went with jinwoo yesterday to meet my advising professor and his wife (she was also a professor) for the first time in a couple months. come to think about it, i might see him more regularly now that i’ve graduated than i did when i was writing my thesis. anyways, this is a wedding present we got from them. traditional korean wedding ducks… you might remember we had them on our wedding invitations. so pretty, right?
Portraits in the series, “Guardians of Dahomeyan Deities from Benin to Maranhão [Brazil]” (“Zeladores de Voduns do Benin ao Maranhão”) by Márcio Vasconcelos, 2009-2011. In order from the top: ”Pai Euclides,” “Curador,” “Mãe Elzita,” “Mundica Estrela,” “Irene Moreira,” and an unidentified practitioner. Voduns are spirits of Fon origin venerated in the Brazilian religious formations Tambor da Mina and Jeje Candomblé.
Ethnographer and historian Kelly E. Hayes defines a key term:
Zelador means “caretaker” or “custodian” and typically refers to the caretaker of a building or residence…Spirits are conceptualized as members of one’s family, and like family members, the labor required to maintain harmonious relationships with them involves activities of remembering, caring, feeding, and feting. These activities ensure the continual flow of axé, vital energy or life force, necessary for the well-being of both humans and spirits.
Laila al-Shawa, who founded Palestine’s first cultural and artistic center, has a strong bond with her country and her Palestinian identity which is evident in all her work
As terms like womanism, intersectionality, and women of color enter the mainstream, it is important to remember that they do not exist in a vacuum. They were created by Black women to address the ways in which we feel excluded from mainstream feminism. Kimberle Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins, Loretta Ross, Audre Lorde, and bell hooks are more than names to pluck convenient quotes from when it suits you. They are Black feminists, and they are part of a long tradition that can be traced back to Ida B. Wells-Barnett and beyond. So when your idea of feminism in 2013 harkens back to the racist, sexist rhetoric thrown at Wells-Barnett by Susan B. Anthony and Frances Willard, then what kind of movement are you trying to build? If your definition of feminism is rooted in Mammy myths, what can be built with you? Are you fighting for equality for all, or your right to be equal in oppressing Black women?
Dear British Museum, Musée du Louvre, and Pergamon Museum, please return my heritage.
Berlin, Germany 2013
Photo: Zeidon Alkinani
Not to mention The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, etc.
I hate war, and I hate having to struggle. I honestly do because I wish I had been born into a world where it was unnecessary. This context of struggle and being a warrior and being a struggler has been forced on me by oppression. Otherwise I would be a sculptor, or a gardener, carpenter - You know, I would be free to be so much more… I guess part of me or a part of who I am, a part of what I do is being a warrior - a reluctant warrior, a reluctant struggler. But I do it, because I’m committed to life.
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Spooky Business: U.S. Corporations Enlist Ex-Intelligence Agents to Spy on Nonprofit Groups
To answer the questions I’ve received: yes, as far as I know, everyone I know in the Philippines is alive. No, I do not have family in the region, but have family friends and coworkers who do, all of whom, as far as we know, are physically safe, but some of whom have lost homes and been evacuated out of the area. Perhaps this goes some way in assuaging what I’m sure are the well-meaning worries of some readers. As part of the Filipin@ diaspora, I always marvel at the ways in which Filipin@s are often expected to occupy a welcoming repository space for Western liberal catharsis, read as symbolic figures of global disaster; at how many people have emailed to say that they can’t stop thinking about me (being, I assume, the only Filipin@ they know), about Yolanda/Haiyan, about the impact of such “natural” disasters, etc. I do appreciate these emails. I also wonder if the same people wonder about the impact of other disasters, such as Nestlé and Dole and OceanaGold and legal and illegal logging syndicates and the American military and the American medical-industrial complex or construction work in Qatar, on the same populations, whenever they eat candy bars or are attended to by a Filipina nurse or wear a cherished gold necklace or admire a mahogany bedframe or look forward to the World Cup. If they do, I receive no emails about it.
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines, what is sure to be a long and painful recovery has begun. It was the strongest typhoon ever to make…
"I used to be a preschool teacher, but I got fired."
“Well, I decided that I wanted to have a socially conscious class. So we learned about apartheid in South Africa. Then we learned about homelessness. Then we made mother’s day cards for Trayvon Martin’s mom. And I think the principal decided that it was too much for three and four year olds, because she told me I wasn’t a ‘good fit.’ But honestly, I was just shining too bright for them. And now she’s going to see me on Humans of New York, and she’ll be sorry!”
I met a teacher (primary school in the UK) who on the day that the war against Iraq began stopped all regular lessons and got her pupils to make a frieze to go all the way round the classroom. It was all about the people of Iraq, their history, cooking, crops, their landscapes, plants etc. music, painting, architecture, writing and more. To make a connection with the people who were about to be killed. And she got the sack…
Ruth Cuthand: Dis-ease
For more than 30 years, Ruth Cuthand has been challenging mainstream perspectives on colonialism and the relationships between ‘settlers’ and Natives in a practice marked by political invective, humour, and a deliberate crudeness of style.
Ruth Cuthand’s Dis-ease series consists of large, seductive beaded circles with complex patterns supported on rich, black, velvety surfaces and framed under glass. These circles depict microscopic views of agents that have caused the devastation and loss of many of North America’s indigenous peoples—diseases and viruses such as Spanish flu, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. At the same time, these circles echo some of the forms seen in First Nations beaded medallions.
These Dis-ease pieces were no mere scientific “curiosities” hung on Truck’s wall; there was no mistaking Cuthand’s understanding of history, nor her scientific grasp of the subject matter. This knowledge is depicted in the forms themselves. The clearly defined labels on the glass prompt us to distance ourselves from the work, but the details in the beadwork draw us in, making us understand that what we see is from a First Nations way of knowing. Although Cuthand provides no indication of how many victims were afflicted by these agents, we can feel the gravity and significance of that loss.
Somali youth climate activist Marian Osman addressed the main plenary at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. “There’s a Somali proverb that goes: ‘A mere finger can’t obscure the sun,’” Osman said. “You cannot hide the truth by deception. As any one of the thousands whom are in need in Somalia and the Philippines this week could tell you, no amount of political stalling can hide the fact that a climate crisis is here.”