October 2012

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At the checkout, choosing between which essential purchases to return while warding off the cashier’s impatience. At the subway looking in your purse for the fare there and back.

Hair wrapped up tight against the cold, a man asks you for a quarter. He calls you a “fake sista” when you say you have none, and lashes the ground by your feet with his spit. You raise two fingers, and only remember much later that the V-sign isn’t a curse in this country.

Your five-year manfriend buys you a hardcover copy of Zadie Smith’s NW because you’ve read all the previews in your bootleg New Yorker subscription, babbling your excitement that she is making a harder writer of herself. Unwrap the book from the plastic bag and dust jacket, and thank him with the receipt in hand. Do not say that you wish you’d bought it yourself. 

It is October. You don’t have enough overdraft for a plane ticket home, which means that you have eaten through your emergency fund, which means that you are living some version of the emergency. Don’t mention this to your parents who have nothing to give you anyway. Don’t mention this to friends who have plenty to give, but whose disposable income is tied up in distant charities. Could you bear to take their money anyway?

Yes, probably yes.

It’s only natural to experience your lack of work permit, a job, family money, cash for a hardcover book, subway fare, groceries, as a personal failure. Find something in a book you bought, back when you had a stipend, which details why bootstraps ideology is bullshit. Type it out and put it on the internet.

You are wind-in-your-twistout, sun-on-your-skin elated by the first paycheck. Scripture might have taught you the dangers of loving money, but cash makes you easier to come home to.

At the bookstore buy seven books. Buy NW in paperback and send it home to your parents’ house so you will always have a copy that’s all yours. Buy this uncorrected proof of Jamaica Kincaid’s “Talk of the Town” pieces for The  New Yorker. In Kincaid’s prose is all your twisted up immigrant girl desire, all your ugly ambition. Return to these words often, hoping then as now, to become someone other than who you have always been:

The words I spoke, the thoughts in my head, that was my writing, and I did not need to have come from the people who had long straddled the world, I did not need to come from the people who had imagined and then made real the world in which I lived. That moment became my own. In the beginning was my word and my word became the world as I ordered it to be.” - Jamaica Kincaid

nothingtodisplay:

Goal. #EARTHAKITT

nothingtodisplay:

Goal. #EARTHAKITT

shedwellswithbeauty:

"She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die" - John Keats

I finally made a thing and put it up on Issuu: She Dwells With Beauty. Please click through to read. I’m considering doing a limited printing if there’s enough interest (and people wouldn’t mind parting with a few bucks for shipping, printing.)

I dedicate this to @vivian-fu and shutl0w who listened to me ramble last year about wanting to make a zine.  Also dylancaderao who has always wanted me to put something together.

Thank you for taking any time at all to read this even if you just ctrl+w or scroll by. 

I’d appreciate any and all comments.

blackgirlstalking:

 It’s not often that I hear a black woman’s art described as “curious.” While creating all of my work, I am overwhelmed with curiosity. I do not think my body of work would exist without it. I remember feeling genuine curiosity as I watched my natural growing in just after chopping it off. At the same time, I also felt angst about what signals it emanated. While creating, I tend to capitalize on the curiosity or the angst to create an image that translates our experiences into something that is visually engaging.

  — Nakeya Brown (nakeyab) describing her state of mind during the creative process.

Read the rest of our interview with the New York-based photographer where we discuss good hair, hair rituals, social media and art.

(via basedandbiased)

"What to call the thing that happened to me and all who look like me?
Should I call it history?
If so, what should history mean to someone like me?
Should it be an idea, should it be an open wound and each breath I take in and expel healing and opening the wound again and again, over and over, or is it a moment that began in 1492 and has come to no end yet? Is it a collection of facts, all true and precise details, and, if so, when I come across these true and precise details, what should I do, how should I feel, where should I place myself?
Why should I be obsessed with all these questions?”

- from the opening of Jamaica Kincaid’s essay “In History” in Callalloo 20.1 (1997)

Bande de Filles / Girlhood (2014) dir. Céline Sciamma starring Karidja Toure, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Toure

A few weeks ago I watched 17 Filles, a film directed by Muriel Coulin based on the myth surrounding the “Gloucester 18”, a group of girls from the same US high school who got pregnant within the same year. A TIME reporter claimed that the girls had made a pact to get pregnant at the same time, maybe as a form of rebellion. Although that was later debunked, the film - set in France - is based on the fiction.

The only glimpse of a black girl in Coulin’s film is during a wide establishing shot in the playground of the school the girls attend. The girl is being (playfully?) kicked in the butt by a white girl. Since it’s an establishing shot, we’re not really meant to care what’s happening in the scene, it’s just a way of letting us know that the characters who matter have decided to go to school that day. 

This is basically standard practice in the (bougie) French films I regularly subject myself to (Claire Denis is the obvious exception), and that’s one  reason I wanna see Sciamma’s new film Girlhood. The film is getting good reviews (this one especially although I don’t read French so there are definitely more) and Sciamma also seems aware of how messed up that absence is: “It was part of the thrill of making the movie, and the will to make the movie, because [black girls] are invisible on the screen”  

"This country doesn’t give them a vision of what they could be, what they could do. Still, they are so strong and intelligent and it’s an incredible youth in France that we have."

&

"I wanted the movie to avoid the cliches of a suburban movie, you know, documentary-like with the camera on the shoulder. I wanted it to be wide and stylish. And so we decided to shoot the movie in cinemascope. Also so that we could shoot the four girls all in the same frame. And to shoot suburbia in a charismatic way."

&

"They’re not gangs in the US sense of the word; just big groups of friends… They face a particular set of challenges but at the same their stories are consistent with the themes I’ve explored in my other work such as the construction of feminine identity and friendships between girls… the film is basically a coming-of-age tale.

http://rakiasrants.tumblr.com/post/96480941097/hey-guys-im-asking-for-help-i-need-money-to

rakiasrants:

Hey guys — I’m asking for help. 

I need money to continue the writing I’ve been doing on policing, prisons and neoliberalism. If you like my work such as “When People Are Property" about the history of broken windows policing and its present implications or "Black Riot" on the mainstream portrayal of black resistance — please consider making a donation so I can continue writing.

I’m currently working on: a long reported feature on the largest NYPD raid in Harlem and how the community has been affected since it happened in June, 2014 and a piece on the hyper criminalization of subway performers in New York City which includes multiple interviews with performers and public defenders.

If you are interested in reading these upcoming pieces and/or have enjoyed my work in the past and are able to, please consider making a small donation via paypal so that I can survive while finishing this work. Money will go to food and utility bills. I will list all money donated on a tumblr post. 

Please share. Thank you!

3 weeks ago - 83 -
croydonnitty:

The premiere of Ackee & Saltfish by #cecileemeke at #Riocinema in Dalston - Support the movement inneh! Free entry and free drinks - register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ackee-saltfish-kebab-screening-rio-cinema-dalston-tickets-12388358915

croydonnitty:

The premiere of Ackee & Saltfish by #cecileemeke at #Riocinema in Dalston - Support the movement inneh! Free entry and free drinks - register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ackee-saltfish-kebab-screening-rio-cinema-dalston-tickets-12388358915

*QFB 

some screen shots from the film (screened as a video installation at our pop-up exhibit) featuring xaymacans, 5ft1, myself and mojuicy.

we talked about the project, racism in the art world, our relationships with ourselves and how our hair partly articulates these notions of the self. 

(Source: westindians)

thefutureweird:

The Future Weird & The New Inquiry present a FREE screening of Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s sci-fi thriller Les Saignantes at the Morbid Anatomy Museum to mark the release of The New inquiry’s “Mourning” Issue.
WHEN: Saturday 30th August7PM doors + admission to Museum of Morbid Anatomy 8PM screening followed by discussion + drinks
WHERE: The Morbid Anatomy Museum, 423 Third Ave, Brooklyn, NY
RSVP on Facebook

thefutureweird:

The Future Weird & The New Inquiry present a FREE screening of Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s sci-fi thriller Les Saignantes at the Morbid Anatomy Museum to mark the release of The New inquiry’s “Mourning” Issue.

WHEN: Saturday 30th August
7PM doors + admission to Museum of Morbid Anatomy
8PM screening followed by discussion + drinks

WHERE: The Morbid Anatomy Museum, 423 Third Ave, Brooklyn, NY

RSVP on Facebook

Filling the gaps with "Strolling": an interview with Cecile Emeke

blackgirlstalking:

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Cecile Emeke (cecileemeke), director of the amazing short-documentary seriesStrolling,” told us how black feminist thought has influenced her work:

"So for example, you’re "supposed" to have objective documentaries, with really static, sharp shots,…

1 month ago - 160 -

(Source: punk-puke, via myfirstfeaturefilm)

dc-via-chicago:


How to Suffer Politely (And Other Etiquette for the Lumpenproletariat), (Deep Matte Polio Digital C-Print, 2014) A series of aphoristic posters that explore the intersections of the (performance of) suffering with respectability politics. How are poor people policed to suffer in ways that do not disturb/make uncomfortable oppressive institutions or communities? How have poor people been asked to engage in impossible feats of optimism and perseverance in the face of monotonous cycles of poverty and a free market that leaves very few free? How is this suffering declawed of its indictment of oppressive legacies, systems and institutions through narrative framing both in mainstream journalism and other forms of popular media? What is the hidden labor associated with being a poor person who performs tenacity and superhero feats by either smiling through the pain of living paycheck to paycheck or working harder? This ongoing series of aphoristic texts explores capitalist messaging as well as the pedagogy of capitalism.

© Kameelah Janan Rasheed, 2014

dc-via-chicago:

How to Suffer Politely (And Other Etiquette for the Lumpenproletariat), (Deep Matte Polio Digital C-Print, 2014) A series of aphoristic posters that explore the intersections of the (performance of) suffering with respectability politics. How are poor people policed to suffer in ways that do not disturb/make uncomfortable oppressive institutions or communities? How have poor people been asked to engage in impossible feats of optimism and perseverance in the face of monotonous cycles of poverty and a free market that leaves very few free? How is this suffering declawed of its indictment of oppressive legacies, systems and institutions through narrative framing both in mainstream journalism and other forms of popular media? What is the hidden labor associated with being a poor person who performs tenacity and superhero feats by either smiling through the pain of living paycheck to paycheck or working harder? This ongoing series of aphoristic texts explores capitalist messaging as well as the pedagogy of capitalism.

© Kameelah Janan Rasheed, 2014

(via curmudgeoning)

humansofnewyork:

“I wanted to be a defense lawyer because I wanted to come back and protect my community. I wanted to protect my people from the police. People around here grow up hating the police. But you know what they’ve done? The police have recruited our people. They’ve made it more complicated. They’ve got Dominicans and Puerto Ricans doing their work for them. Because they know it’s hard to hate your people. But as soon as that badge goes on, it changes you. Once that badge goes on, your people are the ‘boys in blue.’”

humansofnewyork:

“I wanted to be a defense lawyer because I wanted to come back and protect my community. I wanted to protect my people from the police. People around here grow up hating the police. But you know what they’ve done? The police have recruited our people. They’ve made it more complicated. They’ve got Dominicans and Puerto Ricans doing their work for them. Because they know it’s hard to hate your people. But as soon as that badge goes on, it changes you. Once that badge goes on, your people are the ‘boys in blue.’”

(via curmudgeoning)

rhomeporium:

A mother’s worst nightmare.