought to myself, what does the politić mean to me? As lead, I knew that it needed to explore a topic that I felt personally connected to, something that I in fact wanted to learn more about. Hence, the perspective of other creatives artists became of great importance because it is we who are making work within an evolving body politić, marked by new visualisations - both controversial and celebrated - of the blackbody in which questions of the politić can be thrown much more seriously towards modern audiences. As such, this ToR has become another mechanism to engender a renewed questioning around issues of contemporary body politics and how this manifests itself in my everyday, collective experience. However, in terming the word ‘politić’, I must make one very important clarification: whilst the comma - removed from its normative function - is substituted in this usage transforming the words traditional spelling, this also becomes a deliberate attempt to show plural possession; or collective dispossession. Thus, the extended term of body politić can and has come to embody the several mythologies surrounding the black body as constructed (regulated) in traditional media; in its simultaneous manifestation, consumption and dispersal both online and IRL (in-real-life), in maintaining the presumed dimensionality of ‘blackness’ as a counterpart (or antagonist) to ‘whiteness’. The consideration that ‘black is as unimaginable without white as white is unimaginable without black. What we are is shaped by the other, for better or worse and the interaction is real’ (Cole, 2018), what does it mean to discuss the idea of black bodies as political playgrounds in a (supposed) ’post-racial’ epoch. As I find myself residing in a society undoubtedly confounded by a severe strain of ‘post-truth’ politics, damaged peer-relations, and skewed models of acceptance I find that all I can do within this climate is continue the growing conversation in an attempt to make a direct challenge to this narrative history of colonialism under the new type of perceptive schemata, that feels to have undoubtedly come full circle in the present. Whilst the black body continues to perform as radicalised subject - the histories of this atrocity run deep - it all boils down to a question of visibility versus omission? Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark.
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1. We can start this dialog by considering the following questions: 2. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? 3. W hat are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? 4. How is / can the body politić discussed in the everyday: includes types of manifestations, visualisations and framing) 5. W hat about the possibility of black liberation? 6. W hat is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? 7. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? 8. How are colonialist narratives linked to issues of the body politić? 9. How can / has the idea of the body politić be located in film, art and poetry - with examples. 10. How do artifacts such as memes contribute to the evolving body politić? 11. What informs the many considerations of double consciousness and performance as integral to the black experience?
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Shades of Noir has been pleased to invite Kirsten Hemmy and Annabel Crowley to peer review this Terms of Reference. Kirsten Hemmy. Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Religion at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina; Member of the Southern Humanities Council executive board and the director of the Mosaic Literary Center of Charlotte (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery, cultivation, and preservation of contemporary literature and the arts in underserved communities). As a Fulbright Scholar in 2003, she studied politics and poetry in Senegal. Hemmy has also studied in Ghana and is currently completing a book on Emma Brown, an Ibibio freedom fighter and political activist in Nigeria. She was the 2008 recipient of the Linda Flowers Literary Award for Poetry, has received the Academy of American Poets Award, and has published interviews with poets such as Yusef Komunyakaa and Ralph Angel Annabel Crowley. Annabel is a long-time education enthusiast and advocate. She has worked in the Further and Higher Education sectors for more than a decade. She is also the co-chair of UAL’s Group for the Equality of Minority Staff (GEMS), UAL’s largest and longest-standing staff network that represents employees and workers of colour. Annabel’s main role is to develop strategic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion/ Organisational Development interventions that promote access and inclusion for UAL staff. As a Visiting Lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts, she has taught critical theory on the BA Textile Design course. Before joining UAL, she led self-advocacy projects for disabled people-led organisations in London. Annabel’s research interests are in social justice pedagogy and inclusive learning and teaching practices. She is currently studying for her MA at Central Saint Martins. BODY POLITIĆ. // 11
A NOTE FROM KIRSTEN HEMMY. I am a woman of color. I have lived my life passing in and out of situations, flitting in and out of spaces, believing I belonged everywhere. Whiteness. Admission: my best friend and I used to box together. After one evening’s class, I posted on social media that I was getting my aggressions out with her. She asked me to delete it. Come on, she said. You know I can’t refer to myself as aggressive. I’m a Black woman. I was ashamed that after a 10-year friendship, it hadn’t occurred to me. Admission: I received tenure at an Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCU). While I was eager and earnest to become a respectful, loving member of this institution, it literally never dawned on me that I might not be welcomed into this space. When reflecting on this years later with a Black friend, they said they never assumed they were welcome in any space. Admission: I feel welcome in every space, sure I can win people over. Admission: When I lived in Senegal, I forgot how much I didn’t fit in visually. I learned Wolof and Diola, I felt comfortable. My mother asked me once what it was like to feel so visible everywhere I went. White privilege meant I’d never considered it. Admission: at 27, when I moved from Hawai’i to the Midwest US for graduate school, I felt so different, so apart, so far away from fitting in. I had the selfish, unreflective, white audacity to detail my sadness to my mentor, a queer Black scholar who’d spent her formative years in the racist, homophobic bastion of Milwaukee. Finally, one day she told me, wow, that must be very hard for you, and it was only at that moment that I understood how idiotic, selfish, and white I was being. It took me many years to apologize to her. * Internally, I rail against the treatment I endure as someone visibly Muslim, and I know that it’s because a) the rest of my life has been absorbed in the comfort of white privilege, and b) I am aware that I have given up access to my whiteness and even my Americanness (which seems to count less because I am Muslim). I am aware that if need be, I can take out those cards, that they are ultimately always available to me. This is whiteness, having at one’s disposal the ability to wield power, authority, and presence. 12 // BODY POLITIĆ.
Whiteness is also the sense of security I feel. A white South African yells at me at the pool, a white British woman scoffs as I put on my hijab after ladies’ yoga, a white French couple runs their cart into me at the grocery store, discussing how I’m a rude imbecile, I become impregnated by flames that slowly reach into my throat. But I’m also aware of the number of cards I’m secretly holding. And they’re there, a comfort, like a platinum credit card, like a concealed carry. This same confidence is what has led to what L. Lamar Wilson calls the Beckyfication of America (and I argue it’s global in scope), white women who police Black presence in what these women deem white spaces. Thankfully, we have social media to police these white women, but their actions belie a continued contempt for Black men and women and children, and a conscious or unconscious desire to cause trouble, violence or even death to the people they harass, ala the Jim Crow era. And white women legitimately wonder why women of color often do not believe in, or desire, white allies. Whiteness frequently disbelieves narratives that counter its own dominant, domineering narrative. Whiteness accepts the narrative point of view of the institutions and structures and storytellers that maintain and build its own will to power. Whiteness tells people of color to stop playing the race card. Whiteness is an ornate system that is its own race card, the most powerful card there is. It is played before any transaction is begun. It is always already on the table. * My students, all Omani, are a diverse group descended from Oman, East Africa, India, Pakistan, Iran, and elsewhere in the region. We recently read “Talk,” an Ashanti folktale, the premise of the story being a farmer who sets off to tell people about his talking yam. Along the way, he meets others and tries to convince them. Finally, the men reach the king, who doubts the veracity of their story, saying to himself, what an unbelievable story! And his stool answers, agreeing with him that the notion of a talking yam is crazy. As my students see it, this story is meant to teach, in part, the futility of talking to people about things they haven’t experienced or seen. People don’t believe that which they haven’t seen for themselves, as one student put it. The conversation shifted over into whether this is good advice in today’s world. Is it true? BODY POLITIĆ. // 13
Yes, they all said. Eventually, the conversation moved to prejudice, and to the experiences of Black and brown people. The problem, said a student, is that white people don’t believe the experiences of people of color, because they can’t experience it themselves. A student brought up contemporary whiteness, how it polices Blackness in order to maintain its place at the top of the hierarchy. How it does this everywhere—media, arts, institutionally. And it does this because it can and because it feels it must. And it must also continue to view Blackness through the lenses it has created, those racist, reductive perspectives that dehumanize. This folktale, they say, it’s a cautionary tale. It’s precolonial and postcolonial. It’s the always-already of what whiteness does to the body politic – the not-seeing, the not-believing. Tell a white person they are hurting you. Tell whiteness it hurts your black and brownness. It will react by turning its back. There is no stool to speak to it, and if there is, it won’t listen until it must. * There’s much to admire in this issue. If we accept that whiteness cannot hear—I am not advocating that we accept this—then this issue is exactly the space that’s needed. People of color are being heard. Here is a space that asks us to believe. And we do. Rachel Isabel Mukendi reminds us that whiteness waits patiently to dismantle the house that equity, that POC are building, and notes that the media—a creation and outlet of white supremacy— waited 14 years, until Serena Williams was the greatest of all time to ask if she was intimidated by Sharipova’s “supermodel looks.” Renee Matich calls for us to transcend the terminology of whiteness, the semantic and scientific institutions that require blackness to measure itself against mere whiteness: we surely recognize that every ounce of blackness lives in contrast to the dominant aesthetic. But we ought to see this as precious, transcendent, that “every single golden grain of blackness that takes up space in the white landscape is a diamond.” The question, this issue asks, is how to move the archive back into the body in order to humanize it, and whether such a move can lead to the elimination of violence and exploitation. Some answers from this issue: The creation of landscapes that glorify the beauty of Blackness by eliminating whiteness. Visual artist Sola Olulode creates spaces where her Blackness can thrive. “The Black Flaneur” by Madinah Farhannah Thompson, urges people of color to resist invisibility, to hold on to that archive of wealth within, as “holding onto yourself whilst being wished away is an act of resistance.” Omnipresent reparation, Kader Attia’s phrase, is a way to insist on reconsiderations of whiteness. Jawara Alleyne’s gorgeous work asks readers to consider whether the self exists outside of the collective. The self—the way we have learned about the self, in our institutions that teach whiteness as discourse, as religion and law—is a construct of that same whiteness, designed to support white supremacy and bell curves and social Darwinism and most importantly 14 // BODY POLITIĆ.
in our 2018, that foolish notion of individualism, of conquest by the individual. We know this not to be true. We know the self is the self because of so many people who have come before us, because of those who lift us, who feed us, who hear us. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. If we are free, we free others. If we have some power, we empower others. This is our job and our calling (Toni Morrison). The body politic, then, is to keep building communities and carving spaces that make room those who have been asked to leave spaces that privilege whiteness. To support the creation of images and words and ideas and stories that showcase the diamonds that are people of color. These pages—this exquisite work of art—is a body politi—that sustains, encourages, and changes. Diamonds spill from these pages. These pages are diamonds, as are all the people who have collaborated to create them.
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A NOTE FROM ANNABEL CROWLEY. This opportunity to peer-review the thought-and action-provoking contents of this Terms of Reference is precious and one I do not take lightly. I will start by thanking Rayvenn for inviting me to write this. Recent events have made me think very deeply about the body politic – how my body is political and how my body forms a part of political collectives, at different times and in different spaces. We need collective resistance and self-representation in our post-Brexit, post-truth era. In our times, people who are racialised as “not white” must evidence ever more painstakingly why we deserve to exist, survive and thrive, while those people who hold political power are showing the most self-interest that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. Our world and our relationships remain dominated by the power dynamics of slavery and colonialism, even though in some very limited domains the language of those dynamics has become more polite. I witness this in the rhetoric that surrounds world migration crises; in the catastrophic effects of climate change on the Global South; in the continuing neo-colonialist trade and development agreements in post-colonial states; in the ‘racial bias’ of the UK criminal justice system that disproportionately imprisons Black people; in the anti-immigrant rhetoric I am subjected to at family weddings and ‘friendly’ gatherings; in the fear I feel for my mother when she is out alone after dark. These power dynamics are everywhere I turn, and the violence is tangible in the language used to demean me, my body and the communities I love and fight for. As I formulate my own responses to global power structures that cling desperately to colonial power relations, I find myself looking back to the thinkers who first gave me the language to describe that violence. I think of Frantz Fanon, who described the world as a hierarchy of colonisers and colonised, where this hierarchy is maintained through violence. Fanon accounted for both the physical and psychological harms of colonialism and advocated for strengthening the connection between all people of African descent around the world, for their collective survival and progress. Fanon wrote of the body politic. I think of Gayatri Spivak, and her scathing opposition to the West’s attempts to situate itself as a neutral investigating subject in contrast with the investigated non-‘Western’ object. Spivak wrote about strategic essentialism – the political tactic through which oppressed groups mobilise based on their shared gendered, cultural or political identities to represent themselves and achieve certain goals. Spivak wrote of the body politic. 16 // BODY POLITIĆ.
I think of Edward Said, the very first post-colonial writer I read. Said wrote that although colonialism is allegedly over, the systems of thinking, talking and representing that form the basis of colonial power relations persist today. Said argued that ‘Orientals’ (or ‘the other’) should be able to construct their own image. Said wrote of the body politic. These writers are not an exhaustive list, but they were my introduction to post-colonial resistance in the academic realm. They taught me that I had been lied to about my body, others’ bodies and where we belonged. My body is the site of conflicts; few I have chosen and many more that I have not. My body is the product of colonialism; I would not exist without the European colonial powers’ violent theft of the resources and power they have enjoyed for hundreds of years, now with ever-hardening borders around their spoils. My body is the vehicle of my mind; when I connect with others over shared experience and resistance, my body transforms into one part of something much bigger (but still not quite tangible). My one constant, my body fluctuates between individual and collective. Ownership over our bodies is an ongoing process of negotiation and renegotiation. We are born into a world that inflicts so many powerful assumptions and ascriptions on us that our selves become inescapably shaped by the very forces we resist. For the racialised as ‘not white’ amongst us, it is often resistance that gives us a feeling of ownership. This leads many of us to feel that resistance is ours and ours alone. This is understandable – resistance has saved me from despair many times and it is an important part of who I am. However, we absolutely must bear witness to the particular harms inflicted on Black people, both by Whiteness and by those communities (like mine) who would be included in the label of ‘people of colour’. Though I am technically a ‘person of colour’, and though I co-chair UAL’s network for staff of colour, GEMS (the Group for the Equality of Minority Staff), this generalisation of our shared experiences can only go so far. It is my task to amplify the voices of my Black peers and, sometimes, to position myself between my Black peers and any other who causes them harm. My light skin and ‘Western’ name carry a lot of power in a racialised hierarchy. I know from leading GEMS that my Black peers experience extreme epistemic violence, and so it is my job to see that violence for what it is and use all the resources available to push for change. In our body politic, we must witness and resist anti-Blackness and take the lead from our Black peers on what needs to be done. In our body politic, we must witness and resist ableism and take the BODY POLITIĆ. // 17
lead from our disabled peers on what needs to be done. In our body politic, we must witness and resist transphobia and take the lead from our transgender and gender non-conforming peers on what needs to be done. In our body politic, we must witness and resist homophobia and take the lead from our lesbian, gay, bi and pan peers on what needs to be done. In our body politic, we must witness and resist class privilege and take the lead from our peers from low income backgrounds on what needs to be done. In our body politic, we must witness and resist all the myriad ways that these social forces intersect and exclude our most marginalised peers. When we do this work our body politic becomes tangible, sustainable and formidable. Though we may share an existence outside of dominant power structures, we cannot continue to recreate ourselves according to the colonial imagination – i.e. though colonialism and slavery reinforced the ‘other’ in opposition to Whiteness, we are more than the ‘other’. We are more than ‘BAME’. We are all the ways we resemble each other and differ. We are all the knowledge we do not yet have about ourselves and each other, and resources like this ToR help us to grow that knowledge. I trust you will benefit from this zine as much as I have. Salute!
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Source https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p16.pdf U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics - Prisoners in 2016 BODY POLITIÄ†. // 19
Source https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p16.pdf U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics - Prisoners in 2016 20 // BODY POLITIÄ†.
Source http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/12/shrinking-gap-between-numberof-blacks-and-whites-in-prison/ - PEW RESEARCH CENTER, 2018 BODY POLITIÄ†. // 21
Source http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/12/shrinking-gap-between-numberof-blacks-and-whites-in-prison/ - PEW RESEARCH CENTER, 2018 22 // BODY POLITIÄ†.
Source www. sentencingproject. org/publications/ color-of-justice-racialand-ethnic-disparityin-state-prisons/ THE SENTENCING PROJECT, 2016 BODY POLITIÄ†. // 23
EXPANDING THE CONVERSATION.
GUARDIAN ANGEL. MATT SESOW, PAINTER, SELF-TAUGHT.
My painting style was built upon the foundation of creating art in response to childhood trauma. I was struck by the propeller of a landing airplane in 1975 that resulted in the amputation of my dominant hand when I was eight years old. I have had to adjust, grow, and heal in ways that aren’t normal nor obvious. I have used painting to communicate with others (and myself) in ways words are unable to express.
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INVITING SILENCE: AN ESSAY ON THE BODY.
SAMIRA SAIDI, PHOTOGRAPHER, ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS I/M/D (ALUMNI) . The Body, Gaps In The Contemporary Western Archives. Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry. Deeply rooted in the body is its function as a source of knowledge and a home for history, culture, and identity. The body and the archive carry similar responsibilities within them, yet their appreciations throughout our worlds are tangibly different. Whereas the archive has its untouched and unchallenged essence in the holding of these historical subjects, the body has to compromise with various dimensions of appropriation and is seen through multiple frames of reference. Responsibilities and expectations put onto the body as an operating archive confront and shift its ontology and existence. Setting new frames of reference can blossom into fIelds of non-violent and non-prejudiced behaviour towards and from this very body. nurturing yourself with your history, culture, and identity. is growing into yourself. welcoming your own existence in your body the place you belong to. is a revolution of coming home. . Kaur, Rupi. “Women Of Colour.” milk and honey, Andrews Me Meel Publishing, 2015, Kansas City, Missouri. (pp.171). 2 Author’s Own, 2017. . Author’s Own, 2017. 32 // BODY POLITIĆ.
One can perceive the body as an archive in and of itself - recording, documenting, and remembering past experiences. As a monumental entity, it has been used as an archive before the physical matter, and therefore the physical space, replaced it. The body’s essential value, beyond its existence as a tool for labour, unfolds in its interpretation once one acknowledges its actuality as a physical archive fostering moments in history throughout generations. The structure of the archive can be broken down by the divisions embedded in its foundation: physical matter which is preserved in the archive is divided, among others, by date, location, medium and value. Similarly, black and white bodies are put into compartments, distinguished by race, origin, body structure, and due to these characteristics, their overall value. These separations are considered a justifiable way to differentiate where bodies or physical matter belong. The position of the body in the Global South is eminent and often used to bring life into historical or past events. Traditional performances were and still are one medium with which ‘past’ knowledge is passed on to next generations. The educational factor of these performances are valued, due to the personal and intimate aspects of history and the power to inform and communicate their message with purely rhythmic body movements. Movements, which define themselves through the self, of the performer and their body and not through otherness. In those circumstances, the body is creating its own narratives and represents
nothing but itself through the medium of art. A gesture of opening up doors, of the very home with which one comes to this world. A reflection on individual consciousness and collective memory. How far in the past this memory can extend comes to importance, once one discusses dimensions of blackness in the contemporary. It is a shame that to this day one has to debate the black body in the premise of colonial matter. Bodies which have not yet found a way to escape these memories or associations and are still a representation of violence, brutality, and ownership of the white man. A notion of homelessness within the body in virtue of fleeing from institutional racism and discrimination. Seeds - forcefully put into clean soil, polluting the innocent presence of the body. Shifting its essence towards a living for the Western World and through its imaginations and expectations. Generating forms of behaviour which are rooted in colonial thinking patterns towards “the legacy of black bodies as property and subsequently three-fIfths human that pollutes the white imagination.” Bodies built to keep and hold the past destructed and demolished by the white man to assure the absoluteness of knowledge and superiority. . Rankine, Claudia. “The Condition Of Black Life Is One Of Mourning”. The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2016, New York. (pp.151).
Genetic memory has been proven to alter our experiences of the present world. It is not an uncommon thought to be in touch with those with which we share genetic material. The definition of oneself based on race and family history can be related back to ancestors’ DNA and as Carl Gustav Jung puts it in words: “is manifested in our collective unconscious.” Collective unconscious is a theory of inheriting traumatic experiences from our ancestors. “It must be pointed out that just as the human body shows a common anatomy over and above all racial differences, so, too, the psyche possesses a common substratum transcending all differences in culture and consciousness.” Dr. Berit Brogaard, a philosopher specialised in cognitive neuroscience and the philosophy of the mind, explains this theory, based on her own research, more tangibly. “...it is possible that our basic survival instincts might stem from some long ago trauma experienced by a dead relative.” The colonization of the Global South was accompanied not only with the process of domination and robbery but also the definition of Europe as the centre . “Concept of Collective Unconscious at Jung.” Carl Jung Resources, www.carljung.net/collective_unconscious.html. . “Concept of Collective Unconscious at Jung.” Carl Jung Resources, http:// www.carl-jung.net/quotes.html . Gillespie, Katherine. “Can We Access the Memories of Our Ancestors Through Our DNA?” Vice.com, 20 Dec. 2016, www.vice. com/en_au/article/ypv58j/genetic-memory. BODY POLITIĆ. // 33
of all worlds. ‘Eurocentrism’ is marked with the idea of itself as the source of all knowledge and historical truth and has therefore the strength to shift perceptions towards bodies and even more so to move those bodies through its parameters. ‘Temporal discrimination’, as RolandoVazquez, professor of sociology and diversity at the University College Roosevelt, describes the phenomenon of “the organised placement of people in the margins of geography and the past of history.” A notion that can be viewed as the physical and mental displacement of the non-white body with intentions to deconstruct it whilst existing in its own cognitive dissonance. Moreover, the native is continuously asked to find new ways of belonging through their repeated displacement by the white system, which has its foundation in the ignorance and denial of the existence of other historical truths. “... And, in fact, the truth about the black man, as a historical entity and as a human being, has been hidden from him, deliberately and cruelly; the power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white worlds definitions.” Revisiting the colonial past of African countries, slavery is about the taking over of the native body and its agencies. . Vázquez, Rolando.”SWICH 2016.” Youtube, uploaded by Museum Volkenkunde, 4 Jan.2017, www. youtube.com/watch?v=jb3Ou9uI_Ro . “Rolando Vázquez.” University College Roosevelt. www.ucr.nl/about-ucr/ Faculty-and-Sta /Social-Science/ Pages/ Rolando-V%C3%A1zquez.aspx . Vázquez, Rolando.”SWICH 2016.” Youtube, uploaded by Museum Volkenkunde, 4 Jan.2017, www. youtube.com/watch?v=jb3Ou9uI_Ro . Baldwin, James.”Down At The Cross.” The Fire Next Time. A Division of Random House, Inc., 1993, New York. (pp.69). 34 // BODY POLITIĆ.
Western ideology destructs these bodies, with their minds and knowledge, separately. It involves devotion to creating disconnection between individuals, which has its impact until this day and can be experienced in the tangible ethnic bigotry throughout the African continent.  Creating divisions between bodies and the minds in order to maintain a dominant position on this planet can be traced back in Western anthropology to its organised oppressive nature towards African heritage and its value. Thus, having control over their bodies, narratives, and the spectacle coincided with disowning the native from their history, experience, and objective. These colonial wounds are still in the process of healing, due to the absence and oppression of bodies and voices that would embrace historical diversity and connectivity. The black body in the context of whiteness finds its purpose in fighting for dignity. Resistance movements such as the ’Black Power Movement’, or ’BlackLivesMatter’, have their moral value centred in the struggle for dignity and the acknowledgement of black humanity. Frantz Fanon describes this position as follows: “Black and brown bodies feeling oppression, persecution, and poverty, wherever they are.” “People are trapped in history, and history
. Vázquez, Rolando. “The Museum, Decoloniality, and the End of the Contemporary.” Youtube, uploaded by Vanabbemuseum, 2 Oct.2017, www. youtube.com/watch?v=eIHCH--Fft0 . Edwidge, Danticat. “Message To My Daughters”. The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2016, New York. (pp.215).
is trapped in them.” Accordingly, the native body cannot escape the projections of associated identities which are dating back to the colonial years of settlement, particularly after slavery became a racial institution that was heritable.
representation of the other forms the self.”
Repetitive moves of projecting new concepts onto this body lets it drown in its ‘nonexistence’ within every culture including its own. The perception of the black body, beyond its African, ‘primitive’, and ‘deficient’ existence needs the acknowledgement of this very body as a functioning entity in all worlds and the history that comes with it. This essay should put itself beyond the victimisation of the black bodies, while also displaying the embedded mistreatment and misunderstanding of these bodies in our societies. We need to create a moment of self-love and self-ownership and the restoring of its aura as “we must love ourselves even if and perhaps especially if - others do not.” The position of the body in the archive is limited to artificial observations. Yet, the question is how to move the archive back into the body in order to humanise it and how this can become its own moving force to eliminate violence and exploitation, and to dismantle power structures projected onto it. This starts with acknowledging the existence of black humanity, accepting the reality of multiple historical ‘truths’, and the recognition of other worlds, while reclaiming the indigenous subjectives of the Global South. With the belief that “the
. Baldwin, James. “Stranger In A Village.” Notes of a Native Son. Beacon Press, 1955, USA. (pp.119). . Wilkerson, Isabel. “Where Do We Go From Here?” The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2016,New York. (pp.61).
. Vázquez, Rolando.”SWICH 2016.” Youtube, uploaded by Museum Volkenkunde, 4 Jan.2017, www.youtube. com/ watch v=jb3Ou9uI_Ro BODY POLITIĆ. // 35
LATOYA HOBBS, PRINTMAKER & PAINTER, PURDUE UNIVERSITY (ALUMNI).
My work examines the intersection between race, beauty and identity concerning women of African descent with relation to hair texture, skin complexion and body image. In the following nude mixed media portrait paintings from my Beautiful Uprising series I highlight the body as it is the site that houses all of the external and internal attributes that constitute one’s sense of identity. In the hope that I can re- examine the traditional artist-model-viewer relationship. I interviewed the models for these pieces to grasp their thoughts on beauty, how they see themselves in the dialog about the Black Female Body, and how they view themselves as a “work of art”. Their statements were then used as text in the works and as titles. In this way these women are represented mind and body.
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“A more nuanced perspective….” Ink, Acrylic, and Collage on Wood Panel 8’ X 4’. 2012.
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“Everyone is still shocked….impressed too” Ink, Acrylic, text, and carving on wood panel 4’ X 6’. 2012.
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“What audacity I must have….” Ink, Acrylic, Collage, and Carving on Wood Panel. 8’ X 4’. 2012.
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“My fears disintegrated into nothing” Ink, Acrylic, Collaged Woodcut, Text, and Carving on Wood Panel. 8’ X 4’. 2013.
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“My hair was the least of my worries….” Ink, Acrylic, text, and carving on wood panel 4’ X 6’. 2012.
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WHERE ARE YOU ‘REALLY’ FROM? YOKO LEE GRINDEL, FINE ARTIST, SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE.
Where I’m from; No, where I’m REALLY from: Are you familiar with body gripping traps? Victor conibear trap, specifically The kind that leave you Taffy stuck And In the grip of a claw machine like plucking up lifeless plush toys. Much like the grip of racial stereotypes. You see, the wonderful thing about being Asian is I’m the socially acceptable fetish you’ve always wanted. I’m the oil spill left on your shirt after you’ve cleared your fine china Leaving you belching and grabbing for more “Exotic you say; I love Chinese you say.” My mother feeds me spoonfuls of words I don’t understand Yes, I said spoonfuls because not every Asian country uses chopsticks She shoved her yellowness into a white envelope licking the stamp to arrive to a family I have to use google translate to communicate with. 44 // BODY POLITIĆ.
My mother all but forgot her tongue. Trading it in for a lighter language. “English is for rich people.” Her ignorance beams through the blackout curtains she calls skin. I try to squeeze the blinds shut to keep that first squirt of light from permeating the rest of the room. She opens her mouth once more and a beacon of ignorance crawls out her. The mountainous candle of a woman that outshined the sun. - Assimilating the Mother-Land.
TIMOTHY NYAKUEYDZWA, FINE ARTIST, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UAL.
See there is such a thing as Nostalgic In the presence of one mind The melanin of one skin Distanced From the empowerment of oneself The powerless political feel That flows through the melanin skin Of the shadow american flag That reflects political disguised messages Black The word expressed as NIGGA Carrying so much weight Stigma Discreating the presence of one Self-being The word with such power, in the black culture Defining one-self With such pre-mature understanding
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PROJECT/ED: CUT YOUR CLOTH ACCORDING TO YOUR COAT. RAJU (RAGE) SACHI SINGH, VISUAL ARTIST, UAL (ALUMNI).
Collaboration with filmmaker Zara Zandieh A haptic moving image narrative consisting of projected archival images depicting South Asian migration onto a gendered non conforming body. Moving image narrative - 6.45mins
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別要我滿足你的幻想 [YELLOW FEVER].
HSUAN (HILARY) WAN, FASHION DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT, LCF, UAL.
語言是個雙面刃, 它既能幫助我們學習, 能 使人受傷, 也能使人感到害怕。在清朝末年 時期, 中國知識份子學習歐洲嘲笑弱小國家 的方式而自嘲中國為“東亞病夫”。而這病毒 式的形容詞也彷彿跟隨著亞洲人一起帶到 了國外。當某些白種男人形容自己的戀愛對 象時會說,“Oh, I got yellow fever (譯: 喔, 我 有黃種病。）而我, 則是從小就被告誡著, 要 眼睛放亮, 不要傻傻的被這些人騙了。但卻 沒被教導, 何謂正常的愛情觀, 單方面被動 的接受著面對帶有種族歧視的性別歧視。 為何一個疾病的詞彙會衍生成描述喜愛 亞洲女性的形容詞？黃種病, 英文原文為 Yellow Fever, 是一種急性病毒病。但是這個 50 // BODY POLITIĆ.
醫療詞彙在現代社會中卻誕生出了另一層 含意。現常見用法為形容部分白種男人被 亞洲(或亞裔)女人所吸引。從一次鴉片戰爭 之後, 歐美國家開啟了對於東瀛國家的文化 採伐。而吸引他們的文化之一便是日本的藝 妓。在不同的主流媒體烘托下, 白種男性創 造出了許多針對統一物化亞洲女性的作品。 而其中最有名的就數賈科莫·普契尼的” 蝴蝶夫人”。這部遠近馳名的歌劇主要描 寫一個日本藝妓苦守自己對於一位美國 軍官的愛戀。而主角蝴蝶夫人的角色描述 是一個安靜, 羞澀, 忍讓的女人, 放大了刻 板印象。這樣子的角色設定像是讓人像中 毒的病一樣的沈淪。就此黃種病成為了白
種男人描述自己對於亞洲女性的喜愛之 詞。我可以說我並不是個溫柔的人, 甚至 與溫柔這個詞毫無關聯。即便如此, 曾經 有一次的約會對象對我說出的第一句話 是, “I have a soft spot for Asian girls like you. Always so soft.” (譯: 像你這樣的亞洲 女性永遠是如此溫柔, 使我內心柔軟。) 如此這般的物化女性導致的是外來文化與 本土文化對於女性的不重視與不尊重。這個 刻板映像導致了大眾對與亞洲女性理解成 為了安靜(quite), 羞澀(shy), 忍讓(tolerating), 神祕(mysterious), 滿是異域風情(exotic)。反 省為何“黃禍”一詞竟從貶義變成了褒義。 在女子三從四德的傳統價值觀洗腦的環境 下, 蝴蝶夫人癡傻的等待滿足了個別亞洲女 性的男尊女卑的另類幻想。因為自卑, 導致她 們主動站在了比人更卑微的位置去尋找戀 情。而這“禍”使得她們更好找到她們的幻 想對象。一段健康的感情是必須要建立在 關係平等的基礎上才能繼續再共同建造。 The definition of Yellow Fever: (n.) (a) A sexual obsession towards females of Asian descent. (b) An obsession towards Asian media and entertainment, primarily anime, hentai, manga, and other Japanese media. (c) A sudden urge to imitate anything from Asia. For instance, learning Japanese and eating sushi just for the sheer sake of trying to be “Asian”. (d) Thinking that one knows more about Japan than the Japanese themselves, despite never setting foot in that country or at lest reading about it.
can both do harm and create fear. Many Chinese intellectuals had traveled abroad to study in western countries by the end of the Qing dynasty. In order to blend in with their newly acquired “western friends”, they quickly learned the art of self mockery. By calling themselves “The Sick Man of Asia”, this “Internalised racism” seems to start a long lasting trend of “virus based” racial slurs against Asians, and especially Asian female. I am here to argue to the case of the term, “Yellow Fever”, commonly used in a conversation with Asian female (Urban Dictionary, 2003). That “Oh, I got a yellow fever.” is not a compliment to the person one’s dating, but a derogatory term that harms the person being described to. I have been told at a very young age, that I should “clean your eye”, and “don’t be that Asian girl that let those white men fool you with their sugary language”. But what they forgot to teach me, is how a normal relationship should be like. So I accepted my future possible faith as either the one got fooled by the white man, or the one that got away. And unilaterally and passively accepted this gender discrimination with a hint of racial discrimination. How did a name of a viral haemorrhagic disease became the terminology to confess emotions to East Asian women? After the First Opium war, Western countries began their cultural harvest in East Asian countries, and one of the first things that quickly caught their eyes is the Geisha Culture.
Language is a double sided blade. It allows us to learn, yet at the same time BODY POLITIĆ. // 51
Under different mainstream influences, many white men have created works aimed at objectifying, sexualising, and exotify East Asian women. “Madame Butterfly” (Puccini, 1903), is one of the many examples of famous works based on discrimination. This world wide famous theatrical piece portrays a Japanese geisha bitterly waiting for an unrequited love with an US military officer. As for the main female lead, Madama Butterfly, often casted by caucasian female, is depicted as a quiet, shy, patience woman, further enlarging the problematic stereotype of East Asian Female. Yet this type of stock character swept through various forms of books, art, and theatre pieces like a virus. Since then, this problematic slur became the first way of how some white men confess their love to East Asian female. This stereotype had caused the general to assume that East Asian females are quite, shy, tolerating, mysterious, and exotic. I can say 52 // BODY POLITIĆ.
that I am not a gentle person, in fact, I am no way close to being gentle. Even though I had made it very clear on multiple occasions, I still had to faced comments such as on dates, “I have a soft spot for Asian girls like you. Always so soft.” Such depersonalisation of women shows the lack of respect for women both foreign culture and local culture. As a East Asian woman, self-reflecting on why “Yellow Peril” or “Yellow Fever“ has changed its meaning, the traditional values and virtues of female are still holding against and brainwashing us should also be accountable. (Yu, 2018) Madame Butterfly’s waiting of love, the damsel in distress fantasy, to the tragic ending full-filled the alternative fantasies of some individuals. Feeling inferior to others, they took the initiative to stand in a submissive position in a relationship. A healthy relationship must be based on the equality of relationships in order to continue to build together.
Picture Citation: Bowles, Thomas. Madama Butterfly (2016) Photography Liu Wei. It Looks Like a Landscape (2004) Black and white Print Bibliography: HWANG, D. H., & PUCCINI, G. (1989). M. Butterfly. New York, N.Y., New American Library. Puccini, G. (1903). Madama Butterfly. New York: Dover Publications. Urban Dictionary. (2003). Urban Dictionary: yellow fever. [online] Available at: https://www.urbandictionary. com/define.php?term=yellow%20 fever [Accessed 8 Sep. 2018]. Wang, Joey. (2017). An exchange student’s delusion and disillusionment with European civilization: instead of grievances, it is better to take the initiative to smash stereotypes. Crossing. [online] Available at: https://crossing. cw.com.tw/blogTopic.action?id=505&nid=8296 [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018]. Yang, J (2017). Chinese are characterised as “yellow people” and are the result of racial discrimination.. [online] 短史記. Available at: http://view.news.qq.com/original/legacyintouch/ d585.html [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018]. Yu, Y (2018). The traditional concepts and ethics of Chinese women - 大紀元. [online] 大紀元 www.epochtimes.com. Available at: http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/13/4/16/ n3847534.htm [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018].
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: UNIMUKE J AGADA.
UNIMUKE J AGADA, ILLUSTRATOR, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (ALUMNI). What does the notion of the body politić look like now? To me, the body politic looks like groups of historically oppressed demographics mobilizing and taking back control of their bodies, as well the space they occupy. This can take the form of collectives, safe-spaces, and online communities, just to name a few. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? ‘Blackness in the white landscape’ immediately brings to mind ‘awareness’. Awareness of one’s own blackness, awareness of being watch, being judged and awareness of how the one must act in order to operate in this landscape. This manifests in countless ways, from self repression to self expression. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? I assume this means the difference “between” gender and race related issues. Gender is a much more multifaceted issue. It exists in a separate column, so to speak. When it comes to gender, you are not only dealing the potential pressure from a colonial oppressor, you are also dealing with the oppression from within your own tribe. This oppressive pressure is magnified based on race and gender identity so that if you are a women of color, or a trans person of color, you exist at a nexus and societal conflict, and it may seem like you have no tribe to identify with at all. What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? 54 // BODY POLITIĆ.
The white population of Britain, I believe, holds the notion that is very much detached from issues of race, namely because the nation’s past transgressions were neither as domestic, nor as widely and commonly evoked as the Americas’. I would assume this leads to a more insidious form of racial transgression -- one that boils just below the surface. The cloak and dagger of the postracial myth. Alternatively, in America, the issue of race always lingers in the air. We are all aware of its weight, and those who try to convince themselves of its dissolution are simply attempting to assuage their own guilt. America is more like a bubbling, spilling cauldron of race discussion, spoken and unspoken, hateful and progressive. How are issues of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? Countless ways -- the disproportionately black impoverished that often line urban areas as white workers avoid their gaze. The constant stream of news stories in which police remind us that that blacks are not, in fact, in control of our bodies. The testimonies of women who fear that their control will be taken from them in the form of passive aggression, harassment, and legislation. The disturbingly short life expectancy of trans women. These are all sign of the ongoing dialogue between the individual and the nation state. But body politics are present too in the taking back of control, the carving of space -- the defiant push back. How do issues of racial body politics affect all people of colour? Across the globe, the darker you are, the worse you are treated by your society
thanks, in part, to the expanse of European ideals. The conflation of dark skin with negative traits are used by societies to strip individuals of humanity, which in turn is used as justification for injustice -- not to sound dramatic. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? Various pillars of socialization, from our families and communities to media, all play a part in leading us to conflate stereotypes with real life communities. Stereotyping is a language of shortcuts that we are taught to judge individuals and communities based solely on one aspect, and thanks to these modes of socialization, we are all familiar with the language. What about the possibility of black liberation? Black liberation is a tough topic. I think it lies most heavily on black independence and self love. There are serious, deep-seeded implications that have come with a white landscape. These manifest in internalized hatred and in-fighting. Black liberation must come from congregation, support, and resocialization through representation. This is something I find particularly important to inspire with art and other forms of media.
culture, and making lemonade with lemons we have been dealt is what we are best at. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? Yes -- absolutely. In fact, the denial of an issue only causes the issue to proliferate. A post-racial society is really just a society in denial, more-than-likely hiding from its past transgression. It is through open dialogue that the idea of otherness can be broken down -- the idea of accepting and respecting differences is vital to actually achieving equity. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in it its relationship to questions of power? I think I first realized the power in whiteness when I realized that it was considered the default. When, telling a story, someone would call a white man a “man” and a black man a “black man”. When I realized the “flesh” crayon did not look like my flesh. When I realized, through jokes and popular narratives, that the traits associated with people that look like me were all bad, and those associated with whiteness were all positive.
What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? Black trauma has stemmed from the stripping of physical, cultural, and socioeconomic effect from our community. Body politic, in a sense, serves as both the agent of our trauma, but also, the agent of our relief. Carving our own space out of our nation, defining our own BODY POLITIĆ. // 55
YI XIAO CHEN, SELF TAUGHT.
The otherworldly and sculptural figures in this series are styled after Renaissance paintings, posing next to surrealist still lifes of fruit. The characters seem to inhabit a suspended universe of undefinable time and location. The paintings are part of an recent exhibition ‘Primevera’, held in Paris in June.
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ETHEL-RUTH TAWE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY, VISUAL ARTIST, SOAS (2018).
I have an ancient future, a brand new yesterday mediated by my present. A gift of redirection; a river meandering through channels of history. Dispersed seeds fall on dry land And sprout through the cracks, tilling better ground for the rest of the field; a Diaspora, a Renaissance.
They hear a whisper And are reminded to turn their heads onto their own backs. In time their wings will spread and fly again. But only when the egg is lifted, uncracked and placed in the cradle once more. 16 February 2016 © Ethel Tawe Image: El Malecón, La Habana, Cuba (2017) by Ethel Tawe.
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ON ALLOWANCE OF THE BLACK SKY LETTING LIGHT INTO ITS VASTNESS.
KAI ISAIAH JAMAL, WRITER & SPOKEN WORD POET.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sky, not even the moon. For if the sky turned a white shade of cotton, the clouds a dying strand of grey hair, you would not know what the moon’s face even looks like. The sky engulfs enough colour to change with the sun. Which is to say when it is dark and the sun says goodnight, it is still whole enough and black enough to just, be. Darkness, is the vast space of everything that was brought up on soul food, dancing and enough manners to let light creep through it’s gasps and still be called more beautiful, more safe, more something that is deserving of space. Like, when was the last time you were in complete black out and didn’t feel like everyone wanted you to be scared? But you felt scared and home. Basking in the wholeness of not even being able to see your finger-tips in the dark. Before lighters are sparked, guns are pulled and light comes. That looks the colour of your Mother. When she is mad and red is turning white into a fire. Which is to say, is it not here 64 // BODY POLITIĆ.
that you are truly scared. When you can actually see. See what light does to dark, like kill it, make it disappear, steal every centimetre he owns. But bones are ivory and they too are stolen from places where the soil be as dark as the people. We say rising of the moon but behind the moon lays a black back-drop that looks a lot like home and is that not applaudable, the pitch black sky not bending, retaining its shape, holding its spine whilst the light shines in front of it. Is that not glory? Is there no verse for that? I will write it in the darkness, like braille. Praise to the vastness of the night. Praise to the night, that we love its darkness even when it is harmonious with our death. We know it cannot protect us to what happens in it, those that roam is realms. Praise to the disappearing act that black bodies do when the moon is rising. Praise to the black bodies. That start vanishing feet first before being pronounced as dead. Praise to the death that the black sky has on its body count. Praise the space that rays penetrate.
Praise to staying whole in a pressure cooker of life. Praise to cloaks. Coats with big hoods that somehow turn into comfort blankets. Praise to being black and living day after day, as moon rises and sun falls and sun rises and nights calls you in. Praise to survival. There is nothing more beautiful than the sky, not even the moon. I swear.
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CHRISTOPHER LUTTERODT-QUARCOO, LECTURER/DESIGNER/DIRECTOR/CULT-STORYTELLER, RCA/LCC GRADUATE (TW, 2016)
Image/video courtesy of Unmaterialised™ 0002. vimeo.com/123564522 or scan the QR. BODY POLITIĆ. // 67
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Photo Credit with the name Nwaka Okparaeke
TRANSMISSION/ TRANSITION. HAMED MAIYE, MULTIDISCIPLINARY VISUAL ARTIST, UCA (ALUMNI). Transmission/Transition is a visual essay that extends on a previous collaborative project; Afro-Portraitism. Afro-Portraitism explores the art of portraiture within the African diaspora, taking all the connotations portraiture has carried throughout history and applying them to today’s current social climate. One of the key drivers of AP is exploring the concept of self-representation. T/T reflects upon an internal monologue based around the feeling of displacement, and plays around with Du Bois’ concept of double consciousness. Du Bois explains this concept as viewing your identity in separate pieces, making it difficult to view it as a whole. He reflects on his African heritage and his navigation through a Euro-dominated society. The dialogue of the visuals is set in three stages of displacement: - Discovery - Confusion/Chaos - Reclamation Discovery The welcoming to a strange land. Discovery introduces the context and the characters and then sets the stage for the internal conversation which takes place in confusion/chaos. Confusion/Chaos is the internal conversation based on displacement. How do we visualise our feelings of confusion? Viewing your identity through another lens. Discomfort, compression, expansion. Reclamation is the digestion of internal conflict and the reconciliation of all the
feelings experienced throughout confusion/ chaos. The conversion of displacement into a sense of belonging; not to your context but to your personal identity. The output of T/T is a short film & photo series opened up by Sun Ra who states “If someone lands on planet earth from outer space, what kind of treatment would they get? Because what country do you have that would give them any kind of respect? Ah… protect them, you don’t have any country that has thought about that. But since we’re living in the space age it should be thought of”. We follow three characters and watch as they navigate throughout the landscape, living through the three stages of displacement. In the end the characters find unity and reconciliation. Adorned by hyper opulent clothing and objects they reclaim their identity, finding a sense of belonging within self. The photo series captured by Nwaka Okparaeke and styled by Kashmir Wikham and Jawara Alleyne, further explores the concept of hyper opulence. The consistent use of gold acts as a visual affirmation to blackness and to self. An intersection of Afro-Portraitism and AfroSurrealism, T/T serves as a reminder of personal reflection and affirmation. Reflection: This project originates from a consistent feeling I’ve tried to reconcile with but struggled to identify. Through a series of reflections and personal thoughts I start by contextualising the word displacement. By definition, displacement is described as “the action of moving something from its BODY POLITIĆ. // 69
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Photo Credit with the name Nwaka Okparaeke
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place or position”. Often with black western identities there are prescribed pre-sets and markers which are inherited. What happens when you don’t tick all the boxes, but perhaps sit slightly outside as an outlier. ‘African American’ and ‘Black British’ are flags we often wave in the west. However, if you don’t identify with this, an internal feeling of displacement can develop. Displacement itself can manifest in many forms; the common denominator is always this heavy sense of confusion. When Du Bois explored double consciousness in 1903 the point of validation was ‘African American’ – but how is one simultaneously African and American? A hundred plus years later and some of us are still asking similar questions. How do we manage to mould all these separate pieces into one cohesive picture? How do I validate my blackness? Through this project and through further exploring Afro-Portraitism I’ve realised that existing is enough to validate my blackness. Blackness is a spectrum and not a fixed set of parameters that you need to tick off in order to be. Internalising this as a mantra has helped me foster a new appreciation for artists who explore self-identity within their work. Artists such as Zaneli Muholi, Isaac Julien, and Omar Victor Diop create their own landscapes of what blackness looks like to them within their work. In many ways these works act as a form of Afro-Surrealism – imaginations of what could be but doesn’t currently exist in an everyday realm. Carving our own identities and serving them on an unapologetic plate helps to add more stories in the ever changing book of blackness. I’ve realised why growing up I’ve been most drawn to works which focus on the black mundane; works such as Spike Lee’s ‘Do the right thing’ and ‘Crooklyn’, which offer small insights into everyday life. This normalisation of the smaller details of blackness has helped me form and explore the common ground 72 // BODY POLITIĆ.
more, rather than focus on difference. Reconciling with displacement has created a whole new set of questions to explore, which ultimately boil down to: what happens when we all realise our collective and individual powers? * A special thank you to all of T/T’s collaborators & contributors: Nwaka Okparaeke, Kashmir Wickham, Jawara Alleyne, AJ Haast, Melo-Zed, Afrolion, Robert Jesse, Bianca Saunders, Freya Bramble Carter, Kobby Adi, Cheyanne Ettienne-Chen, Tunmise, Ayesha McMahon, Corey Chuck & Ejatu Shaw *
Photo Credit with the name Nwaka Okparaeke
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THE BLACK FLANEUR.
MADINAH FARHANNAH THOMPSON, ARTIST, LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY (ALUMNI).
NB* OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE This is an extract from my performance lecture ‘The Black Flaneur’ which is the culmination of my project ‘Black Face White Space’. --The Oxford English Dictionary describes a flaneur as ‘a man about town who saunters around observing society’ The flaneur is idle and aimless in their wandering. The idea of a flaneur is problematic, this flaneur who has the privilege to wander freely, whose wandering is not merely an escape but freedom, who has ‘a body which calls no excess attention to itself’ and ‘casts no shadows’ cannot be a Black body. Our movements are frequently curtailed, in overt and covert ways. The Black body is not permitted to wander. --I’m going to set the scene. I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination - indeed, everything and anything except me. 74 // BODY POLITIĆ.
Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a bio-chemical accident to my epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality. I am not complaining, nor am I protesting either. It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves. Then too, you’re constantly being bumped against by those of poor vision. Or again, you often doubt if you really exist. You wonder whether you aren’t simply a phantom in other people’s minds. Say, a figure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy. It’s when you feel like this that, out of resentment, you begin to bump people back. And, let me confess, you feel that way most of the time. You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world, that you’re a part of all the sound and anguish, and you strike out with your fists, you curse and you swear to make them recognize you. And, alas, it’s seldom successful. Ralph Ellison - ‘The Invisible Man’ --And Further: On 22nd February 2014, I published a post on my blog. I titled it ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’. It reads:
I’m no longer engaging with white people on the topic of race. Not all white people, just the vast majority who refuse to accept the legitimacy of structural racism and its symptoms. I can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience. You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It’s like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It’s like they can no longer hear us. This emotional disconnect is the conclusion of living a life oblivious to the fact that their skin colour is the norm and all others deviate from it. At best, white people have been taught not to mention that people of colour are ‘different’ in case it offends us. They truly believe that the experiences of their life as a result of their skin colour can and should be universal. I just can’t engage with the bewilderment and the defensiveness as they try to grapple with the fact that not everyone experiences the world in the way that they do. They’ve never had to think about what it means, in power terms, to be white, so any time they’re vaguely reminded of this fact, they interpret it as an affront. Their eyes glaze over in boredom or widen in indignation. Their mouths start twitching as they get defensive. Their throats open up as they try to interrupt, itching to talk over you but not really listen, because they need to let you know that you’ve got it wrong.
heard, you want to tell me that it can’t be true and yet you are the ones who constantly make your comments, ask your questions and throw your looks. doubt always doubt. questions always questions. you want empirical evidence of something that only your privilege could deny. “Give me an example though” “Are you sure though” And when I discuss my apprehension you say “don’t worry, Italians are fascinated with Black people” Is that meant to reassure me? Am I supposed to be relieved or grateful? It is your privilege that makes you surprised that my experience of travelling is different from yours, and defensive when I bring it to your attention. (22/10/18 13:42) My race isn’t a problem unless I talk about it. You’re fine with it unless we have to acknowledge it. Then we have a problem, because you’re uncomfortable (and I’m aggressive) because you feel threatened (and I’m a bully) ----
Reni Eddo-Lodge - ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ ---
Black Face White Space, the research project that I undertook in Venice is about the experience of being a Black tourist in Venice and a Steward at the Venice Biennale where I was working at the British Pavilion.
You want to doubt what I’ve seen and
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living and working in Venice, as a first time visitor, when you enter into it aware of the nuances you feel and the reactions that you garner based on your race. And what that feeling of being over-exposed and unwanted is actually based on. It’s aim was to critically examine this experience, but it didn’t go to plan. I’ve travelled before, and there has always been some kind of reaction. In Ile de Re it was people staring as they cycled, so their heads were permanently turned to the side as we rode past each other on the cycle paths. In Marrakesh it was comments, for example; ‘i like my coffee without milk’, but I have always actively ignored that, and had the attitude of ‘No one fuck’s with me’ because I refuse to have my movements dictated by other people’s prejudices. And I did attempt to start off my trip with the attitude of NO ONE FUCKS WITH ME But it quickly descended to THEY’RE ALL TRYING TO FUCK WITH ME Followed by I WON’T LET YOU FUCK WITH ME And then DON’T FUCK WITH ME And finally AS IF THEY TRIED TO FUCK WITH ME I thought of this process in stages, like the 5 stages of grief but I call it the five stages of Black face. It starts with BRAVADO And then goes from HYPERAWARENESS To AVOIDANCE which was accompanied by a kind of numbness Followed by anger ANGER And finally ending in DEFIANCE 76 // BODY POLITIĆ.
The BRAVADO ended pretty much as soon as I got on the plane. By the first day HYPERAWARENESS had spread throughout my body. (3/10/17): Today was my first day exploring alone. The paranoia is making walking through the maze of Venice somewhat unbearable. In the end I spoke to my sister on the phone for a while just so I could zone out on feeling so exposed. Everywhere I go is a new place and new spaces are freaking nerve racking when you’re scared that someone is going to say or do something to you. That feeling of being overexposed is very physical. (13/10/17): I feel myself entering into a cloud of invisibility. As if the force of unseeing has began to erase my being. Tangible, whole, black bodies reduced to nothingness. Empty, shadows, phantoms walk through the streets. Unseen. Unseen. Unseen. They try to unsee me and I begin to lose my footing. Holding on to myself becomes an act of resistance, and resistance takes mental power and physical energy. To exist, to maintain your presence, to force the image of your being onto the retinas of white folk, takes mental power and physical energy. Holding onto yourself whilst being wished away is an act of resistance. Seeing yourself being unseen feels like erasure, like my ‘too too solid flesh’ is being melted, thawed and resolved into a dew.* * William Shakespeare - ‘Hamlet’ --And it’s not surprising that feeling like that led to me avoiding certain places, it felt safe to stay close to home and work, where the ‘art tourists’ were, it felt safe to be at work because I wore a badge that made me legitimate’ because of course it is my
role as a Black person to make sure that white people don’t feel threatened by me. I was angry. It’s fucking draining to pay attention to other people’s crap, pointing, staring, whispering, comments, it is fucking draining. I’m not the kind of person to allow people to affect me, you do not have the right to affect me! But anger, and pre-emptive attitude is equally draining. It is not being ‘sassy’, it’s protecting yourself from constant low level racism and it takes so much energy. Actually thinking about it again makes me feel exhausted. And baffled. I cannot believe that I, allowed anyone to fuck with me. But that’s the toss up, i can pretend that you’re not taking pictures of me and discussing having a Black customer in your bar with your other clientele, which is colluding with you, or I can be the Angry Black woman who talks about it and makes all the white people in the room uncomfortable. And that’s the dilemma that I’m in now, once you open your eyes, once you’re woke there is no going back, but as a result you carry a burden that shapes what environments you can put yourself in. And I hate admitting that my movements are curtailed, I hate saying out loud that there are things I cannot do and places I cannot go but pretending that the world is colour-blind is lying to yourself. 9 times out of 10 when someone tells me a story about non-white people they start by telling me the race of the people involved. And I can’t pretend that that’s ok anymore.
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SOLA OLULODE, PAINTER, UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON (ALUMNI).
My paintings have been deeply influenced by the community that surrounds my life. It is also my aim to project in the artworks something that black womxn and black femmes can relate to and see the complexities of their identities reflected in.
Each canvas is stretched with my own version of Adire, an indigo-dyed textile traditionally made by Yoruba womxn in Nigeria using resist-dyeing techniques. Collage is also used to layer textiles and textures over figures bringing their saucy outfits and glorious hairstyles to life.
Therefore, the bodies in my painting exist within the intersection of race, gender and sexuality and I choose to showcase the optimism in their existence. They are free, catching a vibe, having a good time, liberated and celebrating their culture in the setting of a nightclub, a place where many Black womxn and femmes can discover their sense of self. I am also interested in the relationship between Blackness as a colour, and identity. When showing my work I have painted the walls of the space black, both as an aesthetic choice, to enhance the indigo tones in the works, and a political one, to confront the whiteness and white walls of art institutions. It can feel very isolating to be within these institutional white walls so I have created a space where my blackness can thrive.
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KADER ATTIA: OMNIPRESENT REPARATION.
HELENE SELAM KLEIH, ARTIST, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK (ALUMNI). Lyon’s 13th Biennale, La vie moderne, which ran up until January 2015, could not have come at a more fitting time for France. With the terrorist attacks in Paris reopening the debate around France’s position towards its tainted colonial history, the burgeoning question of national identity has never been more topical. Featuring works by a 60-strong troupe of artists, the exhibition addressed the intrinsically linked issues of national identity, immigration and postcolonialism in relation to the modern world. As its curator Ralph Rugoff puts it, these are all issues very much encompassed in the present, void of a sellby date or a screaming news headline: “La vie moderne is acutely attuned to the ways in which contemporary culture constitutes a working through, and a response to prior events and traditions. Even as artists in the world explore current situations and images, they are also excavating the past.” Whether it be in France or elsewhere, the constant malleability of our social, cultural and economic landscapes cannot be restrained – despite the best efforts of far right political parties such as France’s Front National and Britain’s own UK Independence Party. Rather than feed the narrative of refugeeblaming and scapegoating, we ought to address the increasingly prominent issue of the mental illness that comes hand in hand with the lived reality of immigration. This is exactly what French-Algerian
artist Kader Attia intended with his works Reasons Oxymoron and Traditional Repair, Immaterial Injury, created for Le Sucrière, one of the Biennale’s three venues. Inspired by the race, religion and immigration debates provoked by last January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks, Attia states that young Muslims in Europe often “find grounds for their despair, among other things, in the immaterial injuries caused by their ancestors’ colonisation (dispossession, oppression, and humiliation).” An uncomfortable topic in France, Attia focuses on the notion of reparation – of France accepting its position towards its previous colonies, specifically Algeria. 2001 saw Jacques Chirac introduce the first national day of homage to harkis, the Algerian veterans who fought against their countrymen to preserve French colonial rule in Algeria. Year after year (obviously always within a presidential campaign), the media has covered first Sarkozy and then Hollande’s “well-intentioned” declaration that France must compensate the harkis for their strife. Yet these promises of repair are, more often than not, fleeting and unsubstantial, drowned out by racist, Islamophobic and xenophobic cries. France, like many of its Western allies, continuously brushes off the institutional and systematic sidelining of its immigrant communities, even as their denial of economic and social prosperity bred the bitterness that fuelled the riots in Paris in 2005. Attia’s site specific installation, Traditional Repair, Immaterial Injury aims to counteract France’s blindness to these inequalities. BODY POLITIĆ. // 85
Reconstructing and repairing becomes a tangible act, as cracks in the floor of Le Sucrière are stapled together and restored. Despite being “repaired,” the abrasion nevertheless remains visible. A mesh of staples snakes across the floor of the exhibition venue, which was in previous times a factory, in pursuit of the visitor’s footsteps. Attia thus highlights both the impossibility of concealing the injustices within societies, and the fact that, ultimately, repair does not lead to full recovery, as the cracks inevitably run deeper than the surface. This concrete depiction of repair gives way to a more conceptual and theoretical understanding in the fittingly titled Reasons Oxymoron. The installation, which was also recently on show at the Galerie Nagel Draxler in Berlin, comprises 18 videos featuring interviews with ethno-psychologists on the experience of immigrants adjusting and assimilating to 86 // BODY POLITIĆ.
different cultures and environments. Thematically ordered into categories including “Reason and Politics”, “Genocide” and “Totem and Fetish,” the videos provide an expansive insight into how mental illness is treated by doctors and families alike, and the shifting balance between traditional and modern methods of healing. The comparison of Western psychiatry to the more physical stance that “healers” adopt in non-Western cultures generates debate of what is deemed rational and irrational. Through research and interviews with philosophers, ethnologists, historians, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, musicologists, patients, healers, fetishists, and griots, Attia creates a multi-faceted conversation on what should be and is currently regarded as a mental illness. As spectators, we are invited to sit, stand and watch the videos that play before us in what resembles an open plan office,
with Attia ironically utilising the very screens that control us in daily life to encourage us to think outside the box. Rather than the textbook depiction of mental wards and patients that are all too familiar (not that mental illness can ever be textualized), Attia explores the complexities that surround mental illness and the foreigner. Whether it be first, second or third generation, immigration is intrinsically linked with the mental turmoil that comes with leaving a home, a land and a culture with which you have always been accustomed to. The videos bear witness to the onslaughts of depression, schizophrenia and paranoia that refugees face as a result of constant surveillance and daily social injustices inflicted by the lands which promised them prosperity. As one ethnologist states, “[a]ll they see is white – and they then recoil within themselves,” demonstrating that the acceptance of the receiving society and the ensuing social integration is vital to ensure the ability to cope sufficiently with new surroundings.
Rugoff’s take on this year’s Biennale was brave, as was Kader Attia’s inclusion in the exhibition. In a country where secularism and patriotism continue to dominate political discourse, the subtleties of difference, within race, religion, culture, gender and mental states, are rarely given a voice. Is it enough to foster a different mindset in France? Probably not. But, as Attia puts it, the question of reparation will always remain “omnipresent.” Whether or not discussed, it’s an unavoidable – perhaps even an irreparable – part of our modern life.
Despite this social commentary, Attia ultimately favours neither Western nor non-Western practices. The resounding phrase, “Notion de l’etre – on ne pas juste des vehicules,” (“The notion of existence – we are not merely machines”) also questions the pressures within immigrant communities to acquire social and economic status, where the struggle for money prevails over happiness. Through Reasons Oxymoron, Attia blurs the boundaries between modernity and tradition, showing that mental illness and reason alike cannot be defined. Instead, it is the responsibility of both families and welcoming societies to implicate and involve those mentally ill in society because “only then will they feel at one with themselves and have the purpose to live.” BODY POLITIĆ. // 87
WE A CARIBBEAN FAMILY.
JAWARA ALLEYNE, FASHION DESIGNER/ARTIST, LCF (ALUMNI).
We A Caribbean Family is a self-portrait like - exploration of the self and individualism through community, an examining of culture, heritage and personal history through my childhood memories on Gabby Street and Green Vale in Jamaica. The project looked at the characters whose paths crossed over mine lending to the development of my experiences and perspective. Highlighting the seemingly unimportant moments of our upbringing. Commenting on the significance of those around us who unintentionally form the fiber of our being through the complex webbing of crossed paths. Cousins. Neighborhood farmers. Uncles who weren’t uncles. The lady across the street that gave us oranges. Daddy Poo and Daddy Roy (our cousin’s fathers) Sister Annette from Top Road Pentecostal. Church members who were quick to chastise when your granny was singing on the choir. The taxi driver that always picked you up for church on Sunday morning. These encounters. Conversations. Days of play in the common. Nights of hanging out under the street lights. Does the self exist without these experiences? Does the self exist without the collective? Photo Credit: Ava Anttinen
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INTER-AFRICAN MIGRATION AND ALBINISM IN BLACK BODIES.
ANNIE-MARIE AKUSSAH, PAINTER, WIMBLEDON, UAL (ALUMNI).
The body of work discussing albinism firstly seeks to address the discrimination and killings that have happened in East Africa. These killings happen because of myths and ritualistic beliefs that body parts of people with Albinism can bring wealth and success. As the series developed, I began to question the notion of belonging and the concept of race for people of Albinism. If the idea around Body Politic is clearly related to race, and if race is almost instantaneously distinguished through skin colour and other features of the body, how do people with albinism navigate or identify themselves within this context, especially in a space where they are discriminated against by their own race?. In regions where people with Albinism are hunted, they are seen as ‘’the other’’, so as to identify the norm- which is, some one of ‘’colour’’. Even paint as a medium, is able to distinguish and characterise people through a simple act of mixing pigment. Kerry James Marshall’s paintings use the colour black in its fullest and boldest hue to represent a black body. As a painter who only uses primary colours ( out of habit and to save money), I use the same colours and process to paint someone with albinism and someone without Albinism.
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My paintings only refer to people with Albinism in East Africa. This is because, as someone who grew up in West Africa, the concept of ‘’black’’ was not familiar to me. In understanding what it means to be black now, I wanted to discuss how people with albinism straddle between identities in different spaces that they find themselves in. On the surface of the paintings, it is hard to tell whether these people are black or white. What identifies them is the clothing which places them somewhere in the world. Rightfully put, ‘’black is an identity which had to be learned and could only be learned in a certain moment’. (Hall  1996c, p. 116)” The second series discusses migration of African bodies within Africa, which I refer to as ‘’Inter-African Migration’’. Society’s paradigm of expatriates is often from the Middle East and Africa, yet the prevailing perspectives, ideologies and impressions of migratory movement within the world pays little attention to inter-African migratory movement. The paintings hold colours and resemble buildings and places expatriates may have occupied. There is usually an item that expatriates from different parts of Africa are familiar with, which characterises them and confirms their similar experiences.
I paint from travel documents from Ghana’s archives, navigating and selecting a particular time in history to discuss certain topics. Within my paintings, I have a dialogue about inter-African migration today, in the early 1950’s (before Ghana’s independence from the British) and post independence whilst exploring the spaces migrants are held in (immigration offices, detention centres, slave auction houses etc.) The passport or any travel document, is a tool of identification but also a constraint because the exclusivity of certain passports, citizenships and visa’s trigger alienation. The drastic innovation of passports to intensify security, surveillance and defense, commands the notion of identity and authenticity. I have this dialogue within my paintings by using stamps and pages within travel documents, modifying some of the information to play around the notion of authenticity. The multiplicity of materials, techniques and medium used within my work develops the context and enables me use different avenues to explore painting without any boundaries. By integrating portraiture with transfers, prints and assemblage, my paintings take on different characters, which mirror the life of an expatriate, the expatriate adapts, loses and learns different culture within the ‘new’ space that is being occupied. BODY POLITIĆ. // 97
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: MERCEDES LEWIS.
ARTIST & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN (ALUMNI). What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? In my opinion ‘ blackness in the white landscape’ is really most of America. To see that we are still living in a system that still oppresses black people’s freedom is a modern day issue. An example in america would be the NFL. We have so much of our blackness in national sport organizations yet we don’t have the right to take a knee when our people are being killed off the field. Using Colin Kaepernick story of losing his career to speak up for black people losing lives in this country is a prime example of blackness in a white landscape. This example shows how many rights a black person truly has in a national organization controlled by white people. Colin Kaepernick risked his career to fight for black lives and what treated unfairly. The idea that as a Black man that you speak freely for your own people and can lose your own career supports the idea that systematic oppression is modern day. He went against an idea the system had and lost his career. How are issues of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? In the Trump Era things are manifested and framed against the minority. The fact that Trump says statements that supports ideas to assume blacks are less educated reinforces the idea of inequality in our modern day society. President Trump constantly supports & reinforces these false ideas. His racist remarks embodies hateful & ignorant people who actually agree with his statements. A film like “Get Out” is a visual example to hear a stories directed from the perspective 104 // BODY POLITIĆ.
of the modern day African American is still rare. It’s important that we have the opportunities to have our stories visualized in films from our own perspective to bring truth to the stereotypes and generalizations that are placed upon black people. When we get the chance to see something that we can relate to it’s like being able to share an inside secret. I believe visual stories are vital for our stories to be authentically told to overcome the stereotypes that have been manifested. In my opinion the media has done more framed dehumanizing and stereotyping. This frames how black lives are sentenced in prison, what rights we can lose and sometimes what life we can lose. The same crimes committed by another race but the sentencing is less harsh. These stereotypes are used when we are sentenced and treated unjustly in this country. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? Our ‘otherness’ is most popular when cultural appropriation from other races. Kim Kardashian receive praise for wearing black hairstyles. Yet its legal in the same country to discriminate against a person wearing dreadlocks when seeking a job. This system has rules created to build a negative stereotype when practiced by African American but gets praise when culture appropriated by other races. What about the possibility of black liberation? I believe that in order to have black liberation we truly have to believe that we are divine and have our own. This system
was never created for us to succeed. We are most successful if can come together to build our own together to have the freedom that we truly deserve. Supporting black businesses, educating each other, creating our own spaces and supporting one another are small changes that can ultimately help us achieve black liberation.
“Whiteness” in relationship to power in my opinion would be white supremacy. What typifies this in relationship to power would be that white is not put at being at a disadvantage. The fact that they control the government, the economy, the food, education and prison system shows how much power ‘whiteness’ truly has.
What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? I believe that black trauma can be seen on a physical and mental level of the modern black individual. We are born into a world where it’s common for a black person to experience racism. Mentally & physically our people are being harmed for the color of their skin. Experiencing these things more often than others can bring anxiety, stress and trauma to our people. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? “Otherness” seems to be an issue when practiced by black races but the same practices that are culturally appropriated are praised when practiced by a non black. For example the Kardashians are considered style icons and innovative when it comes to wearing culturally black hairstyles such as corn rolls, bantu knots etc but in the same country its legal to deny black people for requesting to work at a company if their hairstyle is dreadlocks. Both braid and dreadlocks have been apart of black culture yet its still looked down upon in our “post racial” society. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in it its relationship to questions of power? BODY POLITIĆ. // 105
CHILDREN OF VENUS.
UZMA CHOWDHURY (THEY/THEM), ARTIST, GOLDSMITHS.
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I was trying to create a surreal, improvised playground style scene in this work. The performers, all from a South Asian background all move in synch with each other; the movement of the see-saw in response to the sound of the oil drum and vice versa. The idea of this live performance was that it was a repetitive/continuous motion throughout and the piece would not climax but stay constant forever, despite any changes in the surrounding art space. It is almost like a live photo or tableaux that isn’t static and that had sound to inform the performers and the audience of the mood and tone of the scene. The idea was to create a completely untouched space for brown bodies to exist in. I tried to keep a sense of purity and naivety which can be referenced the white clothes that move in the space on their own accord with their own sculptural properties. Once the virginal spirits (performers) are removed from the set, the leftover objects (oil drum and see-saw) can be compared to an industrial site with stark lighting and shadows, which gives the audience an ominous feeling. However, the performers have so much control and freedom in this scene that the industrial elements paired with the fragility of the costume make a perfect harmony with the movement and the sound. I play on the spectator, as I know that art audiences are dominated by white crowds, by exploring the idea of ‘Otherness.’ I do this by creating a completely surreal set that can be hard to interpret because the audience tries to project a narrative onto the piece, however, as it is so improvised it is hard to tell what the narrative may be while watching and hearing the movements and sounds. Until you step back and view the
piece as an image and recognize the brown bodies wearing white, it becomes associated to godliness and authority of the space. The multiple factors that go into it make it hard to access and therefore project otherness because audiences are busy trying to strip the work down into a specific linear narrative. This work is in conjunction with the aim of my practice, to reinsert brown bodies into a white art historical narrative. Watch here: https://vimeo.com/257267102 or scan the QR.
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IF I WERE WHITE, I WOULD CAPTURE THE WORLD.
RACHEL ISABEL MUKENDI, ARTIST/FILMMAKER, CHELSEA, UAL (ALUMNI).
This body of work has continued to change and challenge my perceptions of being black and female and all the challenges that come along with it. I created this body of works to question and challenge the narrative of beauty and whitewashing within the arts. I appropriated the works of John Stezaker because I found his work fascinating yet disturbing because there was a lack of representation, I didn’t see images of black men and women in Hollywood but they existed. My work takes a different approach to body politics and identity, through the constant questioning of these pieces, I have come to a conclusion that these works show how we fit into the natural and urban landscapes, we have a lot of history in the lands where people say we don’t belong, colonialism has played a part in these narratives. The titles of these pieces are centred around conversations and interviews they’ve had about race and identity and the problems that arise with being on the outside of the white landscapes.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: RENE MATICH.
RENE MATICH (MATIĆ), CONCEPTUAL ARTIST, CSM, UAL. What does the notion of the body politić look like now? Depending on who has the mic, the answer to this question can go either way. I think and hope that we are post-blackness, which is a notion that gives (at least) a moment of agency in order to escape the constraints of living ‘blackness’ through the lens of the white western hetero-patriarchy. The notion of the body politić still no doubt, has the ability to restrict us and hold blackness where certain members of society can (just about) deal with ‘it’ but from inside, I am met with so many different versions of ‘it’. I am met with a community and a rainbow of softness. So for me, the body politić is a sweet honey that keeps getting sweeter and stronger and stickier in the best and most powerful way. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? I think that every ounce of blackness lives in contrast to the dominant aesthetic. Every single golden grain of blackness that takes up space in the white landscape is a diamond. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? As a queer womxn of colour married to a womxn, I experience some shitttt and not always at the hands of just white people. I think it’s important that we address the mysognoir from within our communities. ‘without frames that allow us to see how social problems impact all the members of a targeted group, many will fall through the cracks of our movements, left to suffer in virtual isolation’ - Kimberle Crenshaw on intersectionality. 114 // BODY POLITIĆ.
What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? I think that the only difference is that America gets more media coverage for its race related news stories. No doubt this is a clever tool of distraction from the British government so that we can say ‘at least we aren’t as bad as America’ when it is just an insidious here. How are issues of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? We get the majority of our information from the distribution of images. Living in a digital and image based culture we have (some) agency over how blackness looks and feels and smells and moves but, the way these images are perceived depends on who gets to look. There is power that comes with the ability to insert a queer, black, femme energy into spaces where it wouldn’t usually exist. We can tell our own stories and create bespoke narratives for people with marginalised and underrepresented identities but, the manipulation and co-option of these images is a very real reality. I think that digital black face is dangerous and I worry that we are only aloud in certain spaces because we are useful for informing the mainstream. ‘it’s a vampiric relationship where we are sucked from the blood but not enough to die’ - Campbell X. How do issues of racial body politics affect all people of colour? My mother, a white woman, says that she raised me to be Rene and not to be black. I wrote her a letter in the front of Rennie Edo-Lodge’s book ‘why I am no longer
talking to white people about race’ where I express that to the people that do not know my name, Mother, I am black or mixed race. I am whatever black or mixed-race means to that person. I never gave her the letter because, sadly, I know that black and mixed race aren’t positive things to my Mother. The issues of racial body politics affects every person of colour in this same way. The people that do not know our names will see us as whatever they perceive our race to be. That can be positive or negative but, it will most probably never be right. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? The media will continue to favour those in power and so everything is tailor made to preserve and pander to the white, middle class, hetero-patriarchy. I think that black on black crime is one of the most upsetting [tools] , the prison system and brexit etc, etc. The methods are endless and what scares me is their ability to disguise and dilute micro aggressions it’s like a silent but deadly approach at the preservation of white-supremacy. Its insidious.
continue to play with what we’ve got. What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? No one person’s experience is the same, period. be it trauma, sexuality, gender, mental health, physical health etc etc. It isn’t possible or necessary to put an umbrella over those things, they’re all too fragile to be pigeon holed. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? I don’t think that we live in a post-racial society. These issues will always prevalent. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in it its relationship to questions of power? Whiteness is in our curriculum, its in our advertising, it works along side and throughout consumerism and capitalism. It is the water in our taps. The black body politic exists as a glitch in these systems that were not made for us because the system is essentially just whiteness... I think.
What about the possibility of black liberation? On a panel with my friend Rabz Lansiquot the other day they spoke about the needed transition from black representation to liberation which was the first time I found language to discuss this ‘journey.’ At this point the baggage is too heavy to be able to imagine reaching any kind of end but, like Rabz said, there is a shift that needs to be made but that ball isn’t in our court, as most balls aren’t. We can only BODY POLITIĆ. // 115
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ACID ATTACK SERIES. SANYA TORKMORAD-JOZAVI, COSTUME ARTIST, LCF, UAL (ALUMNI).
I tackle issues of power struggles between gender, in relation to my Persian heritage. The concept of an imposed identity based on the representation of Iran and how a mass of people are dictated and defined by others, I work to challenge this through performance and the use of costume to communicate. Through the body, abstracting oneself inspired by past and present symbols of identity of race, gender and culture, I aim to create new meaning, and show how we are the source of definitions. In the series ‘Acid Attack’ – Since the increasing reports of attacks towards Muslims, impacted by ISIS and Brexit referendum, as an Iranian born in London, I have felt vulnerable to these attacks due to my appearance. Through performative art I wanted to capture these repeated acts of violence by solidifying the verbal and physical experiences Islamic women in particular are subjected to. The photograph is of myself in Iranian female dress, and the use of white paint being a reflection of the white men behind these unprovoked acid attacks, addressing the problem that these men feel the need to actually deface someone who poses no actual threat but due to their appearance are targeted.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: YOKO GRINDEL.
FINE ARTIST, SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE. What does the notion of the body politić look like now? In America the body politic comes in many forms. Chicago is a very diverse city and its people of colour are reclaiming their autonomy, claiming their rights and building platforms to rise up and speak and be heard. So, in the USA it looks like reclaim. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? Black and Brownness looks like organized community and forming spaces that highlight talent and power in minority communities in areas that have been white for millennia. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? Gender is a fluid identity. It looks different for almost everyone and I think that every person with their unique identity should be given space to speak for themselves. For me, being non-binary, I feel gender identity is a social construct and can only speak to that. As far as equal rights ( i.e. feminism ) that is a multifaceted and complicated answer that cannot be oversimplified with just a briefing. Each identity and each sex brings its own issues and worries to the table. What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? Each country has its minority demographic due to colonialism and geography. For example, the atrocities we saw the Jackson Administration inflict on Native Americans will not be seen on British soil, the atrocities the Trump Administration is inflicting 120 // BODY POLITIĆ.
on Mexicans will not be seen in Britain. Moreover, the racial divide between Indians and British will not be seen as much here in the USA. We will also not share the racial celebration towards certain minorities in both countries. Cinco De Mayo would not harbour the same meaning in Britain. So, along with each country’s outlook towards races as far as discrimination, there are unique celebration each community has and although there are parallels, they are not comparable. The difference is the value society holds for black and brown people and community that each group creates. How are issues of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? That is solely based on who you surround yourself with. If I were to surround myself with people that are not body positive and welcoming then it will definitely be framed and experienced differently than surrounding myself with a community of body positive people. How do issues of racial body politics affect all people of colour? Stereotypes can be very damaging. Studies conducted surrounding Asian body types state that people tend to think of Asians as ‘ more American’ if they are less skinny. ( i.e. the skinnier the Asian the more foreign they appear ) This can strip people of identity and perpetuates an ugly idea of “ not being Asian enough or not being X enough”. Each race holds its own stereotypes in regards to body and highlighting the damage it can inflict should be one of the forefronts of discussion. What are the ways / tools / methods
that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? Media attention, ‘jokes’ , invalidation, exploitation, gaslighting people who speak out / gaslighting in general. What about the possibility of black liberation? BLACK LIVES MATTER What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? Creating community is the first step to liberation. Elimination isolation and forging sincere bonds to discuss traumas, process and heal. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? Yes. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in it its relationship to questions of power? There is no justification to whiteness being the image of power. Typically speaking, we have grown to accept whiteness as power because of colonialism, classism, racism, and it is a fact that when we’ve seen it day to day for centuries it normalizes the behaviour - this is not okay. Acknowledging that this is happening is key to abolishing it which in turn will lead to equality.
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UNIMUKE J AGADA, ILLUSTRATOR, SELF-TAUGHT, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, (ALUMNI).
My work deals a lot with the dialogue between body and space. My style leans on this dialogue so densely that often, the two are interdependent -- there is no personhood without its environment, and there is no environment without personhood. At a glance, one could say that the body is carving itself into the surrounding area, defiantly crafting a place for itself and creating its own presence. It is for this reason that I most often illustrate bodies in positions where they are comfortable, compromised, and unguarded -- where their personhood and their space are physically, culturally, and politically familiar with one another. Where the surrounding area effuses from the individual. Body politiÄ‡ means to me the active, reciprocal force of definition between the individual and their social surrounding, and how an individual must, in the face it all, define themself. In other words, a history of blackness.
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AND I BELONG AND WE BELONG.
RENE MATICH (MATIĆ), CONCEPTUAL ARTIST, CSM. My work explores the intersections of my own identity as a queer womxn of colour, aiming to expose, combat and question power relations and structures within the art world and society more widely. My work is interdisciplinary, drawing from a wide range of references to bring to light (or dark) the fated conflicts and contradictions that one encounters while navigating the world in a body like my own. This particular work is entitled ‘And I Belong and We Belong (flag)’ I made it to represent and give power to otherness and living from the diaspora. I suppose it stands in protest of the Black British body politic in the sense that it asks for infinite forms of the black British identity and the right to autonomy and free agency over one’s own Black British experience.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: THOKOZANI MBWANA.
THOKOZANI MBWANA, ARTIST/EDUCATOR, UNIVERSITY OF SURREY (2015). What does the notion of the body politić look like now? A global black consciousness that has evolved over decades where, with the help of social media and technology we have been able to connect with one another in the lived experiences of blackness in black spaces and blackness in white spaces within diaspora and homelands. Black people are able to, in their works of art, media and social commentary, create narratives that we are more able to relate to across the world, more so than ever before. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? The embodiment of ‘blackness in the white landscape’ for me, is Afropunk taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The location of the event takes place on Constitution Hill- which originally was a prison that held white male prisoners during the Anglo-Boer war and later black and white political activists who opposed apartheid. Constitution Hill is one of the many blatant, physical reminders of apartheid and colonial history and having an event that celebrates blackness in all forms is the embodiment of blackness in the white landscape. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? The differences in gender related issues can range from the different experiences and needs of western feminism compared to postcolonial third world feminism (African and Eastern), to issues of the way we are socialised into heteronormativity as heterosexual and LGBTQ+ people. 132 // BODY POLITIĆ.
What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? The race issues in Britain are somewhat downplayed as not as rampant as in America. It therefore creates an environment where, in America talks about race are endless- and rightly so, whereas in Britain there might not be a constant flow of conversation. The belief that “racism doesn’t exist until something racist happens” (racism in isolation) is far more perpetuated in Britain. Even though there are issues in the way history is taughtand the biases of the western perception, in America, there is recognition of civil rights movements and some mention of black and native history to aid in dialogues about race. In Britain the focus of history is on the imperial efforts of the empire and very little, if at all on the narratives of the many immigrants from different nations that make up a significant percentage of the British population today. Currently the focus in America on race issues is the school to prison pipeline, the immigration ban and police brutality whereas in Britain the focus is on the underlying issues of xenophobia and racism in Brexit and the increase in hate crimes. How are issues of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? Issues of body politics can be demonstrated everyday in the microaggressions we experience in workplaces and schools. It manifests in everyday rape culture, diet culture and advertisement and in news media. How do issues of racial body politics
affect all people of colour? It creates a sense of disconnect from the mind and the body where all people of colour live in constant fear and anxiety of the racialised experiences they endure. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? Reinforcing negative stereotypes begins with socialisation and is further perpetuated through education systems and media.
it its relationship to questions of power? The narrative of colour-blindness in postracial societies, the illusion of “equality” and the perpetuation of the narrative that those who are oppressed need to self-regulate their emotions when discussing race issues to be deemed ‘human’ enough to be heard.
What about the possibility of black liberation? It is possible, with the continued unification of black peoples across the world. However, it would also require the white supremacist society to relinquish its power and the total restructuring of society to ensure real freedom for all people of colour. What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? The applicability and significance of a collective body politic enables black people, globally to learn about each other’s experiences- similarities and differences and allows us the platform to heal through different forms of expression and medium. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? Yes, centuries of oppression does not erase the 400+ year head start white society has had in which they have maintained their imperialism through capitalism. Otherness will continue to exist in all facets of society so long as there is a power imbalance. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in BODY POLITIĆ. // 133
gon’ be alright” to Beyonce telling us to ‘get in formation’. We have music that help keep the momentum about black liberation alive. What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? Black trauma can never be ignored and left out of the conversation, it is a natural response to talk about our lived experience and how many of us relate to it. Outside of our experience we are made to think we’re being sensitive about black trauma but when you can switch on the news or social media, how many videos do you see of black men and women being brutalised and becoming a hashtag, how many prayers do you see on twitter and instagram? Black trauma makes the conversation harder, and it’s something we see far too often. Take Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ music video, which is filled with so much violence that is inflicted on black bodies, this is the history of America, but somehow you find yourself enjoying the song and watching the video on repeat, black trauma is far too normalised but it is relevant to speak about as a collective because it is something that we haven’t managed to stop just yet. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? Post-racial societies are a myth. We are still considered ‘other’ if we weren’t I’d be able to walk into my local superdrug and find my foundation shade because I am included in the conversations that surrounds beauty. If we lived in a post racial society, wearing your afro out in the workplace or at school wouldn’t make headline news in South Africa or Kensington. If we weren’t so ‘other’ more would’ve been done to help the victims of Grenfell. If we weren’t so other we would see more roles in cinema with us in mind, the girl next door type. Post-racial societies do have the potential to exist if all other tropes of negative stereotypes cease to exist, but it’s still something we’re trying to fight. But in our otherness we have created beautiful 134 // BODY POLITIĆ.
things and have embraced being other. What typifies and justifies ‘whiteness’ in it its relationship to questions of power? We could look at the Serena Williams as an example and the way the media treats her in comparison to Maria Sharipova, her so called rival. A journalist waited 14 years to ask Serena Williams if she was intimidated by Sharipova’s “supermodel looks”. This is a clear justification of whiteness and it’s power, that even though Serena Williams has proven time and time again that she is one of the greatest athletes of our time. Regardless of her achievements this question has told her exactly what she isn’t, white and without supermodel attributes.
BODY IMAGE AND DIVERSITY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY. YUWEN HSIEH, FASHION MEDIA PRODUCTION, LCF (2019).
Watch here: shadesofnoir.org.uk/son-interview-body-positivemodel-kitty-underhill-talks-about-bodyimages-and-diversity-in-fashion-industry/ or scan the QR. BODY POLITIÄ†. // 135
AN INTERVIEW WITH: RACHEL ISABEL MUKENDI.
RACHEL ISABEL MUKENDI, ARTIST/FILMMAKER, CHELSEA, UAL (ALUMNI). What does the notion of the body politić look like now? We are making progress in regards to the notion of body politics, simply because of the endless campaigning we’ve had to do where our bodies have been policed and up for debate by people who don’t look like us. I think now more than ever there has been a shift in body politics, there is a power shift because we are now taking ownership of ourselves and fighting not to be censored. Body politics will consistently evolve because of the power shifts, we are in a position where we are creating our own narratives, forging our own identities and speaking out when our bodies are misrepresented. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? Blackness in the white landscape, is consistently navigating in all white spaces, it is trying to understand the micro and macro aggressions that feed in the narrative of your everyday. Serena Williams is the embodiment of blackness in a white landscape. I think Jordan Peele’s film Get Out almost perfectly encapsulates what blackness in a white landscape is like, the stigmas that are attached to being black, the stares, the touching, the constant questions you get about flippant generalisations. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? We are becoming more aware that gender is a social construct. I think with gender the realisation that you can be non binary is a mind blowing notion because of how many people identify with it. I think there’s 136 // BODY POLITIĆ.
something so beautiful and honest about that. Talking about gender in the sphere of blackness is something that has proven quite difficult because of all the stigmas that the westernised mentalities have attached to it. That it isn’t the norm, it isn’t as simple as ticking a box and saying I’m either a man or a woman. The issues with gender is that people see it as a very black and white thing when it isn’t there are a lot of grey areas and those grey areas should be talked about more. What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? American discussions of race are very overt, in the education system they have included African American studies, in however Britain it is a rare subject matter. A lot of British history did not actually happen in Britain itself. As ugly as the subject of slavery is and colonial histories, the British discussion about race is quite a touchy subject because people don’t want to address it as an issue even though it has been institutionalised. With America, the racism is an obvious daily battle because black Americans are being killed by the people paid to protect them. How are issue of body politics manifested, visualised and framed in the everyday? There has been a surge in debates about the body politics, from The Slumflowers’ saggyboobsmatter campaign, to Munroe Bergdorf’s existance as a black trans woman, we’re seeing social media platforms such as twitter become a daily battlefield that policies our body. The issues of body politics have manifested a lot over the last few years because there has been more of an open
dialogue with what we’re not going to accept anymore. I think this affects women, queer and non binary folk the most. Where there has been a revelation in how we think, how we see our body’s and how we choose to present it. They have made some media outlets rethink and engage. You can look at Black Panther as the perfect example, with an entire all black cast, full of dark skin men and women and having the women keep the tempo and running the show. For once we are seeing black bodies existing not within whiteness on the horizon. How do issues of racial body politics affect all people of colour? Racial body politics is an interesting one, we have Kim Kardashian who has assumed the role of the black woman because of the ways in which she chose to alter her body to fit the stereotype of the black woman. Somehow black women’s features are more acceptable on the white body. The way our features and cultures are picked apart and place on white bodies is something that affects people of colour, we are constantly being told our features look better on white skin. Take the film industry for instance, Scarlett Johansson to play the lead in ‘Ghost In A Shell’ (2017) there was uproar about the film because another white actor has been used in the place of an asian character, another example ‘Gods of Egypt’ (2016) a completely whitewashed film that made no apparent sense in the first place. Racial body politics affects all people of colour because we are kept out of the conversation and used for our aesthetic. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce
negative stereotypes into society? The singular narrative of the black woman stereotype, we’re told to roll with punches and the hardships, we shouldn’t have to. They mistaken assertiveness for aggression but this same assertiveness on whiteness is praised. Negative stereotypes are reinforced by the language in which we use to identify someone, like calling a black woman’s hair ‘sassy’ already gives the an identity that wasn’t there own but has been thrown on to them. Visualisation of negative stereotypes can be seen in ‘Norbit’ (2007) starring Eddie Murphy, yes it’s supposedly a comedy, however, the character they developed Rasputia Latimore play by Murphy himself, showed the angry, loud, uncompromising, overweight dark skinned black woman versus the very kind, well mannered, light skinned Thandie Newton. Again, this is supposed to be a comedy but it centres around negative stereotypes and issues of colorism that just doesn’t sit right. What about the possibility of black liberation? I think a lot of black people are starting to engage more in the conversations surrounding our existence. We’ve been outsiders for the longest time but now we’re more comfortable being on the outside because it has forced us to create our own communities, write our own narratives for us by us. I still hold out hope for black liberation, it comes at a cost. If it was for people who like us being visible and able to communicate I think the possibility would be a distant dream. History has a way of repeating itself, during the civil rights movement we had Nina Simone telling us we are Young, Gifted and Black, today we have Kendrick Lamar telling us that “We BODY POLITIĆ. // 137
PRUDENCE FLINT, PAINTER, MONASH UNIVERSITY (ALUMNI).
To become paintings that hold tension, they have to work on several levels… major spaces and angles, the unconscious element, the colours, the figure’s gesture all have to come together to create opposing forces; lightness, heaviness, freedom and something uncomfortable.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: RACHEL ISABEL MUKENDI.
RACHEL ISABEL MUKENDI, ARTIST/FILMMAKER, CHELSEA, UAL (ALUMNI). What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? Blackness in the white landscape for me manifests itself in many different ways. Most notably it involves learning how best to navigate institutional spaces such as universities and the workplace where you have to learn to balance being assertive yet palatable to your non-black counterparts. While navigating these spaces from an early age, I have had to learn how to make these adjustments, whether that be changing the way I speak or physically making myself smaller to appear ‘less threatening’ in public spaces. This idea of adjusting body language, demeanour and even self identity is something I have explored and challenged within my work. During my time at university, I spent time looking into the theories surrounding the idea of having multiple identities in this way. The idea that you might have one identity that you portray while navigating the white landscape that is different to others. I came across the work of social theorist Michel Foucault, who argued that an individual’s self identity is an abstract concept which is never permanent in terms of facts but simply just a product of imagination. Foucault’s ideology would therefore imply that an individual has the ability to change and develop their self-identity. Foucault explains that how you perceive an individual’s personal identity, is based on how they interact with you at any given time, that it is therefore forever adapting and evolving. This idea of fluidity in relation to cultural identity is paramount to the way I view my own experience with my racial and cultural identity, adopting to fit here or there at any given time.
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What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? Image media has a while has had and continues to have a massive influence on not only the ways in which we see ourselves, but also the ways in which we are seen by other social groups within the body politic. If we were to look at the portrayal of the Black family dynamic, the representation of the 2.4 family structure is scarce within the portrayal of Black British families. The vast majority of Black British stories which make it to our screens as British audiences are gritty urban dramas can be categorised heavily as crime and gang related, with damaging stereotypes such as the absent or abusive Jamaican father and sexually promiscuous mother. This also limits the type of roles available for Black British actors and artists. This limitation has ultimately created a series of negative stereotypes and tropes within the family structure which do not accurately reflect the reality faced by many families within the Black British community. This not only adds to the feeling of displacement which pre-exists within the black experience in modern British society, it can aid in damaging the overall representation of the Black Body Politic as a whole. Arguably, this is ultimately creating or impacting poor relationships that can exist between different ethnic groups within the Body Politic. What about the possibility of black liberation? The possibility of Black liberation might have to manifest itself in the form of self liberation. Through the arts and image media this means
Black people taking the representation of ourselves into our own hands, showcasing our range of narratives not just the working class struggle that we currently see in abundance. Being able to see ourselves represented as three dimensional characters without the restrictions of damaging tropes and stereotypes, and being in charge of those representations would be a form of liberation in itself. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies? The issues of otherness is still very much present in today society. I believe that it has just began to mask itself in different ways, people believing they can be black by association can unknowingly cause feelings of otherness. Rather than overtly using phrases which are more demeaning like a non-black individual referring to others as ‘them’ or ‘you people’, for example, are now the people using the blackness (and then therefore otherness) of their friends and family to excuse certain behaviours such as stereotyping and ‘whitesplaining’. Having a Black friend or relative does not entitle an individual to determine what is and what isn’t problematic or even racist to a someone who is Black. These ideas are explored in Linda Alcoff’s text, The Problem of Speaking for Others. She explains how those in positions of privilege cannot effectively understand any individual who is from a different or lower ‘social location’ and that understanding is solely constructed based on how said individual preserves the context. Otherness is also present amongst black communities themselves, largely on the premise on culture and heritage. There is a feeling of otherness amongst Caribbean
and African communities which I believe are in direct relation to the scars left behind by years of colonial rule. Last year I came across and article in the BBC Archives which demonstrated this point. The article is titled The African Caribbean Debate and features quotes from two Black British politicians, Dianne Abbott and Lola Ayorinde about the “simmering rift between the UK’s African and Caribbean communities”. “As a child growing up in the tight-knit Jamaican community, I was taught as an article of faith that people from Jamaica were better than any other country in the Caribbean (whom my parents referred to as “small islanders”) and that Caribbean people were infinitely superior to Africans, who lived in mud huts and did not know how to comb their hair. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, African children were being taught how superior they were to Caribbean people, who had been stupid enough to get sold into slavery and were all thieves anyway.” “In recent years”, she noted, “some of the silly myths and antagonism have resurfaced.” Such references have angered Lola Ayorinde. “We need first of all for the Caribbean blacks to acknowledge that we are not the same group as they are. They need to begin to learn about Africa, to begin to understand that even if they have the African heritage, they are not Africans anymore.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/caribbean/news/ story/2006/05/060526_black.shtml
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KEN NWADIOGBU, FIGURATIVE HYPERREALIST, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS (ALUMNI).
HRM OBA OF BENIN KINGDOM (FROM THE KING’S DIARY SERIES) My art’s course is to pursue freedom, of expression and belief; and to promote the voices of those unheard. I have supported many campaigns off public media, and trained talents on techniques of pencil art for free, females especially, for the purpose of female empowerment. The Uproar of Feminism In the midst of much opposition, the feminist theme was brazenly brought to the fore in the late hours of the 19th century. Even more brazen today, is the followership of this rather unpopular course; evidently the turn of a new direction. In the yesteryears, this course was thought to be a religion of the westerners, but art is transcending boundaries to tell the woes and ways of the world. The King’s Diary is an ongoing series that attempts to present African women in the light of kingly power; decorated in the regalia of the traditional rulers. The motive is to encourage the acceptance and respect otherwise ascribed to the kings of Africaand any realm, as a matter of fact- as a right of the African female, as is depicted in the art pieces. This new light will help see the girl-child in Sub-Saharan Africa, and all of Africa, as privileged as the sons, and not doomed to the woes of forbidden education, and early marriage against her will.
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THE VALUE OF NOTHING I (FROM THE VALUE OF NOTHING SERIES) A Drab Kind of Wisdom It is fool’s errand to count the trophies of science won, since Armstrong kissed the bald moon. These triumphs herald today’s man as wise, wiser, than ever. Indeed, man is reborn todaywithout the sense of yesterday. Today’s value is measured in the currency of money, fame and power, alone. As though it is by these vain pursuits that man has survived until now. Art does not forget though, that the strokes and swipes of yesterday were the result of a true grasp of the concept of value; the endurance that is earned by pain, and the dignity that does not lie. Consequently, this series questions today’s framework of values by suggesting that true worth is the self-worth that promotes a rather loud strength of character. The Value Of Nothing The series employs the thought that the worth of man is not measurable by price-tag, possession, or prominence. This is a deliberate attempt to convince the audience that the depressing, suicidal thoughts and stories in the wind today – including those of the wealthy – are an indicator that true value lies in the conscious awareness, appraisal and appreciation of one’s own limits, abilities and potential as perceived by themselves and not some misguided spectator. The vanities of money, fame and power, are the placebo that prevent the realization that these alone, are nothing. To employ them as standards of measuring worth, or value, is to measure nothing.
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THY BROTHER IS NOT THY BROTHER INDEED (FROM THE BLACK MENTALITY SERIES) There is no bad colour. Or people. But there are circumstances that burn a certain perception into us all, so that we adopt a dominant spirit of thought. Or thoughts, and forge our strength of character. This series attempts to describe the emotions and circumstances that nurture this strength, and the chords that touch the circle of black. Of thoughts and people. “The Black Mentality”
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LOST CONSCIOUSNESS I (FROM THE NYLON SERIES) There is no such thing as absolute. Nothing has been figured out, absolutely. There is no Nothing. There is no Everything. There is no, No. There is no There. Until there is. Lost Consciousness We have queried the boundaries of existence, since the oracle gained its eye. Yet, our perception is informed by an awareness of what is only visible or palpable, much like a bandit scaling walls with veiled eyes. We do not see, but do not know. There is no firm conviction of what is. But there is the frame of fear that boxes a certain ‘big picture’ into our perspective. The Lost Consciousness represents an inquiry into how all humanity interprets what is perceived, as influenced by our fears and deep beliefs; some sort of veil, thin enough to distract us from our purpose. The Nylon Series This series attempts to describe how unaware we are, of the grand scale of things, and how we grope for purpose; seemingly attainable, but unseen yet. It is this sense of purpose, but ultimate lack of it, that influences our probe for answers to life’s big questions. This consciousness- or lack of it- informs notions of racial superiority, promotes gender inequalities, and every moral and religious thought ever raised; from the ineffable eureka of Isaac Newton, as he found the key to atomic genocide, to the simplest sigh of a newborn. This is the hymn of this band. For Consciousness. For Purpose. For Direction.
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IF I START TO TALK II (FROM THE ÓKÓTÓGBAM SERIES) “If I Start to Talk II” is the second in a series of works that is inspired by the current socio-political state of my country, Nigeria. It is a self portrait hyperrealistic drawing, where I peer through large tears shaped as “word”, an Nsibidi symbol from Ekoi, Cross River, in sheets of Old Newspaper collage. Both tear and Old Newspaper, at once metaphors the headlines and eagerness to publicise the declining socio-political structure of Nigeria. “See Nothing” and “Say Nothing” is symbolic to showcasing the resistance of the society, to see and to speak about this state of gradual decline. This work is done in a form of protest, urging Nigerians to sit up and pay attention to what matters the most, to promote good leadership and encourage a better society, because, indeed, Nigeria is in it’s Twilight.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH: SHANNON BONO.
SHANNON BONO, ARTIST, CSM, UAL.
What does the notion of the body politić look like now? The notion of the body politic is a movement prevalent through social media and independent creative outlets that express a controlled image. Using a platform to express important unfiltered content and reclaim power. As the subject of the body is concerned there is still a cautionary matter of balance between liberation and pornography, however that in itself could be an interest of expressing the liberation of erotism. What embodies ‘blackness in the white landscape’, and what does this look like to you? Blackness in the white landscape is a broad concept and could extend from minorities living in the western society to black liberation amongst your own community that hasn’t accepted itself. It’s a place where you are ‘othered’ in a system that is not built for you to succeed or doesn’t acknowledge you but you still prevail because it’s a privilege to be black. What are the differences in gender related issues / topics / relationships? I don’t believe there is a difference, because its a still a judgment based on a characteristic to cause oppression. What are the differences between the British and American microcosms in the discussion of race? American discussions of race are more obvious and open and British discussions of race are limited on a mass scale. How are issues of body politics manifested, 154 // BODY POLITIĆ.
visualised and framed in the everyday? Through media outlets again, having a continuous displayed image to represent a norm that doesn’t include all people. This in turn causes colourism, classism etc. How do issues of racial body politics affect all people of colour? It causes pre-judgment, restricted opportunities and ignorance. What are the ways / tools / methods that have been used to further reinforce negative stereotypes into society? The most effective ways of reinforcing negative stereotypes are through social media, film, the news and other mass media outlets. What about the possibility of black liberation? Black liberation is a continuous learning process due to the climate we live in that’s dominated by white standards and hierarchy. Unfortunately not everyone will understand this and live this, the idea of being ‘woke’ is a tricky one and based on perspective. I believe black liberation is accepting everything about you and realising the ways of which you are being compared or attempted to conform to whiteness swell as not conforming and comparing to whiteness. What is the applicability of a collective body politić in relation to black trauma? As a black community we have undergone a lot if not in the present but in the past, but this is passed down whether we realise it or not. We must counteract this black trauma with a collective body politic to grow as people and pursue black liberation. Are issues of ‘otherness’ still prevalent in today’s ‘post-racial’ societies?
In my opinion ‘Otherness’ is still obvious and will always be even in a post racial society as other things will come into place such as classism, sexism etc. I also disagree that we live in a post-racial society, for us to live in such an environment this will require years of therapy, re-learning and brain washing.
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FEATURED CREATIVE: LIBERTY ANTONIA SADLER.
ARTIST, ILLUSTRATOR & FILMMAKER.
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Liberty Antonia works with mediums of drawing, text and moving image to explore issues of 21st century body politics, with a focus on the experience of living in a large ‘femme’ body in a ‘photo-shopped’ world; the new visual rhetoric of perfection through digital manipulation. Working within a socio-political context, her work uses character and playfulness to discuss themes of food, queerness, ‘femininity’, vulnerability and sexuality. Liberty Antonia’s work aims to open discussion about femmeness, fatness, imperfection and inequality; with characters’ bordering between a ‘parody of’ and ‘pride in’ being an identity, exploring binary stereotypes and Gender Performativity, embracing her own gender exploration. The use of humour as a technique of critique is the basis of Liberty Antonia’s practice, aiming to use it as a device to answer the unspoken dogma of one’s body being one’s collateral and to challenge the male gaze. In homage to the traditions of political satire, often included within her pen & digital colour drawings and performance video pieces, are slogans & text, to combine word & image in the creation of ‘Fine Art comedy’. Within her moving image practice, Liberty Antonia creates a world of character through an immersive combination of herself as performer of her own words and purgatorial studio & sound environments. Her practice includes both directing and first person performance, with works exploring, at times, controversial issues such as eating disorders, fatphobia, fetish & body dysmorphia. Her multidisciplinary practice also takes form in published works, focusing on the intimacy of the ‘artist talking to audience’ through the one-on-one printed experience. During the development of her film works, Liberty Antonia creates sketchbooks that act 158 // BODY POLITIĆ.
as project bibles, full of research, drawings, experiments and questions as part of ongoing practice analysis and discovery. Each film begins as a poem, created through practices of automatic writing, cultural references & parody which then goes through ‘cut & paste’ editing curation. These poems are transformed into a script by examining the different voices within the text; such as societal frameworks and the use of archetypes, combined with first person subjective undertones to create characters that act as contemporary fables and become the commedia dell’arte of the Art Film present. Her current ongoing live performancepainting work ‘ArtDomme’ explores markmaking with rage, lust & vulnerability; performing as an act of visibility, the relationship between anger and desire in a soft body. Putting hidden fantasies into public view, dark sensuality re-imagined in a recognizable art form: painting. The paint covered whip to paper or canvas becomes a whip to a body, a skin, a submissive. Dominating the audience and the materials as a declaration of power in a marginalized body and gender and challenging the hierarchies in the gallery and in the street; the homogeneous figures of woman in the museum, in the shop window, in print. An act of violence against heteronormative standards of beauty, sexuality and worth. The work is a physical release that creates an object of pain. As the climax builds, the artist stands before her emotions, now visible on the work’s surface, and juxtaposes the hard marks with her soft & vulnerable flesh by standing naked before the work, being seen facing her anguish and her sensuality. Using the adrenaline and serotonin created by the work, the artist then records her thoughts & sensations in text form, creating a collection of body poems.
Liberty Antonia Sadler is an artist & filmmaker based in London, she studied B.A.(Hons) Performance Design & Practice, Central Saint Martins & M.A. Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art. Liberty Antonia continues her academic research and works as a visiting practitioner and tutor on Performance Design & Practice Pathway at Central Saint Martins. Liberty is the founder and curator of artist film night MicroActs, currently based at Hotel Elephant, London; more information can be found on Instagram page ‘@microacts’. Her work has been featured at Whitechapel Gallery (London), ICA (London), BFI Southbank (London), HOME (Manchester), CCA (Glasgow) and internationally at Experimental Forum (Los Angeles, USA), Grrl Haus Cinema (Berlin, Germany), AVIFF Film Festival (Cannes, France) and CINEMQ (Shanghai, China); she has been featured in publications Nylon Magazine, Polyester Zine, WomenCinemakers, Metro.co.uk and KAVN Zine. Website: libertyantoniasadler.com Instagram: @libertyantoniasadler
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THE STORY OF JEZEBEL: ON THE REVOLUTIONARY ACT OF BLACK WOMXN’S SEXUAL LIBERATION.
THOKOZANI MBWANA, ARTIST/EDUCATOR, UNIVERSITY OF SURREY (2015).
Over the course of history, since the birth of the slave trade and colonialism, black womxn’s bodies have been dissected, rearranged and put on display to fit a mould that has suited multiple narratives, none of which are our own. One of the stereotypes that has stood the test of time and has seeped into our everyday lives is that of Jezebel. Jezebel is a colonial creation, portrayed as a predatory, lustful womxn with an insatiable sexual appetite. The narrative of Jezebel had multiple functions. Firstly, she was used to create a contrast to the purity of white femininity. If black womxn were licentious, white womxn were modest. The creation of Jezebel erased any type of sexual autonomy and freedom black womxn had. Her lustfulness was portrayed as an innate and uncontrollable trait which colonialists justified as something that needed to be shaped, policed and regulated by them. Secondly, it perpetuated the dehumanization of black womxn. By labelling black womxn as sexual predators and innately promiscuous, it enabled male colonialists to justify the rape and sexual violence done to black womxn and girls by arguing that they were seduced into their violence. The message that has been fed to us through the use of Jezebel is that black womxn’s bodies are only for consumption by others and that our sexualities should 164 // BODY POLITIĆ.
be dictated to us and regulated for the benefit of the white and male gaze. Jezebel is alive and well, in the way media often portrays black womxn today. She finds herself rapped about and sung about in hip hop. She’s overtly present in the Ebony categories in porn. We see glimpses of her mixed in with other stereotypes such as the Strong Black Womxn in TV characters like Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder and Kerry Washington in Scandal. No matter how you present as a black womxn, according to society, there’s always a little bit of Jezebel in all of us. Sometimes she’s subtle, sometimes she’s explicit, but she’s always there in some way or another. When we, black womxn reclaim our bodies and our sexualities, it becomes a revolutionary act. Despite the attempts to separate us from our own bodies, we continue to fight against it. As with all revolution, black womxn have faced an overwhelming amount of backlash. Modesty is prudish, wearing revealing outfits is hoeish and LGBTQ+ people are a transgression from heteronormativity that benefits the male gaze. The uproar that surrounds black womxn’s body love- something we see regularly with black womxn artists in all forms- is because we have chosen how we express ourselves sexually. We have been taught throughout history that our black bodies do not belong
to us and yet here we are choosing how we express ourselves for our own enjoyment. The reclamation of our bodies and sexualities means that the Jezebel narrative no longer serves its intended purpose on our psyches. Black womxn’s sexualities are not one dimensional. We can be feminine, masculine, non-binary, soft, sexual, kind, loving, domestic, kinky, all in between and many at once. You can be of traditional familial values, stay celibate until marriage and be twerking to Nicki Minaj in the club on a Friday night. You can be a degree having, self-proclaimed hoe who enjoys church on Sundays. We are complex beings, not Jezebels even though we know Jezebel will always and forever exist. We don’t have a choice in how the world chooses to perceive our bodies, but ultimately what we do with our bodies and our sexualities is our choice, and that is where our power lies.
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FIND MORE INTERSECTIONAL CREATIVES.
This database aims to bring together our growing community of creatives and acknowledge the expertise of global communities of visionary practitioners. The aim of this database is to support work in the following areas: • Decolonising creative curriculums • Acknowledging cultural currency. • Affirmation of diverse communities contribution to the creative sector. • By making this resource accessible we hope to challenge any assumptions which seek to suggest that marginalised communities have made no significant contribution to the creative sector.
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The Line, Othello De Souza-Hartley.
KEY TERMS. Anti Blackness
Showing discrimination against Black people
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial equality.
Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
A term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity to name people, especially one of African, Australian Aboriginal and/or Melanisian ancestry.
A characterisation of the idea that most White people do not understand the African American experience. Related to issues of white prvillage, Black experience pertins to the many layers of pain, mistrust, and taboos keep people divided along racial lines.
Often felt to be a outcome of thelink between racism and PTSD; A psychologist explains race-based stress and trauma in Black Americans in which acial microaggressions are subtle, yet pervasive acts of racism; these can be brief remarks, vague insults, or even non-verbal exchanges,
A term that black indivudla use to metaphorically describe the socio-political, econmic and emotional collective characterisation of identity, pertaining to only black individuals that is association with a modern society.
The people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organized group of citizens.
The term refers to the practices and policies through which powers of society regulate the human body, as well as the struggle over the degree of individual and social control of the body. The powers at play in body politics include institutional power expressed in government and laws, disciplinary power exacted in economic production, discretionary power exercised in consumption, and personal power negotiated in intimate relations
The control or governing influence of a nation over another country, territory, or people. The process manifests through different forms of violence.
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Colonialist Narratives Colonial discourse (narratives) is the collection of narratives, statements, and opinions that deals with colonised peoples — told from the perspective of European colonizers. Critical Race Theory A theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power. CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and that the law may play a role in this process and investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power. Diaspora
Scattered population whose origin lies within a different geographic locale. Diaspora can also refer to the movement of the population from its original homeland.
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex
Double consciousness is a concept that Du Bois first explores in 1903 publication, “The Souls of Black Folk”. Double consciousness describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity.
A group of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared historical, social, cultural experiences, ancestry which distinguish them from other groups.
The propoensity of a group (in-group) to consider its members and values as superior to the members and values of the other groups (out-groups)
The qualities of belonging to a faraway, foreign country or civilisation and thus demarcated from the norms established in and by the West
Characteristics of exotic things/places and people
The extension of a nation's imperial government authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations.
Racial discrimination that has become established as normal behaviour within an institution or organization. Institutional racism leads to inequality
A term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw which examines how social identities are used as a way to discriminate against marginalised groups who experience multiple forms of oppression simultaneously. Specifically women of colour who suffer from both gender and racial discrimination.
The action of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
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An element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means often spread in the form of an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
A subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype
A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.
Denoting or relating to a person whose origin is not predominantly European
When a person or a group of people are subjected to unjust, and usually violent treatment by those in position of power.
The view or treatment (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.
The quality or fact of being different. The idea of ‘otherness’ is central to sociological analyses of how majority and minority identities are constructed.
A social system in which cis-men hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of women and non gender conforming people, at least to a large degree.
The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression
Person/People of colour, has been used and taken up at different points in history in different places to describe non-white, European people.
An allegorical termed used to characterise the people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organised group of citizens
Political blackness is the idea that all non-white people can define themselves under one term: black
A theory or academic discipline exploring concepts and themes relating to the cultural legacy of colonialism. Critics of this discipline often consider the prefix ‘post’ to be inaccurate as it suggests ‘a moving beyond’ the colonial moment and its impact. BODY POLITIĆ. // 171
Post Racial (Society) Denoting or relating to a period or society in which racial prejudice and discrimination no longer exist. Post Colonialism
A theoretical approach in various disciplines that is concerned with the lasting impact of colonization in former colonies.
Hatred towards someone based on their identity. Example: An oppressed person of colour can be prejudiced against privileged races but cannot be racist.
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a individuals in particular groups by institutions.
A socially constructed system of classification of the human population into groups based on physical features and ancestry from the 17th century onwards, Though the concept existed long before this time, it was during this period that it began to widely be used used by European scholars + scientists (among others) in order to legitimise and justify their genocide and dispossession of the peoples of America and enslavement of Sub-Saharan Africans.
Acts of prejudice, bigotry, and/or discrimination of individuals of one race against members of other races. These acts do not count as racism if they are coming from members of a marginalised race, i.e. black people, as they do not have the social, political or economic power to make their actions opressive and effective. Racism also refers to institutional, systemic, linguistic and economic structures that perpetuate the idea of racial superiority and inferiority, allowing for a wide range of effects, e.g. skin-bleaching, overrepresentation of PoC in prisons, underrepsentation of PoC in media, the poverty of Africa and its Diaspora community.
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
In comparison to institutional racism, structural racism speaks of a broader spaces made by group of people, from dozens, hundreds, or thousands that all have the same biases and personal prejudices joining together to make up one organisation and acting accordingly.
Systemic racism accounts for individual, institutional, and structural forms of racism
The term “white fragility,” was coined by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a multicutural education professor at Westfield State University, who described the term as, “-a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”
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White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
White supremacy is an ideology centered upon the promotion of the belief, that white people are superior. It is argued by critical race theorist that all white people have a level of white supremacy values because of the media, education and politics have embedded whiteness as superior in society.
Defined as a set of characteristics and experiences that are attached to the white race and white skin. In the U.S. and European contexts, whiteness marks ones as normal and the default. While people in other racial categories are perceived as and treated as 'other'. whiteness comes with a wide variety of privileges. In defining "others," whiteness defines itself.
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Hall, S. (1990) Cultural Identity and Diaspora’ Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. J, Rutherford, London,: Lawrence & Wishart Publishing Hall , S. 1996c ‘Minimal selves’ Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader H. A.Bake, M. Diawara R.H. Lindeborg , Chicago, IL , University of Chicago Press . Originally published in 1987 Hall. S, (1996). Questions of Cultural Identity. Sage Publications Ltd; 1 edition (12 May 1996). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Hall S. (2009). What is this “black” in black popular culture? in Popular culture and cultural theory: A reader. 4th ed. by Storey, J. Essex: Pearson. Hooks, B. (1994) Feminist Inside: Towards A Black Body Politic. Hwang, D.H., & Puccini, G. (1989). M. Butterfly. New York, N.Y., New American Library. Jhally. S (dir), Patierno. M (ed.) & Hirshorn. H (ed.) (1997) Bell Hooks on Cultural Criticism and Transformation. [video] 66 mins. Media Education Foundation © MEF 1997. Media Education Foundaion (MEF): www.mediaed.org/transcripts/Bell-Hooks-Transcript.pdf Kaur, Rupi. “Women Of Colour.” milk and honey, Andrews Me Meel Publishing, 2015, Kansas City, Missouri. (pp.171). Kloepfer, S. (2018). The Black Body Politic: A Discussion About Get Out Conversation X. [online] Conversation X. Available at: http://www.conversationx. com/2017/03/17/black-body-politic-discussion-get/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018]. Rankine, C. (2015). What Are the Unwritten Bylaws of Black Privilege?. [online] ELLE. Available at: https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/q-and-a/ a30779/margo-jefferson-negroland-memoir/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018]. Rankine, C. (2015). ‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning’. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/magazine/thecondition-of-black-life-is-one-of-mourning.html [Accessed 25 Jul. 2018]. Rankine, C. (2016) The Condition Of Black Life Is One Of Mourning. The Fire This Time, ed. by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc: New York. (pp.151). Rankine, Claudia. “The Condition Of Black Life Is One Of Mourning”. The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2016, New York. (pp.151). Rankine. C, (2014) Citizen: An American Lyric. London: Penguin Shakespeare. W, (1599-2602) Hamlet TheyBlackMan (2010). America’s fear of a Black Body Politic…. [online] ThyBlackMan.com. Available at: http://thyblackman.com/2010/10/22/ america’s-fear-of-a-black-body-politic/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018]. BODY POLITIĆ. // 175
Vázquez, R. (2017) “The Museum, Decoloniality, and the End of the Contemporary.” Youtube, uploaded by Vanabbemuseum. Available at: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIHCH--Fft0 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018]. Vázquez, R. (u.d.) University College Roosevelt. http://www.ucr.nl/about-ucr/ Faculty-and-Sta /Social-Science/ Pages/Rolando-V%C3%A1zquez.aspx Vázquez, Rolando. “The museum, decoloniality, and the end of the contemporary.” Youtube, uploaded by Vanabbemuseum, 2 Oct.2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIHCH--Fft0 Vázquez, Rolando.”SWICH 2016.” Youtube, uploaded by Museum Volkenkunde, 4 Jan.2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb3Ou9uI_Ro [Accessed at: 6 Nov. 2017] Veley, J. (2017) Prince William argues for Urgent Depopulation Efforts in Africa. Natural News. Available at: www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-06-prince-williamargues-for- urgent-depopulation-e orts-in-africa.html [Accessed at: 6 Nov. 2017] W. E. B. Du Bois (1903) The Souls of Black Folk. A. C. McClurg & Co.: Chicago Press Wilkerson, I. (2016) Where Do We Go From Here? The Fire This Time ed. by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc.: New York. (pp.61). Wilkerson, Isabel. “Where Do We Go From Here?” The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2016,New York. (pp.61). Rolando Vázquez. University College Roosevelt. http://www.ucr.nl/about-ucr/ Faculty-and-Sta /Social-Science/ Pages/Rolando-V%C3%A1zquez.aspx Wang, Joey. (2017). 一位交換生對歐洲文明的綺想與幻滅：與其委屈靜默， 不如主動粉碎刻板印象. 換日線 Crossing. [online] Available at: https://crossing. cw.com.tw/blogTopic.action?id=505&nid=8296 [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018]. 于陽 (2018). 談有關中國女性的傳統觀念和道德規範 - 大紀元. [online] 大紀元 www.epochtimes.com. Available at: http://www.epochtimes. com/b5/13/4/16/n3847534.htm [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018]. 杨津涛 (2017). 中国人被定性为“黄种人”，是种族歧视的结果. [online] 短史記. Available at: http://view.news.qq.com/original/legacyintouch/d585.html [Accessed 12 Aug. 2018]. 176 // BODY POLITIĆ.
FURTHER READING. Books: Akala (2018) Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. London: Hodder & Stoughton General Division Asante, M. (1987) The AfroCentric Idea. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press Baldwin. J (1952) Black Skin, White Masks. France: Éditions du Seuil Baldwin, J. (1955) Stranger In A Village. Notes of a Native Son. USA: Beacon Press (pp.119). Baldwin, J (1993) Down At The Cross. The Fire Next Time. A Division of Random House, Inc.:New York. (pp.69). Barale, Michèle Aina. “Body Politic/Body Pleasured: Feminism’s Theories of Sexuality, a Review Essay.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 1986, pp. 80–89. JSTOR Body, H. (2004) When Shall We Overcome. Napierville, IL: Sourcebooks Bonilla-Silva, E. (2014) Racism without Racists: Colour-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America. Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield Brown, E. (1994) A Taste of Power: A Black Women’s Story. New York: Anchor Books Carmichael, .S (1971) Stokely Speaks: Black Power to PanAfricanism. New York: Vintage Books Cornish, P. and Saunders, N. (2014). Bodies in Conflict: Corporeality, Materiality, and Transformation. Routledge: London, UK Crenshaw, K. (1991) Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Violence and Violence against Women of Color. Stanford LAw Review, 43(6):1241-1279 Cross, W. E (1971) The Negro to Black Conversion Experience, Black World, 2-: 13-27 Davis, A. (1982) Women, Race and Class, London: Women’s Press Davis. K, (2002) Feminist Body/Politics as World Traveller: Translating Our Bodies, Ourselves. The European Journal of Women’s Studies. SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi), Vol. 9(3): 223–247
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Domínguez Ruvalcaba, H. (2016). Translating the Queer: BODY POLITICS AND TRANSNATIONAL CONVERSATIONS. Chicago: ZED Books. Du Bois, W. E. B (1903) The Souls of Black Folk. A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago Press Edwidge, D (2016) Message To My Daughters. The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Simon & Schuster, Inc: New York. (pp.215). Engles, T. What Did She See? The White Gaze and Postmodern Triple Consciousness in Walter Dean Myers’s Monster. Children’s Literature Association quarterly, vol. 29, no. 1, 2014. Fanon. F, The Wretched of the Earth (Les Damnés de la Terre, 1961). New York: Grove Press Finn, M., & Dell, P.A. (1999). Practices of Body Management : Transgenderism and Embodiment. Garvey, M. (1967) The Philosophy of Opinions of Marcus Garvey. Or Africa for the Africans. London: Routledge Gilroy, P. (2002) The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. London: Verso Hall, S. (1980) Race, Articulation and Societies Structured in Dominance, reprinted 1996 in Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader H. A. Baker, M. Diawara & R. H Lindeborg, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press . Hall, S. (1990) Cultural Identity and Diaspora’ Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. J, Rutherford, London,: Lawrence & Wishart Publishing Hall, S. (1991) Old and New identities, Old and New Ethnicities Culture, Globalisation and the World System. A. King, Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishing. Hall, S. (1992) ‘New Ethnicities’ ‘Race’, Culture and Difference. J. Donald A. Rattansi. London: Sage Publishing (Originally published in 1988.) Hall, S. (1996a) Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms. What is Cultural Studies? A Reader, J. Story, London: Arnold Press. Hall, S. (1996c) ‘Minimal Selves’ Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader H. A.Baker, M. Diawara R.H. Lindeborg , Chicago, IL , University of Chicago Press. (Originally published in 1987) Hall, S (2006). Black Diaspora Artists in Britain: Three ‘Moments’ in Post-war History.History Workshop Journal, 61(1) pp. 1–24. Hall. S, (1994) Cultural Identity and Diaspora from Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial theory: A Reader pp.227-237, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf 178 // BODY POLITIĆ.
Hall. S, (1996). Questions of Cultural Identity. Sage Publications Ltd; 1 edition (12 May 1996). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Hall S. (2009). What is this “black” in black popular culture? in Popular culture and cultural theory: A reader. 4th ed. by Storey, J. Essex: Pearson. Hare, N. (1972) The Battle for Black Studies. The Black Scholar, 3(9):32-47 Harris, A.P., Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G. and Thomas, K., 2012. Critical Race Theory. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Harris, A.P., Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G. and Thomas, K., 2012. Critical Race Theory. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Hill Collins, P. (2000) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. London: Routledge Holt. T.C (2000) The Problem of Race in the 21st Century. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press Hooks, B. (1994) Feminist Inside: Towards A Black Body Politic. Hooks. B, (1995), Art on My Mind: Visual Politics. New York: The New Press; First Printing edition (1 July 1995) Hooks. B, Salvation (2001). New York: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition Jackson I, R.L (2006) Scripting the Black Masculine Body: Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media. State University of New York Press: Albany. Jacobus, M. (Ed.), Fox Keller, E. (Ed.), Shuttleworth, S. (Ed.). (1990). Body/Politics. New York: Routledge. Jackson I, R.L (2006) Scripting the Black Masculine Body: Identity, Discourse, and Racial Politics in Popular Media. State University of New York Press: Albany. Jantjes, G. (1983). The Words About Us. Art Libraries Journal, 8(04), pp.14-22. Joseph, P. E (2008) Waiting til’ the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of the Black Power in America. New York: Henry Holt & Company. Kaur, R. (2015) Women Of Colour. Milk and Honey, Andrews Me Meel Publishing: Kansas City, Missouri. (pp.171). Keen, M. and Ward, E. (eds.). (1996) Recordings: A Select Bibliography. Of Contemporary African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian British Art. London: INIVA and Chelsea College of Art & Design, 1996. “Recordings: an introduction, Melanie Keen” (p. 1-7)
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Kehinde, A. (2004). Post-Independence Disillusionment In Contemporary African Fiction: The Example Of Meja Mwangi’s. Nordic Journal of African Studies, [online] 13(2), pp.228–241 Kehinde, A. (2018) Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (Blackness in Britain). London: Zed Books Pickens, T.A (2014) New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States. London: Routledge Lennon, Kathleen, “Feminist Perspectives on the Body”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Lucia Sorbera (2016) Body politics and legitimacy: towards a feminist epistemology of the Egyptian revolution, Global Discourse, 6:3, 493-512 Ong. A, Peletz, M.G (1995) Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press. Peletz, M.G., (2007) Pacific Affairs: Volume 81, No. 2 -Summer 2008 Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in Modern Asia. Association for Asian Studies. 81(2):264-265 Rankine. C, (2014) Citizen: An American Lyric. London: Penguin Smith, F (1998) American Body Politics: Race, Gender, and Black Literary Renaissance. Georgia: University of Georgia Press, Swain, C (1994). Review: Black Body Politic: Just Permanent Interests: Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1991. by William Clay in Transition, No. 63 (1992), pp. 112-118. New York: Amistad Press. Indiana University Press The destruction of Black Civilization - Chancellor Williams Threadraft. S, (2016) Intimate Justice: The Black Female Body and the Body Politic. OUP USA; 1 edition (24 Nov. 2016) Whang, Jung Heum (2007) Body politics of the Asian American woman: From Orientalist stereotype to the hybrid body of Yong Soon Min Wa Thong’o. N (1972) Homecoming: Essays on African and Caribbean Literature, Culture, and Politics. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann Educational Wa Thong’o. N (1986) - Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (Studies in African Literature). Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann Educational
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DIGITAL RESOURCES. Websites: 2 Dope Queens www.wnycstudios.org/ shows/dopequeens
2 Dope Queens is a podcast hosted by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. It is produced by WNYC Studios. The podcast features female comedians, comedians of color, and LGBT comedians, in an effort to represent people from different backgrounds
Afropop Worldwide www.afropop.org
Afropop Worldwide is an award-winning radio program, podcast and online magazine dedicated to music from Africa and the African diaspora.
"AFROPUNK Solution Sessions www.afropunk.com/ solution-sessions/"
A podcast dedicated to discussing the issues that need to be addressed, celebrate individuals in our local communities that are getting the work done, and encourage each other to be the change. AFROPUNK Solution Sessions uses the spirit and power of community to tackle the most important conversations about how culture, activism, and politics impact young folks of color in a way that achieves positive results.
Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy show.
Art UK: Art Matters www.soundcloud.com/ art-uk-podcast
Exploring the interesting ways art meets popular culture and non-traditional art topics... How is queer culture represented in art? How can you compare BeyoncĂŠ to paintings of the Virgin Mary? We look at what art can tell us about the world around us and how our everyday interests make us excellent art critics. Hosted by Ferren Gipson.
Become She www.soundcloud.com/ user-430040203
Listen along to podcast episodes, every 2nd & 4th Wednesday, as Jessica & Nicolia capture the transcendental journey of the "strong" woman to the "free" woman granting herself permission to actualize HER highest self.
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Code Switch Remember when folks used to talk about being "postwww.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/ racial"? Well, we're definitely not that. We're a team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting. Critical Pedagogies Project: Institutionalised Whiteness, Racial Microaggressions and Black bodies ‘out of place’ in Higher Education www.criticalpedagogiesproject. com/annual-lectures/2018remi-joseph-salisbury/
24 May 2018, hosted by the Critical Pedagogies Reading Group and the Centre for Teaching Innovation, University of Westminster. ‘Post-racial’ ideology insists on framing such incidents as isolated aberrations bereft of wider structural and institutional context. In this lecture, Remi Joseph-Salisbury will centralise the voices of student campaigns as sites of legitimate experiential knowledge in order to offer a counter-narrative. In so doing, he can also draw upon the theoretical concepts of racial microaggressions and bodies out of place in arguing that Femi’s experience cannot be understood in abstraction from structural white supremacy and the institutionalised whiteness that undergirds Higher Education.
In Black America https://www.npr.org/ podcasts/381443555/ in-black-america
Produced at KUT, In Black America is a long-running, nationally syndicated podcast program dedicated to all facets of the African American experience.
Melanin Millennials https://www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/b08z98ms
Imrie and Satia are not your average 20- something Black Women from London. As Melanin Millennials the ladies discuss everything topical from pop culture, millennial struggles to Black Twitter with a distinct British point of view. Melanin Millennials is bringing the ladies hilarious Whatsapp conversations to life and they don’t hold back on serving all the tea, crumpets, shade and woke commentary.
Co-discussants Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Our National Conversation Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby host a lively About Race https://www.showaboutrace.com/ multiracial, interracial conversation about the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-veryracial America. This show is "About Race.
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Politically Re-Active www.politicallyreactive.com/
How do we survive in the age of Trump? Kamau and Hari are here for you, as two comedians - and longtime friends - W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu navigate the dumpster fire that is the US political landscape.
The Atlantic www.soundcloud.com/ user-154380542
Soundcloud podcast to the Atlantic. The Atlantic covers news and coverage on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the Official site of The Atlantic Magazine
The Spin www.soundcloud.com/thespin1
The Spin is a weekly one hour podcast featuring women of color talking policy, social justice, race, sex, gender, power, love. It's a pioneering podcast led by award winning international journalist Esther Armah. The Spin rostrum mixes the brilliance of activists, organizers, academics, journalists and artists to create engaging, dynamic, powerful podcasts.
Two Brown Girls www.soundcloud.com/ twobrowngirls
Two Brown Girls is a pop culture, film, and television podcast hosted by writers and critics Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay.
Youtube: Bell Hooks: Why Study Popular Culture? Motivated Representations.
Bell Hooks: Dealing with OJ
Bell Hooks: Enlightened Whiteness
Bell Hooks: Madonna: From Feminism to Patriarchy
Bell Hooks: On Cultural Criticism and Transformation; MEF (Media Education Foundation, America) www.youtube.com/ watch?v=KLMVqnyTo_0
An (8-part) interview with Bell Hooks, Distinguished Professor of English at City College of New York, Hooks examines popular culture in the context of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism.
Bell Hooks: Rap Music
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Bell Hooks: Spike Lee: Hollywood’s Fall-Out Guy
Challenging Media: Representation and the Media: Featuring Stuart Hall www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aTzMsPqssOY
In this accessible introductory lecture, Hall focuses on the concept of ‘representation’ - one of the key ideas of cultural studies, and shows how reality is never experienced directly, but always through the symbolic categories made available by society.
Cornellcast: The Aesthetics and Style of Race, Gender and Politics: Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' www.cornell.edu/video/ beyonce-lemonade-aestheticsstyle-race-gender-politics
Cornell Cinema hosted a screening and faculty panel discussion of Beyoncé's one-hour visual album, ‘Lemonade’, Sept. 22, 2016, co-sponsored by Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, the Africana Studies and Research Center and the American Studies Program. Panelists: Samantha Sheppard (moderator), Oneka LaBennett, Noliwe Rooks, and Dehanza Rogers.
Dialogues on Race and Class / AEA (American Evaluation Association) www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=542 | www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582 | www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=581
The first of the three dialogues took place in Washington, DC on January 30, 2017. The second of the three dialogues took place in San Antonio, TX on April 29, 2017.
DJVLAD: Akala, On The UK being Responsible for Slavery in America www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rSMBLp41cSY
The U.K. artist Akala stopped by VladTV to discuss the differences in slavery in the U.K. vs. the U.S., how there is no Black middle class in the U.K, and the differences of black/white relations in the U.S. and the U.K.
HowlRound: Claudia Rankine: On Whiteness - ArtsEmerson, Boston: Friday, March 24, 2017 www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uCEfUMesedE
ArtsEmerson in Boston presents the conversation Claudia Rankine: On Whiteness livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 6:00 p.m. EDT (New York) / 22:00 GMT-UTC (London) / 23:00 CET (Berlin).
JOE (Unfiltered): Unfiltered with James O'Brien #32 as Akala deconstructs Race, Class, and Britain's Modern Myths www.youtube.com/ watch?v=atf VUgyEIOI
Rapper, poet and scholar Akala joins James O’Brien for a scintillating interview, in which they discuss two issues that run to the heart of modern Britain: race and class. In a breakneck hour of conversation, Akala picks apart many of the modern myths around gangs, street violence and black youth, looking at the ways these are perpetuated in the media and who benefits from perpetuating them, as well as looking back to the Windrush generation and the institutionalised injustices that led to the recent crisis. It’s an education.
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Joko Collective: Socialism in America: Bernie Sanders & The Black Body Politic www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Ab6rnJ5VpcQ
Ronald Preston summarizes the development of Socialist movements in America in the context of racism & White Supremacy. This provides a context for understanding the relevance of Bernie Sanders' "Democratic Socialist" platform and its meaning for African American voters.
New Museum of Contemporary Art: Body Politics: www.archive.newmuseum. org/videos/12155
Body Politics: From Rights to Resistance featured information sessions with lawyers, activists, and grassroots organizers on issues of bodies under duress: civil disobedience, protest, healthcare, policing, prisons, immigration, environmental contamination, and indigenous rights. Each session focused on resource sharing and modes of resistance, and included presentations followed by discussion with the audience. This session featured Chris Amato and Joel R. Kupferman.
New Museum of Contemporary Art: www.archive.newmuseum. org/videos/12157
Part 2: Healthcare Access: Gender, Sexuality, and Disability
New Museum of Contemporary Art: www.archive.newmuseum. org/videos/12158
Part 3: Immigration
New Museum of Contemporary Art: www.archive.newmuseum. org/videos/12159
Part 4: Environmental Contamination and Indigenous Rights
New Museum of Contemporary Art: www. archive.newmuseum. org/videos/12160
Part 5: Policing and Prisons
TED Talk: The Racial Politics of Time www.ted.com/talks/brittney_ cooper_the_racial_politics_ of_time?language=en&utm_ campaign=tedspread&utm_ medium=referral&utm_ source=tedcomshare
Cultural theorist Brittney Cooper examines racism through the lens of time, showing us how historically it has been stolen from people of color, resulting in lost moments of joy and connection, lost years of healthy quality of life and the delay of progress. A candid, thought-provoking take on history and race that may make you reconsider your understanding of time, and your place in it.
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Key Organisations: Autograph Gallery, Association of Black Photographers (ABP) www.autograph.org.uk
Description Autograph shares the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice. Autographâ€™s mission is to enable the public to explore identity, representation, human rights and social justice through work produced by artists who use photography and film. Aim: to connect audiences with our mission through the presentation of artistic programmes in the UK and internationally. Autograph has since launched an ambitious programme of exhibitions, publications and events. Between 1988 and 2007 Autograph worked as an agency to initiate projects in gallery spaces, museums, at festivals or in public sites.
(BCA) Black Cultural Archives Resounded heritage site, Iniva (Institute of International www.blackculturalarchives.org Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. Founded in 1994, under the leadership of renowned academic Professor Stuart Hall, Iniva is a non-profit organisation based in East London. It has established itself as a pioneering arts organisation in the artistic environment in the UK and beyond. INIVA www.iniva.org
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Resounded heritage site, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. Founded in 1994, under the leadership of renowned academic Professor Stuart Hall, Iniva is a non-profit organisation based in East London. It has established itself as a pioneering arts organisation in the artistic environment in the UK and beyond.
Twitter Users: BCA Heritage @bcaheritage
Organisation/Community/Archive: UK's first national Black heritage centre, located in Brixton, South London
Black Academics @BLACKBAcademics
Organisation/Community: Collective of academics committed to tackling racial inequality in higher education.
Black Blossomss @blackblossomss
Organisation: Exhibitions, Conferences & Film Screenings centering black womanhood.
Black British History @BlackBritHist
Organisation: Beyond Slavery, Colonisation & Immigration on the history of Africans in Britain and its presentation to students & the public.
Divesity Matters UK @diversityMUK
Organisation/Community: Promoting Diversity/ Race Matters in the work and Education Spaces
Diverse History @diversehistory
Diverse History Research & Learning Resource
Diverse History @Diversehistory2
Events/Organisation/Educational Resource BAME history events (exhibitions, conferences, festivals, film screening) & job opps.
Organisation/Education: Iniva creates exhibitions, events & research exploring the diversity of contemporary art & society.
Race on the Agenda (ROTA) @raceontheagenda
Community/Opinion: A social policy research organisation that focuses on issues impacting on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities
Rainbow Noir @RainbowNoirMCR
Community: A safe space for #LGBTQI people of colour.
Writers Of Colour (Media Diversified) @writersofcolour
Stories. Analysis. Aesthetics, by and from the diaspora.
"Yellow Zine @yellowzine
Magazine centralising the work of contemporary minority ethnic visual artists in the U.K.
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Instagram Users: "Afropunk @afropunk
Worldwide Festival and organisation / Online outlet discussing issues related to black people(s)
A student-led organization at @artcenteredu focused on counteracting racism and white supremacy in design education and practice
Collective of Black British Female Artists.
Organisation/curatorial space prioritising the experiences of QTIBPOC
Decolonise Fest @decolonisefest
Annual D.I.Y fest in London celebrating Punx of Colour
Femmes Of Colour @femmesofcolour
A space to celebrate Queer Black People & Queer People of Colour of all genders who are also femme.
GIRLFORUM is a response to (gendered) abuses of power in the art world. An open platform for discussion and action focussing on emerging artists & art workers
The WOC Diary @thewocdiary
Open Submission platform to encourage & publish creative writing expressed in all formats by womxn of colour internationally
Writers Of Colour (Media Diversified) @writersofcolour
Stories. Analysis. Aesthetics, by and from the diaspora.
Yellow Zine @yellowzine
Magazine centralising the work of contemporary minority ethnic visual artists in the U.K.
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We salute you!
BODY POLITIĆ. © Shades Of Noir 2018