As a Bangladeshi rooted woman born and raised in the U.S, I often struggle with how I related to revolution and language in the homeland and how to translate it into my work today. The above video is a beautiful TedX talk by the Bangladeshi musician Anusheh Anadil and her talk about the intersection of arts, folks music, language, grassroots politics and feminine energy.
One of the things I’ve been sitting with lately has been the intersection of music, revolutionary change and the use of Bangla language. It’s particularly and personally frustrating at this intersection knowing the language of revolutionary change is so close in blood, yet the only one that flows from my tongue is that of the colonizer. I think Ahusheh’s talk leaves a lot to think about - and primarily the message I’m re-reminded is how love needs to be the driving force in all that we do.
Check out Anusheh Anadil’s song Dhik Dhik on her album Bahok here.
Louder than words: Brazilian graffiti clashes against the World Cup
While the protests that took place during last summer’s Confederations Cup were overwhelming and affecting, recent news out of Brazil suggests that what we saw last year might have only been a precursor to a larger movement set to convene just as the World Cup looks to kick off in less than two weeks.
From teachers to doctors, artists to indigenous populations, the Brazilian population is once again uniting against a perceived neglect on the part of the Brazilian government. With taxpayer funds gone missing, local businesses shunned in favor of multinational conglomerates, and many Brazilians left in an unstable position as both housing costs and forceful evictions increase, Brazilians are angry, and rightfully so.
But while last summer’s protests focused upon mass gatherings as a primary means to garner international attention, organizers and frustrated Brazilians have shifted tactics, utilizing a variety of platforms to spread their message. And what could be more arresting for visitors to Brazil than anti-World Cup graffiti in the cities hosting matches?
the other day there was an exchange that passed over my dash where a non Black poc was upset with a Black artist’s use of Japanese text in their work. and i understand frustrations abt our own cultures being appropriated but i think non Black poc really need to check themselves before coming for Black ppl abt something like that. ive seen latinxs do it, ive seen desi ppl do it, the exchange im talking abt was by an asian person and im just like frustrated with it, im so over it
im not saying Black artists are beyond critique for everything but i feel like if you are trying to have a critical eye towards how Black people appropriate your culture, are you really willing to turn that critical eye towards yourself and be real abt your own investment and engagement in Black culture?
are you willing to reflect on how widespread the appropriation of Black art(s), music, language, fashion, like literally everything is, and what your role is in that?
like why is it that other poc feel entitled to “appreciate” so much Black culture but are so quick to get defensive when they think Black people might be appropriating from them? what is your attachment really to Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki, Ciara, TLC, Missy, or any Black cultural producer? why are you even listening to Cakes da Killa in the first place?
just because you are alive while smth is on the radio doesnt mean it belongs to you. just because you have access to something doesnt mean its there for you. but here we all are, right?
and who has more to lose from having their culture in the public eye, really? who’s lives are literally endangered by the culture we consume?
Did you know that after they switched to blind auditions, major symphony orchestras hired women between 30% to 55% more? Before bringing in “blind auditions” with a screen to conceal the the candidate, women in the top 5 major orchestras made up less than 5% of the musicians performing.
so I believe it was actually more complicated than that, in interesting ways. Because at first, when they did blind auditions, they were STILL hiring more men.
…Then they put down a carpet, so that high heels didn’t clack on the floor, and BOOM women were suddenly getting hired.
The testers didn’t even know that’s what they were picking up on, which just goes to show how tiny of a cue it takes for misogyny to kick in.
I thought that master post dragging cochita was debunked? Like the OP said that they actually identified as a man but the site under their name says they're essentially non-binary — Anonymous
Literally this is what it says on their about page
'Two Hearts beating in my chest'
They are a team just working in sync. Although they have never met before- they are constantly missing each other in the mirror. The private person Tom Neuwirth and the art figure Conchita Wurst respect each other from the bottom of their hearts. They are two individual characters with their own individual stories, but with one essential message for tolerance and against discrimination.
- born on 6.11.1988 in Gmunden
- raised in the Styrian countryside
- Tom appeared in 2007 on the Austrian casting show ‘Starmania’
- He graduated from the Graz School of Fashion in 2011
- and since then he has lived in various locations in Vienna.
- born in the mountains of Colombia
- and raised in Germany
- She appeared in 2011 on the Austrian casting show ‘Die große Chance’
- and was one of the national contestants for the ESC in 2012
- and is the Austrian representative for the ESC in 2014.
Because of the discrimination against Tom in his teenage- years, he created Conchita. The Bearded Lady, as a statement. A statement for tolerance and acceptance- as it’s not about appearances; it’s about the human being. ‘Everybody should live their lifes however they want, as long as nobody else gets hurt or is restricted in their own way of life.’
no mention of non-binary, no mention of being trans
Conchita is a RACIST DRAG PERSONA AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THEY ARE PLAYED BY A WHITE PERSON AND THE PERSONA WAS RAISED IN THE “MOUNTAINS OF COLOMBIA”
so a white queer, experiencing discrimation in their teenaged years, creates a drag persona from the exotic land of Colombia????? no nope absolutely not FUCK OUTTA HERE GOODBYE WITH ALL THAT BULLSHIT. SEE YOU NEVER FOREVER
also, if you are not a woman with a beard you can’t claim the term bearded lady and thats it
Othello is a play about internalized racism, goddammit.
It’s not exactly a novel observation I’m making, there, but it’s definitely one I think more people should understand about the play. It’s a large part of why it’s my favorite Shakespeare piece.
Othello has been presented to me in more than one class as a play about the nature of evil and lies, and about the dangers of jealousy. But to me, it’s always been a play about the way a society teaches people to hate themselves.
Austria’s Eurovision 2014 Win
I am absolutely thrilled that Austria won Eurovision this year because I love the fact that it’s a contest all about out-sparkling each other, and I am excited that Austria will get to host next year.
However, that does not mean that I am not filled with trepidation about how Austria and the Austrian media will spin this year’s win. I’m imagining some holier-than-thou, “we’re so tolerant here!” back patting, which belies Austria’s actual conservative social attitudes regarding, sexuality, gender, and race.
I am suspicious of Conchita Wurst, the way I’m suspicious of Lady Gaga.
PSA: It may seem kinda cool how someone presenting feminine with a full beard just won Eurovision but Conchita Wurst is not positive trans representations. She is a drag queen and also racist. Her name is a dick joke roughly translating to “The Virgin Mary’s Sausage” and she got her name first known by participating on an Austrian reality show called “wild girls” where she with a group of other white Austrians had to “survive with a native tribe in the deserts of Nambia”. Also, she is intended to be Colombian, according to Tom Neuwirth, the white austrian cis gay man who “plays” Conchita Wurst. So he is a white guy from Europe dressing up as Colombian.
Her beard is not a cool violation of the gender binary but rather is intended to be humorous. Tom Neuwirth refers to her as “The Bearded Lady.” Who is an “Art Figure” and “A statement, it’s not appearances that count, but what’s on the inside.” The section of Tom/Conchita’s website titled “Tolerance” only includes links to websites as “The Homosexual Initiative” and websites about HIV awaresness. She makes no efforts to promote tolerance towards trans folk, who face violence for visibly existing outside the gender binary during their daily lives not as a performance but as how they present to make themselves comfortable.
Her presense on Eurovision resulted in several transphobic jokes such as Austria’s correspondant for voting, a cis woman, wearing a “hillarious” fake beard and many other correspondants making beard-comments and beard gestures when announcing their votes for Conchita. She was referred to as “The Queen of Austria” and after she won “The Queen of Europe.” While it’s not a hardset case that she won because people thought the very idea of her was a funny joke, it looks enough like that for it to make me, as a trans feminine genderqueer person, uncomfortable. News media either calls her a “transvestite” or “drag queen.” When it comes to acceptance of her, all of the discourse is about acceptance of gay folk and no mentions are made of trans people. Because the purpose of Conchita Wurst as a “statement” is not to promote tolerance for trans women but to use them as the butt of a joke to unite cis straight people and cis gay people.
When Conchita was first announced as Austria’s representative to Eurovision I was initially excited when I saw how she presented on stage but I have done extensive research and as much as I wished there was some Austrian cultural context that was being lost in translation, Conchita Wurst cannot be interpretted as anything positive for trans people.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/eurovision-2014-twitter-in-praise-of-transvestite-conchita-wursts-performance-for-austria-9350030.html (this article is not a source of accurate information but rather an example of the media not handling this in an informed and helpful way)