1. Seeing the darker skin at Naomi Campbell’s joints is the reason for this post.
2. Here Naomi Campbell communicates some feeling / atmosphere / affect that fabulous and fierce Naomi Campbell is not usually invited to communicate.
3. This is skin usually evened out for editorials to create smooth lengths of mahogany and ebony. Here we’re confronted by the skin’s life and history.
4. We read Wole Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation’ in English Lit. The words “has turned / My bottom raven black” prompt one of my classmates to ask me if I too have a black arse, like the man in the poem.
5. Cambridge, a decent chunk of the country’s elite is at this party, on MDMA, watching interracial porn. A friend screams ‘YUCK!’, swivels her head towards me and demands to know if my labia are also black like the woman’s in the film.
6. Here, Naomi Campbell’s body is not what black women’s bodies often are in these editorial contexts. Which is:
- contrast against the white background, clothing, other model(s)
- present as shorthand for exoticism (cue animal prints) / diva status / sass
7. Naomi Campbell’s body does not tell the viewer anything at all about whiteness - which is to say, she is not an instrument
8. Naomi Campbell’s skin is not mahogany or ebony - which is to say, she is not an ornament. Here, almost pathetically human.
“… and they recognized each other like italics” (p.39)
There are a thimbleful of black/brown exceptions: a doc on Richard Pryor; another on Muhammad Ali; one on C. Vivian Stringer, called Coach (about the time that idiot slurred black woman Rutgers basketball players); a doc on oil in Ghana (looks bad); and another by Whoopi Goldberg which looks good.
And these two:
There are more than the ones you mention, a doc on MOVE, Harmony Lessons… Etc, but generally its disappointing this year. Our student films are the best things happening there! And all by poc!
“I lost my heart in the dark with you”
Tonight I watched Laura Mvula play this live and it was perfect (& tearful). It was a room full of industry heads, she admitted she was nervous and she still smashed. It was her birthday so, led by her formidable band, we sang her down the staircase back onto the stage where she sang us her cover of MJ’s Human Nature as arranged by her brother James, the cellist. If you’re in NY in May, see her live. Rare talent is overused, but she really is.
welcoming spring in an all-black ensemble
To the last we will have learned nothing. In all of us, deep down, there seems to be something granite and unteachable. No one truly believes, despite the hysteria in the streets, that the world of tranquil certainties we were born into is about to be extinguished. No one can accept that an imperial army has been annihilated by men with bows and arrows and rusty old guns who live in tents and never wash and cannot read and write. And who am I to jeer at such life-giving illusions? Is there any better way to pass these last days than in dreaming of a saviour with a sword who will scatter the enemy hosts and forgive us the errors that have been committed by others in our name and grant us a second chance to build our earthly paradise?
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)
mizoguchi said: herzog is such a trip have you ever read the story about him encountering joaquin phoenix? lmaooo
no! I’ll add it to my morning reading tho.
Morris left for Napa Valley and began working on the film that would become his first feature, Gates of Heaven. In 1978, when the film premiered, Werner Herzog cooked and publicly ate his shoe, an event later incorporated into a short documentary by Les Blank. Herzog had promised to eat his shoe if Morris completed the project, to challenge and encourage Morris, whom Herzog perceived as incapable of following up on the projects he conceived. At the public shoe-eating, Herzog suggested that he hoped the act would serve to encourage anyone having difficulty bringing a project to fruition.
via Errol Morris’ Wikipedia page (which is a trip)
- buddhaspalm said: Your blog is so good. Forgive me for prying, but are you a Brit living in the States?
thanks for the love! and yes, you’ve got me pegged. what about you?
- akilamantado said: When there was this amazing fuss about Beyonce in the media all I could think was, When is Mvula’s album gonna be out? I dig her music + perspective.
I hear you, am pretty obsessed w/ Mvula’s music myself. I guess the fuss about Beyonce is that she’s Beyonce; also I thought Bow Down was fyah
- caricapapaya said: i get so much new music from you! always adding stuff to my fully calculated to impress “oh what this old really really complicated recipe, no biggie” casual dinner party playlist.
haha! I’m glad I can contribute to the ambiance of your dinner parties which look - if your food blog is anything to go by - absolutely delicious.
p.s. also glad that you haven’t completely disappeared from tumblr
spent the morning communing with the original don dada, celia cruz. I’m still waiting for an occasion to warrant having the dress celia wore to perform in then-Zaire in 1974 made up for myself.
I think the way America is set up makes it really difficult for people of different races, particularly white people and black people, to connect. There’s such a segregation, and not just in the way people live, but in the way people think about race […] but there’s no such thing as colour blindness, I think that to insist on colour-blindness is somehow to refuse to engage, because skin-colour really affects the way people experience the world and we can’t deny that
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in Interview with Jon Snow, Channel 4 News, Wednesday 10th April 2013
I love Jon Snow but he really asks some whack questions on this one.
Just reading this Coco Fusco x Black Audio Film Collective / John Akomfrah interview really hard. In ‘Young, British & Black’