"And when you see images of dragons consuming people, it brings to mind the type of destruction [the neighborhood’s] seeking to eliminate."
creative loafing put out one of the better takes on the thing that happened recently in pittsburgh, a mostly black and mostly lower-income neighborhood in southwest atlanta, where some residents of the area painted over a mural of a crocodile-machine-man-thing that a french artist had made as part of the living walls street art conference that atlanta hosts yearly
without exactly using these words, i feel like the article does a good job of getting away from the Religion Versus Art narrative that most of the mainstream/white press (including creative loafing, usually) is using, and does more to acknowledge that this thing has been very much about how usually black and usually poor/working-class people in southwest atlanta are having to negotiate increasing gentrification in / appropriation of the area
the comments are still mostly fucking vile though
the article is here (creative loafing atlanta: thomas wheatley / november 14, 2012)
Residents of the predominantly African-American neighborhood stress they’re not anti-art. They’re just anti-Roti’s mural and wish they would’ve been more involved. They don’t think the art represents the community, which was founded in the late 1800s by former slaves and has spent the last few decades trying to combat foreclosures, mortgage fraud, flippers, vacant homes and the various social ills — prostitution, drugs, squatters — that accompany them.
"For some individuals in the neighborhood, it’s the idea that, if we allow people to just continue to move in our neighborhood and do whatever, then we’ll never be able to garner the community strength to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to build a safer, vibrant, more thriving neighborhood," says LaShawn Hoffman of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association, which serves as the de facto neighborhood association.
Seventh Annual Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival: March 15 -18 in Atlanta
Seventh Annual Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival announces Opening Night Centerpiece and Closing Night Films
March 15 -18 in Atlanta
ATLANTA (February 21, 2012) — The seventh annual Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival is pleased to announce its opening night feature film, “The Education of Auma Obama” by Branwen Okpako , taking place at Walter C. Hill Auditorium, High Museum of Arts, 1280 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30309 on Friday March 16th at 7pm. The film which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, is an intriguing look into the life of President Barack Obama’s Kenyan half sister Auma Obama, filmed in her homestead in Kenya during the run up to the 2008 US Presidential elections that brought her brother President Barack Obama to power. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the High Museum of Art’s box office.
The centerpiece film “MA’AMI” by acclaimed Nigerian Filmmaker Tunde Kelani is scheduled to be screened on Saturday March 17th at the Auburn Avenue Research Library (AARL), 101 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA and is free and open to the public. Set over a two day period, leading to the 2010 World cup, “MA’MI” is an inspiring story of a poor conscientious single parent’s struggle to raise her only child, Kashimawo who eventually rises to international stardom in an English football club, Arsenal and becomes a national hero.
The closing night film “Ties That Bind” by multiple award-winning director Leila Djansi, described as one of the hottest new wave directors out of Africa, is the story of three women from different backgrounds bound together by a common tragedy; the loss of a child. The film features Hollywood actress Kimberly Elise, Ghanaian stars, Ama K Abebrese, John Dumelo, David Dontoh and one of the Nollywood’s most notable actresses, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. The screening will take place at Walter C. Hill Auditorium, High Museum of Arts, 1280 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30309 on Sunday March 18th at 6pm. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the High Museum of Art’s box office.
For a detailed festival itinerary please visit our website, www.wocaf.org.
"two white boys are copying and pasting this whole culture into a concept album"
I wrote this over a year ago and had been thinking on it for longer than that. Now that Beyonce is using the beat in her new song I’m haunted by these things again (and these people creating this music that is using US (POC) & selling us back to ourselves!). I think it’s timely to share this again with folks who think this beat is “new” or even those who think it is overused/tired/etc. We can’t forget how colonization impacts us…
I’ve reached out to Hugo to see if we could do a recap as I know I have grown and transformed as a writer. But this is useful for now I believe. Enjoy.
“This post is 5 months in the making! Last year I heard the song Pon De Floor somehow, I really can’t remember since it’s been years since I listened to the radio. Then while watching So You Think You Can Dance, the remaining dancers did a group number to the song. That’s when I knew the song was at a new popular high. It’s rare when a Dancehall song becomes so popular we see it on primetime television. So my interest in the song, the performers, and the origins was piqued.
After doing some searching I found the video for Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor. I was immediately excited because the dancing in the video was very much the kind of Dancehall I find fascinating, yet also complex as it is overly sexually graphic. Basically performers are reenacting some sexual activities on the dance floor, yet are doing so in a way that challenges our ideas of athleticism in dancing in this way. Another aspect of the video that I was excited about was that the women dancing were large bodied women. Some may even call them “fat dancers” yet for me their bodies were so much like my own it was as though I was watching myself dance.
When I realized I needed to learn more about the group I did some online searching and put in a request for a Gchat conversation with my homeboy, musical genre guru extraordinaire: Hugo who writes about DJ music and its connections to identity and society and provides his own mixes for free at his online home American Pupusa. I like to call Hugo my “musical mentor.” My online searching led me to the shocking knowledge that Major Lazer is a fictional Black cyborg created by two White men, Diplo from Philidelphia (of M.I.A. fame), and Switch from the UK who specializes in “House” music. When I realized that two White men created this image of Major Lazer, created the music, and then used Black and brown bodies in the videos I knew I had to talk to Hugo as soon as possible! There was just too much to unpack on my own.”
Read the rest here
really really good stuff about thinking through appropriation - especially about the complexity of being a person of color who likes/identitfies with a work of art while still feeling ambivalent/turned-off by the fact that is was made by white people taking elements from a non-white genre out of context for consumption by wider and whiter audiencesfrom latinosexuality
fuck yeah Richard Bell
Bell used his own criteria to select 29 finalists from 633 entries. More than 20 of the artworks he selected contained animals. Asked why, he said: ”I like animals. I was tempted to put in all animals. I was going to make that the criteria but I had to choose some of my friends.”
omg omg omg ”Don’t you like animals?” omg omg omg