Art as Tool for Emancipation

“Although the age of community-based photography collectives and adequate funding for the arts is over, their principles are more salient than ever. As our lives become increasingly saturated with manipulative visual culture, questioning the social context of a constant stream of images could not be greater. By asking who images are currently produced for and for whom should they be produced, this forgotten history teaches us the power of inclusion, the importance of documenting community struggle and reinforces a belief in the camera as a universal tool for emancipation.”

-Clarlie Bird, “Flashing In Hackney: The Forgotten History Of London’s Radical Photography Collectives.” The Quietus. October 24, 2020.

Never really thought of photography as a tool for emancipation. Also, interesting to read about the Hackney Flashers as a precursor that led to the Guerrilla Girls, whom I had heard of before. Doing a quick Internet search, I came across this quote in a New York Times piece:

“‘Some of us wanted a piece of the pie, and some of us wanted to blow the whole pie up,’ Kahlo said. ‘We agreed to disagree.'”

Melena Ryzik, “The Guerrilla Girls, After 3 Decades, Still Rattling Art World Cages.” The New York Times. August 5, 2015.

The fuller article and the focus on counting as a means of highlighting inequality is worth thinking on.

20th Century Women

20th Century Women is such a lovely little movie. Part coming of age story. Part a story about aging. Part a story about male/female relationships that explores how difficult these are to navigate, particularly given our collective idiosyncrasies and brokenness. Recommended.

A Sport of Their Own

“‘Wrestling gives you what you need to be successful,’ Kretzer explained. ‘It gives you dedication, commitment. It gives you somewhere where you belong. You can be your own self and be a total badass…

‘Wrestling allows you to find yourself. With your wins and losses, you get to reflect and try to develop yourself into something better. It’s not something you practice a few hours; it’s a 24/7, full commitment. The struggles in wrestling help you with the struggles outside of wrestling.'”

—Liz Clarke, “A Sport of Their Own.” The Washington Post. November 8, 2019.

I fully support wrestling as a sport for girls. Wrestling changed my life, and everyone should have that opportunity.

Ask Molly: Manic Pixie Mean Girl

“Enough of stating the fucking obvious, though. Let’s talk about how we’re going to survive the next year of bloviating sexist fuckwaddery. Let’s talk about what it means not just to survive, not just to escape predation and tolerate douche bro-viating and tune out all of the ignorant dipshit-itude, but to savor life and embrace joy as a woman or a girl or a enlightened human of any gender in this ludicrously insipid, unseeing, witless world.”

-Heather Havrilesky, “Manic Pixie Mean Girl.” Ask Molly. November 8, 2019.

I love Ask Molly. Everything about it.

For Fathers of Daughters [and Anyone Concerned with Gender Equality]

“When I was pregnant with my third son a young colleague asked me whether I wanted a boy or girl. I responded that I thought that the role model pressure of having a daughter would be hard, so I would be more comfortable with a son. She wagged her finger at me and said, ‘You have it all wrong. The most important thing you can do for women like me is to raise fair men who are equally competent at household activities as they are at working collaboratively with women in the office. That’s the role model you should worry about–your being a strong woman who expects her sons to treat women as equals.'”

-Jules Pieri, “For Fathers of Daughters.” jules.thegrommet.com. October 10, 2019.

Advice for all men, not just fathers.

The Green Gang — The California Sunday Magazine

“‘You need to call the Green Gang.’ The Green Gang. It was a strange, frightening phrase. Rajput had never heard of the group before. When she began asking about it in local villages, the details seemed too fantastical to be true. It was a gang of hundreds — no, thousands — of women, almost all of them poor and low-caste. It was said that they took on anyone who dared to hurt a woman, including violent in-laws, philandering husbands, domestic abusers, land-grabbers, bootleggers, molesters, and rapists. Sometimes, they beat sense into aggressors, and other times, they scared them into submission.”

—Elizabeth Flock, “The Green Gang.” California Sunday. August 1, 2019.