From Cathy Park Hong’s book Minor Feelings (read it immediately if you haven’t already), I read that the artist Gregg Bordowitz said this about radical art:
it bypasses social media algorithms and consumer demographics by bringing together groups who wouldn’t normally be in the same room together.
I’ve been thinking about the people I know, artists I know who do this. Radical spaces seem to create these confluences of mixed up groups of people. What are those spaces? What are the things that bring people there?
When I got my second Covid dose, the building was significantly more empty than the first dose visit. I just breezed through the empty line markers, past the military folk, to one of the many tables stocked with vaccines and nurses. Waited 15 minutes afterwards and drove home. It almost seems like we have more vaccine than we know what to do with and other countries do not. Other countries like India are manufacturing most of these vaccines and sending them out while Indians are suffocating, dying in the shadow of a government that has just stepped away.
There’s nothing I can say that Arundhati Roy hasn’t already been saying for many many years. The crimes against humanity by the Indian government have been ongoing by Modi’s regime against Muslims, against farmers, against the poor, against Dalits. The same wealthy few have been consolidating power and money, everything is corporatized, the Indigenous peoples’ land is stolen, the formula is familiar. Again our fight is not in one country, it is and must be a global fight. It is actually by separating the masses through meaningless borders and created nations, that we in our isolated islands also contribute to the mass suffering in other places. We are all connected, everyone’s fight is our fight.
Ok I have been resisting writing this because I don’t know if I can find the lightness to intersperse in the heavy these days. I think it’s something about audience, however small that might be in my case, getting in my head, fucking with me. Because I think this writing might be too heavy is why exactly I should write it. Not one person should be protected by global suffering of humans, especially, and I feel like I have to make this very clear, especially, Americans. Americans have some of the least moral standing to step out of the difficulty of having these conversations (but that’s the very least of what we should be doing). Of facing the murder that WE DIRECTLY CAUSE IN THE WORLD. No, not us. We can’t check out, when we sign the very checks to keep this fucking shitshow running. Sorry. And I actually extend this to all persons benefitting from American imperialism, so that means non-citizens too. Anyone who is relatively free living in America and has the privilege and means to speak up in whatever capacity.
This quote I took from this Youtube of Robin D.G. Kelley & Fred Moten in Conversation is what I believe where any possible answers for our survival lie. It’s where I personally am looking for my own answers to heal.
How our modernity is an ecological and social disaster that we live, that we attempt to survive. Feminist and queer interventions against heteronormative patriarchy, Black interventions against the theory and practice of slavery, that Indigenous intervention against settler colonialism, constitute both general, and practical, basis for our attempts to survive and our attempts to save the Earth. … This is an emergency that we are in now.
Quite frankly, we keep looking to the wrong folks for the answers. Mostly white people. And those people who have been giving false answers need to actually step aside, listen, and only amplify the work of the groups stated above. Put aside your ego. You don’t, contrary to what social media may have you believe, disappear from existence if you actually do not talk or create content.
I’m still listening to the Youtube and honestly I’ll just keep quoting it’s that good. Do you want to know why you need to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people? Why their struggle is connected to every struggle, to the survival of the Earth in general? Fred Moten’s genius in the above Youtube link (around the 43:00 minute mark) as quoted by me:
To not so presumptuously imagine that the Earth could be reduced to something so paltry and so viciously understood as what we usually call ‘Home’. This is part of the reason why the queer and the feminist critique is so important, it’s a critique of a general and problematic idea of domesticity.
Often the methods that we use to claim the Earth as ours involved fences, borders. This manifests itself on a private level, from household to household. But it also manifests itself on a national level, and at the level of the nation-state. It’s not an accident that settler colonial states take it upon themselves to imagine themselves to be the living embodiment of the legitimacy of the nation-state as a political form.
For me, there’s two reasons to be in solidarity with the peoples of Palestine. One is because they are human beings and are being treated with absolute brutality. But the other is that there’s a specific resistance to Israel as a nation-state. For my money, to be perfectly clear about this, I believe this nation state of Israel is itself an artifact of anti-Semitism.
If we thought about Israel and Zionism not just as a form of racism that results in the displacement of Palestinians, but if we also think about them as artifacts of the historic displacement of Jews from Europe, in the same way that we might think of Sierra Leone or Liberia, as artifacts of racist displacement… If we think about it that way, (and here he notes that the reason he’s saying all this is that there IS a possible argument against criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, he talks about Donald Trump and Pat Roberts as people who are in support of Israel and how support of Israel and anti-Semitism actually can go together hand in hand) … Resistance to the state of Israel is also resistance to the idea of the nation-state. When the defense of Israel manifests itself as a defense of it’s right to exist, this is important. It’s a defense not just of Israel’s right to exist, but the nation-state as a political form’s right to exist.
And nation states don’t have rights. What they are supposed to be are mechanisms to protect the rights of the people who live in them and that has almost never been the case, and to the extent they do protect the rights of the people who live in them it’s at the expense of the people who don’t.
So one of the reasons why it’s important to pay particular attention to this issue, why we ought to resist the ridiculous formulation that singling out Israel at this moment is itself anti-Semitic is because its important to recognize that Israel is the state for reasons that are totally bound up with anti-Semitism, Israel is that state that insofar that it makes the claim that it’s right to exist is also making the claim for the nation-state’s right to exist.
Israel as a function of anti-Semitism has been put in the very position of protecting the nation-state. First and foremost it’s important to have solidarity with the Palestinian people, but second of all it’s important to have solidarity with the Jewish people insofar as they can and must be separated from the Israeli state.
Because ultimately the fate of the Jewish people if it is tied to this nation-state of Israel, will be more brutal than anything that can be done or has been imagined. I mean everything that you think you mean when I say that.
Obviously listen to the Youtube. If you are triggered by any of this, figure out why. I often wondered why all these powerful racist white supremacist world leaders support Israel. Israel as a concept, relies on many of the same fucked premises of these leaders. So America — Israel — Europe they are all bound up together. That is in fact why all free peoples of the world need to support the Palestinians.
This CNN interviewer is bullshit, but @mohammedelkurd keeps it so clear.
That’s it. Sending love to you all. These are hard times. These are liberation times. These are times to love on each other. Take good care of yourself.