Rah! Rah! Roundup


Maria Qamar, a Desi artist based in Canada, gave an interview for Dazed about her process, cultural appropriation, and much more: “It is really funny, because the whole point of this pop-art Indian thing was so that I could take the most American – the most western thing – I could find, which were American romance comics or novels. I wanted to take the most iconic thing, which is the soap opera, and blend them together. Right now it feels like I’m taking their shit and throwing it back at them, saying, ‘Here it is, you made this. This is all you.’”

In heartbreaking news, a grand jury failed to indict anyone in connection with the death of Sandra Bland.

Noma Dumezweni, a black actress, has been cast as Hermione in the upcoming London theatre play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  J. K. Rowling has been vocal in her support of the casting decision, but true credit goes to Harry Potter fans: “Fans have been imagining Hermione as black for years now…On Tumblr, the preeminent venue for fanfiction of all types today, this has led to gorgeous fan art that reimagines Hermione as black, instead of the image of Watson.”

Artist Ebin Lee gave an interview for Bitch, discussing her new book (A Wretch Like Me: Sad/Black/Ugly/Queer), anxiety, race, art, emotional labor, and so much more: “I don’t want to teach anyone. I’m not trying to get sympathy. When I’ve been asked to speak, I speak from a first-person experience, as one Black person out of many. It’s just my experience and I just want people—especially white people—to just listen to what I’m saying. I don’t want them to come up to me without examining themselves and how they contribute to that, because they often will say something that is condescending.”

Morgan Parker wrote an essay for Harriet on the side-effects of tokenism in the literary community. Among them: “You will grow tired of correcting people and start answering to mispronounced names. You’ll get used to saying “no worries” when you’re mistaken for another writer of color who you look nothing like. Maybe you will even laugh, touch the older, white writer on the arm, making them feel comfortable and normal about their blunder. It’s no problem. I know it’s confusing for you. How could you be expected to see us as individuals? To see the differences between us, the quota-fillers, the diversity numbers?”

Velvetpark gifted the world this week by sharing their seventh annual top 25 queer women of 2015.

In an editorial for The Guardian, Chelsea Manning wrote about her determination to remain hopeful and steadfast in the fight for her rights as 2016 approaches: “Whatever happens, it will certainly be a long path. There may well be other Decembers like this one, where I feel at times so far away from everyone and everything. But when faced with bleakness, I won’t give up. And I’ll try to remember all the people who haven’t given up on me.”

Dubravka Ugresic’s essay for Literary Hub, “The Moral Crisis of Our Time,” is a must-read: “Refugees are intrinsic to our mental vocabulary, the concepts of “banishment,” “exile,” “exodus” woven into the very foundations of both our civilization and our personal lives.We are, however, wont to close our eyes to the data…. Refugees are our mirror, our moral exam, a provocation, an invitation to confrontation with our values.”

What did we miss this week? Let us know in the comments! <3

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