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October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

 

 

Black Death:

Gore, Geographies

and the Gallows

in Jamaica

 

 

 

blk death 01

One evening, on a road in Jamaica, a soldier belonging to the “Mulatto Company” made his evening rounds. He came upon a black man in the woods. The soldier called for his attention. Receiving no answer, he killed him.

Upon closer inspection, the man was identified as a “new negro” gathering wood to sell in town. Death was not the end for the “negre nouveau.” Once he was dead, his body was placed in a cage hung from a gallows planted at a busy intersection in town. His body remained “for all to see” at that crossroads–somewhere between Montgomery’s Corner, near a road named Rockport, and close to One Mile Stone. After two years, he/it was called ‘Fortune,” and the black men, women, and children who passed treated the body as a relic, an item with spiritual powers or import.

Geneva-born antiquary Pierre Eugène du Simitière created the sketch and scribbled the story sometime between 1757 and 1774 during his travels between Jamaica, Saint-Domingue, and North America. The image and more is available at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Pierre Eugene du Simitière’s collection is a puzzle. Du Simitière remained preoccupied with revolution, revolt, and resistance (including maroons’ resistance in Jamaica, slave resistance in Saint-Domignue, and Native resistance and negotiations with British and American delegations in North America) throughout his life. However, if his collection is the evidence, du Simitière was also preoccupied with the occult, arcane, and gory required to make and unmake empire. This image, his hasty creation of it, and the subject matter itself suggest he found the crossroads of both in the decomposing body of a black man from Africa.

I’ve more questions than answers about what this display of death meant, then and now. As Marcus Wood noted, in a short essay on the same sketch, the man who would become a body called Fortune was likely a slave recently arrived from the continent, hence the slaveowner parlance of “new negro.” He may or may not have been killed because he did not understand the “Who goes there?” shouted by the mulatto soldier in his direction. He also may or may not have been a slave. He may have been a Jamaican maroon or a runaway making a new life for himself far from his former owners caught away from camp.

And who was the soldier who fired his gun? Imperial officials in Jamaica organized units of men of African descent to staff military, police, and related security and surveillance operations. Jamaica wasn’t alone. Across the Caribbean, Central and South America “Mulatto” and “quadroon” martial units appeared out of necessity and convenience, sparked by three phenomena: spreading gran orgrand maroonage or long term escape from plantations; decreasing white European and creole (American born) colonial populations as white migrants died, deserted, disappeared, or simply rebuked local militia service; and official decisions to offer freedom to slaves in return for their enlistment. What relationship did this soldier have to the spectacle of death, an excess that would infuse the body of a man with spiritual resonance, transform him from human into an act of nature? What did the same excess transform the soldier into?

I suspect Du Simitière captured a confrontation between two black male geographies. And geographies–ideas of them, maps in hands and heads, differential ways of viewing a landscape–portend intellectual histories told and telling.

On the one hand, we have the geography of maroonage or trails through the forest invisible or ignored by slave patrols but visible to slaves seeking exchange economies beyond slaveowner and overseer gazes. The path in the forest where the best and driest wood could be found. The quickest route to town to sell provision ground harvests. The night road taken to visit the beloved on neighboring plantations.

On the other, we have the geography of freedom in a world of slaves, or the path walked by free people of color (and free status aspiring slaves) that marched them into militia lines against runaways, launched them into battle against enemies of empire whether those enemies came in the form of Native resistors or insurgent white colonials, and secured them property, marriages to women, and other rewards of free status–until the next imperial war changed the rules.

To judge by the confrontation between these two geographies, where the twain shall meet shall end in death–and not the soldier’s. Or does it? Fortune lived on, as a gesture of imperial power, to be sure, but also as a holy item on display as warning (and, perhaps, guardian?).  Depending on the diasporic systems of belief at play, did he die–or did he return? And by the same standards, did the soldier truly live on? Or does freedom–black, patriarchal, and with its hands on a gun–always end in death, at least in a world of slaves?

 

>via: http://aaihs.org/black-geographies-and-the-gallows-in-jamaica/

 

October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015

 

 

 

The student uprisings

in South Africa

 

 

by Vito Laterza

 

 

Police firing teargas at protesting students on Parliament grounds. Image Credit: @LionelAdendorf on Twitter

Police firing teargas at protesting students on Parliament grounds. Image Credit: @LionelAdendorf on Twitter

Waves of still ongoing protests (it has morphed from #FeesMustFall to #NationalShutdown) have brought to a halt several universities in South Africa – Wits University, University of Cape Town, Fort Hare, Rhodes and Stellenbosch have all been affected and students from other universities are joining the movement every day. At last count fourteen campuses were closed. (The protesters have now moved to South Africa’s Parliament and at the time of writing had broken through Parliament’s gates, marching with hands up before being shot at with teargas and stun grenades) The issue of student fee increases, and more generally the exorbitant cost of higher education for the average South African, have become the catalyst for the unrest. Demands for racial justice and concerns about economic inequality are coming together in a powerful call for change that cannot be ignored or easily dismissed.

Protesters draw on sustained efforts in recent months to build a national movement committed to transformation of university staff and students, and widening access to higher education. The current system continues to exclude most black South Africans and other historically disadvantaged groups.

On social media, Wits University’s Professor Achille Mbembe, who has written critically as well as publicly engaged with the student movements, has made an important point about the need for protesters to focus their attention not just on universities’ management, but also the state, envisaged as a key locus of decision-making in these crucial areas.

Other questions however seem to be less debated. Are we sure that it is just a matter of channelling demands to the ‘right’ institutional structures? Why would the state be any more effective than university executives in addressing the root causes of the unrest? Government elites’ collusion with big capital and white interests can hardly be disputed. After all, this was the basis of the negotiated transition to a post-apartheid order in the early 1990s.

There is a great potential in these protests, which might or might not be harnessed by the participants. It is the opportunity to bring together people from different sectors of society who feel the brunt of discrimination and disadvantage. On the whole, they have been unable to break through a sophisticated governance system that privileges ‘divide and rule’ tactics, and fosters fragmentation along racial, ethnic and class lines.

Protesters’ requests include the end of outsourcing of all university personnel – cleaning staff is one such example, fetching very low pay under precarious contracts. Outsourced workers have already started to join, showing that a broader convergence of interests is a real possibility. (For example, 3 of the 23 people arrested at UCT on Tuesday where workers. At some point campus security and a bus shuttle service drivers also joined the protests)

This alliance would give university students the role of ‘spokespersons’, articulating demands for racial and economic justice coming from across the country. From informal settlements and townships to disenfranchised rural areas, people have been expressing discontent with their conditions in their own specific ways and contexts, and are calling for change. Their voices remain largely unheard in a national debate dominated by a strong bias towards university-educated citizens – that’s why university protests attract widespread media attention and can have a significant impact on policy-making.

A narrow path focusing on representation in current state structures is certainly desirable as a first step towards systemic change. But it is not enough to address the root problem. The vast majority of South Africans are excluded from meaningful participation in the national economy and society, through a mix of racial and class discrimination that is often covered up under the guise of apparently democratic and inclusive processes.

The student movement can contribute to the formation of grassroots participatory structures that would form the basis of a new dispensation emerging from the ashes of the apartheid system, and its neoliberal post-apartheid successor. The ongoing economic slow-down in the country will increasingly expose the inability of the current state-capital deal to deliver for most people.

It might be time to bring together debates that mainstream media have conveniently kept separate – land reform, public control of the mining sector, and access to and transformation of higher education, to name a few. Ideas about resource nationalism could be easily extended to the realm of higher education. A new agenda for an ‘intellectual’ resource nationalism that brings universities under public control would be one way out of the current impasse.

This cannot however be reduced to top down intervention by a state dominated by the same private interests that hinder transformation and access at the level of universities’ management. Efforts at transforming higher education need to work in parallel with a sustained transformation of state structures. Such a wide-ranging programme of action can only be carried out by a broader social movement that pursues the interests of the excluded majority, and is willing to stand up to the attempts by big capital and the upper-middle classes to keep things as they are.

Neoliberal policies and principles around black economic empowerment have clearly failed to deliver change and cannot be the blueprint for future higher education policies. It is time to rethink the relationship between state and capital, and to reclaim the space for a participatory democracy that puts public control and regulation of markets and services above private interests.

 

>via: http://africasacountry.com/2015/10/the-student-uprisings-in-south-africa-and-wider-political-economic-change/

_____________________________

 

October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015

 

 

From The Frontlines

Of South Africa’s

Student Protests

 

by Imraan Christian 

 

students 01 students 02 students 03 students 04 students 05 students 06 students 07 students 08 students 09 students 10 students 11

South Africa's #NationalShutDown on Wednesday, October 21, in Cape Town All (Photos: Imraan Christian)

South Africa’s #NationalShutDown on Wednesday, October 21, in Cape Town (All Photos: Imraan Christian)

Today, what started as a student-led protest of tuition fees at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg last Wednesday, became a nationwide day of mass action in South Africa. Imraan Christian was on the frontlines in Cape Town. Below is his unfiltered account from the #NationalShutDown.

**

Today, students across South Africa held a nationwide shutdown of universities in protest of the 10.8% fee increases proposed for next year. In Cape Town, students from the University of Cape Town, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and University of the Western Cape, along with supporters of the student movement, mobilised and conducted a peaceful protest outside parliament in preparation for Blade Nzimande’s address, which was scheduled for 2pm.

Instead, we were made to wait an hour, then we were met with what I would describe as a military operation conducted by the South African Police Services, taken straight from the days of Apartheid. DIVIDE – INTIMIDATE – BRUTALIZE. In gangs of policeman, they beat our sisters to the ground, trampled their defenseless bodies, threw stun grenades, smoke grenades, pepper spray, and cordoned off the students into smaller groups so that they could fuck us up even more. In order to disperse the crowd, the police, now on motorbikes and armed with guns with rubber bullets, set off on a path of what can only be described as sadistic police brutality.

We are unarmed, intelligent students who understand that if we allow fees to go up by 10%, then in ten years time, fees will be doubled, and blacks will become uneducated cheap labour- once again, fit only for building the palaces of white supremacy.

Blade Nzimande – You will answer for your actions against us. You cannot run. You cannot hide.

South African Police Services – Most of you pigs were black, and you brutalised students who were fighting for the education of your black children. At the end of the day you are a person, so every time you look at your own children, I hope the memory of today haunts you and you go to your grave knowing you are owned by the white devil; in this case- the Devil just happens to be Blade.

To my sisters, you are the leaders of the revolution. I am honoured to have stood by your side today. You are all Lion Queens, you are our future.

To my brothers, the connection of fire is so strong, I can feel it flowing as I type this. I have only true love and respect for each and every one of you.

My heart goes out the the students who were arrested by police and are still being brutalised, please share this message so that we can put pressure on South African Police Services to release them.

I’m not even a student. I graduated from UCT last year. I was at the protest as a journalist for Okayafrica, but because I’m young and black, 4 of you pigs thought it’s appropriate to fuck me up as a gang- and I’ll give it to you, you got me good. But now it’s my turn, and I’m gonna kick you hard in your poes.

TOMMOROW WE OCCUPY BREMNAR, MIDDLE CAMPUS UCT- THIS IS A MASS CALL TO ALL ALLIES TO SHOW SUPPORT.

CHILDREN OF AZANIA, ITS TIME TO RISE.
AMANDLA!

–Imraan Christian

 

>via: http://www.okayafrica.com/news/south-africa-student-protests-imraan-christian-photos/#slide18

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015

 

 

 

Trailer:

Array Releasing’s

‘Ayanda’

(Lauded South African

Coming-of-Age Drama)

By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

 

 

Array - AYANDA

Array – AYANDA

 

Just over a month after the distribution collective announced its
re-launching, along with what will be its next two releases
(“Ayanda” and “Out of My Hand”), Array Releasing has now
set a Fall 2015 special “double feature theatrical experience”
that will include both pickups, kicking off on November 13 in
Los Angeles and New York City, followed by a national tour to
include Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, Houston
and Boston.
Directed by South African filmmaker Sara Blecher, “Ayanda”
is set in the vibrant, Afropolitan community of Johannesburg’s
Yeoville, and tells a coming-of-age story of a 21-year-old
“Afro-hipster,” who embarks on a journey of self-discovery,
when she has to fight to save her late father’s legacy – a motor
repair shop – when it is threatened with closure. She’s thrown
into a world of gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars
once loved, now in need of a young woman’s re-inventive touch
to bring them back to life again.
 

The film stars Fulu Mugovhani and Nigerian actor OC Ukeje,
with a star-heavy South African cast that includes Ntathi
Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede,
Sihle Xaba and veteran star of stage and screen, Vanessa Cooke.
 

This is director Sara Blecher’s follow-up to her critically-
acclaimed “Otelo Burning” (covered quite extensively on
this blog), which premiered in 2011.

 

Ahead of “Ayanda’s” November 13 debut, an Array release
trailer for the film is online and embedded below; followed
by upcoming theatrical playdates for the film.

 

Opening dates for both films are as follows:

Starting 11/13              Los Angeles                Downtown Independent

Starting 11/13              New York                    Imagenation RAW Space

Starting 11/18              New York                    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

And here are the one-night tour engagements:

“Ayanda”

11/13               Washington DC           Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Art

11/14               Atlanta, GA                 Georgia Pacific Auditorium presented by Bronzelens

11/17               Philadelphia, PA          African American Museum presented by Reelblack

11/19               Houston, TX                Houston Museum of African American Culture

11/22               Montgomery, AL         Pure Art Literary Café

11/24               Seattle, WA                 Ark Lodge Cinema

12/01               Calabash, NC             South Brunswick Islands Center

12/05               Boston, MA                 Reel Life Experience at Arts Emerson

12/05               Greensboro, NC         The Artist Bloc

 

>via: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/trailer-array-releasings-ayanda-lauded-south-african-coming-of-age-drama-20151021

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Submissions

—Afro-Cuban Artists:

A Renaissance Choco

 

Choco

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri has sent out a call for proposals for an international interdisciplinary conference entitled Afro-Cuban Artists: A Renaissance. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2015.

Afro-Cuban Artists: A Renaissance is an international interdisciplinary conference hosted by the MU Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. This four day event will be of interest to scholars, and students, as well as creative artists working in the African Diaspora, Cuban/Caribbean /Latin American arts, art history, history, culture, religions, ritual, performances, gender or ethnic studies. The conference will explore various topics related to the aesthetics, socio-cultural and political antecedents, context and impact of the Afro-Cuban artists who came of age after 1959.

mendive1

Three leading contemporary Afro-Cuban artists, Manuel Mendive (1944), Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar (1949), and Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal (1955) will be present and hold exhibitions in Columbia, Missouri, during the conference. In addition, Mendive will present a performance with painted bodies. Documentaries by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook examining the artists’ life and work will be screened.

Proposals for presentations of papers and visual performances are welcome on topics related, but not limited to: arts and race; African Diaspora arts in Latin America; ethnicity and visual interpretation; aesthetics and religion; dialogue between the arts; the magic space of image, ritual, and art performance; institutional organization and art production; performance of Africanity in the visual arts; collaborative art production; and art and social and political contexts.

Olazabal-Elbuencamino2014

The deadline for submission is December 15, 2015. Anyone wishing to present a paper may submit a proposal online at https://missouri.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6omNp0YM6XvyXml. Each presentation will be limited to 20 minutes. The proposals will be peer reviewed. Applicants will be notified by February 10, 2016. Approved presenters must confirm their attendance by registering for the conference no later than March 1, 2016.  The conference fee is $125.00, which includes presentation of papers, admittance to the exhibitions, performances, and film screenings. Student fee is $70.00.

The website http://muconf.missouri.edu/afrocubanart will be updated after November 15 and will provide further conference information.

For content information, please contact Dr. Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, Project Director atcordonescookj@missouri.edu.

Image above: Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal’s “El buen camino” from http://www.cubanartnews.org/news/catching-up-in-havana-santiago-rodriguez-olazabal-at-galeria-habana

Images above: Top: “Caribbean Dream,” by Eduardo Roca Salazar from http://www.escala.org.uk/events/talks-tours/talk-by-visiting-cuban-artists-from-the-exhibition-beyond-the-frame; second, Manuel Mendibe’s “Se alimenta mi espíritu” from http://www.cernudaarte.com/artists/manuel-mendive/ ; and third, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal’s “El buen camino” from http://www.cubanartnews.org/news/catching-up-in-havana-santiago-rodriguez-olazabal-at-galeria-habana

 

>via: http://repeatingislands.com/2015/10/14/call-for-submissions-afro-cuban-artists-a-renaissance/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: SHORT SPECULATIVE FICTION BY TRANSGENDER WRITERSDeadline: December 1, 2015
Length: up to 10,000 words
Anticipated publication date: Fall 2016
Paid: Yes (rates to be determined)
Contact email: specfic@topsidepress.com
Submit work to: https://topsidepress.submittable.com/Topside Press is now accepting submissions for an anthology of short 
speculative fiction by self-identified transgender writers. Speculative 
fiction can include science fiction, horror, fantasy, alternate history 
or any fiction which envisions a world that is fundamentally different 
from our own.Our goal for this anthology is to showcase the talent of a diverse 
range of authors and catalyze the next wave of meaningful, moving, and 
politically engaged speculative fiction.About the Editors: Cat Fitzpatrick co-edited Sybil Lamb’s 2014 novel I’ve Got A Time Bomb.
 Her zines include “At least It’s Short,” “You Have Ripped Your Dick 
Off,” and “I Walked Through The Desert.” She is a poet, essayist, and 
professor at Rutgers University-Newark.Casey Plett is the author of the short story collection A Safe Girl To Love and wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She contributed to the Topside Press anthology The Collection: Short Fiction From The Transgender Vanguard and her work has been featured in Rookie, Plenitude, Two Serious Ladies, Anomalous Press, and other publications. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada.About Topside Press: Topside Press is a small independent publisher that began publishing transgender fiction in 2012 with The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard. In 2013, Topside published the ground-breaking novel Nevada, by Imogen Binnie. Find out more at www.topsidepress.com.As Metropolarity formed with the desire to publish an anthology of scifi based in the experiences of marginalized Philadelphians, we found it incredibly difficult reaching others in our city who understood that what we meant when we uttered the words “science fiction” was not that of the imperialist white supremacist colonizer gaze. During our call for submissions period in 2012 we received a number of works with uncomfortably misogynist themes, negative stereotypes against sex workers, implicitly racist, gratuitously violent depictions of ‘urban’ life and more. The submissions we received that were in accordance with our own desires/needs made their way into our first zine, published in 2012, available in free PDF form here. I bring all this up because we have spent the days since our formation working to show and prove what it is WE mean when we say “science fiction.” These past couple seasons we have been invited to several stages, not only to read our work but to explicitly discuss that our scifi is our reality. People want to ask us how we are affected by the racist and anti-black backlash against public efforts to “diversify” sci-fi, yet they don’t ask what kind of sci-fi we write. People want to ask us what we think about cyborgs and transhumanism in the future, yet don’t consider that we are writing about being trans and human right now. They want to ask about speculation and dystopia while speaking of smart cities and data structures, yet they have no interest in discussing clandestine corporate/government surveillance, increasing police states, and violent national borders. They don’t want to talk about the drought, the infrastructure-destroying storms, the fracking earthquakes, our deliberate dialects, the disappearing schools and increasing prisons, OUR post-apocalypse. They want to talk about the might and legacy of colonizers over and over and over and over and over again. Science is fiction. Some believe science is inherently good, an infallible process that somehow has no ties to its own history & development alongside capitalism’s Progress, and LOOK at how far we’ve gotten, LOOK at how far we have yet to go! We believe prevailing Western “science” is, under the legacy of colonizers, but one more propaganda narrative of the white supremacist control state. There are so many scientific voices that have been erased, kept out, that go on unheard, that are not even considered science – where is the funding, where is the press, where are the textbooks, the awards, the reparations???????Why are the panels still so anti-black, male-identified and trans/misogynist, all straight, cisgender, upwardly mobile, financially stable, “well educated” with little or no debt, able of mind and body with medical care that serves not subverts them, protected and sheltered from the real dystopias they like to read so much observant fiction about????????(we know why)Why are the features and the round-ups and FUTURE OFs still so white and upper class and self-congratulatory?????(we know why)When we say science fiction, we mean real shit. We mean science that serves us, fiction that concerns us. Narrative. Network. Power. Manifest. Some of you who make work and create out there, I don’t think you consider what you do as sci-fi the way we at Metropolarity might think of it. It’s not surprising. There are too many genres and gatekeepers wanting to box you up and make your multidimensional realities flat and perceptible to the white supremacist colonizer senses (the grammar, the word choice…). That’s the legacy, right? Make everything accountable so it can be controlled, and then decide what’s It and what’s Not. So many times we have been disappointed by the things which claim to represent any one of us. The oversights are so glaring… Why call it THE anything when really it just means those institutionally supported white MFA graduates? Yes yes, it’s about ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY & CAPACITY but… Since reading Jamie Berrout’s Incomplete Short Stories and Essays, and her critique of Topside Press’s The Collection being overwhelmingly white…. Since seeing that a QueerScifi twitter account & website now exists and appears very cis & white and has never once mentioned or retweeted us, even though I do believe Metropolarity was the overwhelming result of #queerscifi searches before their existence… Since I am so personally enraged by unchecked white complicity in DIY & institutionally supported artistic spaces all around me, in a majority black city… Since that fucking Stonewall movie… It just has to be said here, right under this call for submissions for a trans sci-fi anthology with a publisher we have a pleasant but impersonal relationship with (and let me be honest, one I have been considering submitting to), that if it is largely comprised of white writers retelling the same colonialist narratives I will be deeply, dreadfully disappointed. It will be necessary to personally seek and reach out to trans/women writers of color and make space for their participation.Submissions are due December 1st. signed, Eighteen / @cyborgmemoirs​ from MP HQ

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS:

SHORT SPECULATIVE FICTION

BY TRANSGENDER WRITERS

Deadline: December 1, 2015
Length: up to 10,000 words
Anticipated publication date: Fall 2016
Paid: Yes (rates to be determined)
Contact email: specfic@topsidepress.com
Submit work to: https://topsidepress.submittable.com/

Topside Press is now accepting submissions for an anthology of short speculative fiction by self-identified transgender writers. Speculative fiction can include science fiction, horror, fantasy, alternate history or any fiction which envisions a world that is fundamentally different from our own.

Our goal for this anthology is to showcase the talent of a diverse range of authors and catalyze the next wave of meaningful, moving, and politically engaged speculative fiction.

About the Editors: Cat Fitzpatrick co-edited Sybil Lamb’s 2014 novel I’ve Got A Time Bomb. Her zines include “At least It’s Short,” “You Have Ripped Your Dick Off,” and “I Walked Through The Desert.” She is a poet, essayist, and professor at Rutgers University-Newark.

Casey Plett is the author of the short story collection A Safe Girl To Love and wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She contributed to the Topside Press anthology The Collection: Short Fiction From The Transgender Vanguard and her work has been featured in RookiePlenitudeTwo Serious LadiesAnomalous Press, and other publications. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

About Topside Press: Topside Press is a small independent publisher that began publishing transgender fiction in 2012 with The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard. In 2013, Topside published the ground-breaking novel Nevada, by Imogen Binnie. Find out more at www.topsidepress.com.

As Metropolarity formed with the desire to publish an anthology of scifi based in the experiences of marginalized Philadelphians, we found it incredibly difficult reaching others in our city who understood that what we meant when we uttered the words “science fiction” was notthat of the imperialist white supremacist colonizer gaze. During our call for submissions period in 2012 we received a number of works with uncomfortably misogynist themes, negative stereotypes against sex workers, implicitly racist, gratuitously violent depictions of ‘urban’ life and more. The submissions we received that were in accordance with our own desires/needs made their way into our first zine, published in 2012, available in free PDF form here

I bring all this up because we have spent the days since our formation working to show and prove what it is WE mean when we say “science fiction.” These past couple seasons we have been invited to several stages, not only to read our work but to explicitly discuss that our scifi is our reality. People want to ask us how we are affected by the racist and anti-black backlash against public efforts to “diversify” sci-fi, yet they don’t ask what kind of sci-fi we write. People want to ask us what we think about cyborgs and transhumanism in the future, yet don’t consider that we are writing about being trans and human right now. They want to ask about speculation and dystopia while speaking of smart cities and data structures, yet they have no interest in discussing clandestine corporate/government surveillance, increasing police states, and violent national borders. They don’t want to talk about the drought, the infrastructure-destroying storms, the fracking earthquakes, our deliberate dialects, the disappearing schools and increasing prisons, OUR post-apocalypse. They want to talk about the might and legacy of colonizers over and over and over and over and over again. 

Science is fiction. Some believe science is inherently good, an infallible process that somehow has no ties to its own history & development alongside capitalism’s Progress, and LOOK at how far we’ve gotten, LOOK at how far we have yet to go! We believe prevailing Western “science” is, under the legacy of colonizers, but one more propaganda narrative of the white supremacist control state. There are so many scientific voices that have been erased, kept out, that go on unheard, that are not even considered science – where is the funding, where is the press, where are the textbooks, the awards, the reparations???????

Why are the panels still so anti-black, male-identified and trans/misogynist, all straight, cisgender, upwardly mobile, financially stable, “well educated” with little or no debt, able of mind and body with medical care that serves not subverts them, protected and sheltered from the real dystopias they like to read so much observant fiction about????????

(we know why)

Why are the features and the round-ups and FUTURE OFs still so white and upper class and self-congratulatory?????

(we know why)

When we say science fiction, we mean real shit. We mean science that serves us, fiction that concerns us. Narrative. Network. Power. Manifest. 

Some of you who make work and create out there, I don’t think you consider what you do as sci-fi the way we at Metropolarity might think of it. It’s not surprising. There are too many genres and gatekeepers wanting to box you up and make your multidimensional realities flat and perceptible to the white supremacist colonizer senses (the grammar, the word choice…). That’s the legacy, right? Make everything accountable so it can be controlled, and then decide what’s It and what’s Not. 

So many times we have been disappointed by the things which claim to represent any one of us. The oversights are so glaring… Why call it THEanything when really it just means those institutionally supported white MFA graduates? Yes yes, it’s about ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY & CAPACITY but… Since reading Jamie Berrout’s Incomplete Short Stories and Essays, and her critique of Topside Press’s The Collection being overwhelmingly white…. Since seeing that a QueerScifi twitter account & website now exists and appears very cis & white and has never once mentioned or retweeted us, even though I do believe Metropolarity was the overwhelming result of #queerscifi searches before their existence… Since I am so personally enraged by unchecked white complicity in DIY & institutionally supported artistic spaces all around me, in a majority black city… Since that fucking Stonewall movie… It just has to be said here, right under this call for submissions for a trans sci-fi anthology with a publisher we have a pleasant but impersonal relationship with (and let me be honest, one I have been considering submitting to), that if it is largely comprised of white writers retelling the same colonialist narratives I will be deeply, dreadfully disappointed. 

It will be necessary to personally seek and reach out to trans/women writers of color and make space for their participation.

Submissions are due December 1st. 

signed,

Eighteen / @cyborgmemoirs​ from MP HQ

 

>via: http://metropolarity.tumblr.com/post/130645464959/call-for-submissions-short-speculative-fiction-by

 

 

 

 

 

THE “HAUNTING”

INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR

ARTISTS AND WRITERS

haunting

Spooky creatures, frightening places, eerie experiences
– these are the things that haunt us. Sometimes we are
haunted by obsessive habits and persistent memories.
Haunting can be expressed in symbolic, literal, modern,
traditional, abstract, or completely unique ways. What
hauntings can your imagination create?

 

DEADLINE October 31, 2015

If your work is selected you will be:

  • Published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal – a beautiful collectable keepsake that is available in digital and print long after the release date. Your showcase includes your artist/writer website link.
  • Showcased for at least two years on the ArtAscent website online exhibition, including your artist/writer website link.
  • Listed by name online for at least two years on the ArtAscent website artist/writer listing directory.
  • Promoted on the ArtAscent Facebook (15,000+ likes) and Twitter feeds.

Selected artist works are featured as follows:

Gold Artist (1), Gold Writer (1), Silver Artist (1), Bronze Artist (1)

  • Featured in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal with an accompanying professional review and profile written by our art writer discussing you and your artwork, and selected piece(s) of your artwork.

Distinguished Artists (Up to 27 artists and 6 writers)

  • Featured in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal with selected piece(s) of your artwork.

Eligibility and process

Submitted work can include visual art – paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, digital, printmaking, installations, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture and other 2- and 3-dimensional media – and written art – fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 900 words). 

  • We do not represent artists or sell their work. Any purchase inquiries will be referred directly to the artist.
  • Your submission may be previously published, but must be your original creation.
  • All artists 18 years and older can apply.
  • Our calls for artists do not support video or sound. Good photography that documents interactive or performance art may be submitted.
  • All application images and stories submitted to ArtAscent remain the property of the artist and the artist retains the copyright. Applicants agree that ArtAscent may feature their submitted entry for display, marketing, promotions, and exhibition archives worldwide and for all time. We will credit each artist with their name, artwork title and media, website, photographer credit, and gallery if requested.

All work is evaluated based on the vision as relates to the submission theme. Submissions including diverse interpretations of the theme will be considered. The beauty of art is that 100 artists can look at the same thing and interpret it in completely unique ways. That’s what can make it breathtaking.

The submission process includes application fee, application form, submission review and jurying, article editing, and selected artists publication in ArtAscent magazine, website and online social media. Each call is juried independently, so previously selected artists have equal opportunity of being selected again. The focus is on creating a strong and diverse collection of work that explores the call theme.

Now easier! How to apply to this call for artists and writers

Tip: Keep a copy of your application information in case you need to use it again (and save time on future applications).

1. Log in. (Click on Log In, in the top right corner of the window.)
2. Choose one of the below payment options and complete payment. (Yes, you can apply to both the artist and writers calls and submit both art images and stories, or more than one story – just complete the process separately for each.)
3. After payment is complete, you will be redirected to the application form(Help save us from spambots! Login is required to view the application form.)

Artists – Submit 1 To 3 Images – $25

 

Artists – Submit 4 To 8 Images – $45

 

Writers – Submit 1 Story/Poem – $10

 

OCTOBER 7, 2014

OCTOBER 7, 2014

 

 

 

Moroka’s

‘The Gospel of Kwaito’

Mixtape

BY Z WEG

moroka

The gospel that runs through UK/SA producer Moroka‘s latest mixtape is joyous. In The Gospel of Kwaito, Moroka delivers a selection of tracks that illuminate the presence of gospel music in South African kwaito tunes.”Growing up in South Africa I was surrounded by sounds of African gospel and traditional song where the music is transmitted as a joyous soundtrack to weddings, funerals, protests and communal gatherings,” the producer explained to us. It seems only natural that he would want to spotlight the revelry rather than the pains of gospel music.

As a result, The Gospel of Kwaito is a deep medley of voices and instruments that honors the sounds of the producer’s youth in South Africa. Right from Zola‘s “Prophecy of the Village Pope,” the guitar-sprinkled opening track featuring heartfelt woah-a-woah‘s from its singers, and as heard on the bouncy “Mama Ka Zuzu” by DJ Bobo, Moroka creates a jubilant 54-minute mix which ends on the reflective note of Lundi and The Jaziel Brothers‘s slow, drum-trodden “Ithemba Lam Likuwe.” Stream Moroka’s The Gospel of Kwaito and download his latest jagged guitar-riffed single “Running from the Law (Nomacala)” below.

The Gospel of Kwaito Tracklist:
1. Prophecy of the Village Pope – Zola
2. Moya – Sipho Makhabane
3. Monate (Kwaito Remix) – Brenda Fassie
4. Mama Ka Zuzu – DJ Bobo
5. Next to You – DJ Bongz
6. Re Tla Dula Re Rapela – DJ Call Me
7. Tlou – DJ Cleo
8. Track 7 – Bojo Mujo
9. Church Song (feat. Chaka-Chukwu) – DJ Killer
10. Halleluya Uyinkosi – Big Nuz
11. Inhliziyo Yam – Mzekezeke
12. Ithemba Lam Likuwe – Lundi ft The Jaziel Brothers

 

 

>via: http://www.okayafrica.com/news/moroka-gospel-kwaito-mixtape/

 

OCTOBER 21, 2015

OCTOBER 21, 2015

 

 

 

baloji-unite-litre

Congolese-born, Belgium-based rapper & producer Baloji unveils a beautiful and political Kinshasa dance in his latest visuals for “Unité & Litre.” Directed by Baloji himself, the music video follows dancer & choreographer Jolie Ngemi as she weaves her way to a brewery in a sharp critique of the power and influence that cellphone companies (Unit = a mobile top-up) and alcohol industries (Litres) have on Congolese society.

That political theme runs through Baloji’s upcoming 64 Bits & Malachite EP (due October 30 via Universal France), a reference to computer processors (64 bits) and one of the few minerals found in Katanga, DRC that isn’t mined for use in operating systems across the globe (Malachite). “Everything I do in music is computer-based – and 40% of my computer and my phone came from Congolese soil,” explains Baloji.

The song “Unité & Litre,” which features MC Mipipo and was co-produced by Baloji & Moroka, repurposes Congolese dancing chants and features guitar lines inspired by 1970s soukous group Zaiko Langa Langa. Watch the “Unité & Litre” music video, which follows Baloji’s stunning love letter to the Congo, below.

 

>via: http://www.okayafrica.com/news/baloji-unite-litre-video-soukous-dance-politics/

_____________________________

Baloji 01

Baloji 02

Baloji 03