Raise Hell

Today, I spent 12 hours listening, talking, thinking, and learning about present day activism. With today only being pre-conference, it was amazing to think of how inspiring and energetic the rest of the week would be. We defined black girl magic, strategized how to weave activism into the classroom, considered the transformation of women’s studies over the past 20-40 years, and discussed activism in the era of the 45th. The final kick off for the national women’s studies association conference was a keynote presentation with Alicia Garza and Angela Davis.

Seeing as I promise a new post every Thursday night, please excuse typos and I now have exactly 12 minutes to tell you 12 commonalities during the meets. I will expand next week once the conference as ended.

Self love/ care: minorities (of color, ableness, gender, etc.) Often do not see self love and care modeled within their community. As Angela Davis even commented, activists during her time spent their time solely on the movement and often making sacrifices when it came to food, family, etc. For black women, this is even more important in that we have this super woman stereotype/ weight on our shoulders to take care of everyone before ourselves.

Visibility: this is a challenge for many minorities and radicals. Finding a way to give voice to the marginalized and muted becomes challenging. However social media hashtags have helped bring life to things like black girl magic and black lives matter. However, many of the older feminist worry that there’s no substance in the hashtag/ trendy.

Art and words as tools: they’re in conversation with those who craft to give visuals to the movement.

Interdisciplinary: we have to remember that everything is interconnect. One teacher taught her science class by teaching them about Harriet Tubman!

Intersectionality: not the same as multi cultural. It’s recognizing different aspects of a person’s identity. For example, black and woman, and the life experience from that.

Freedom seekers: as opposed to saying slaves or the oppressed, positive word choice is a more acquire depiction of those groups.

Personality: you have to bring yourself to the space. Instead of coming in and trying to blend in, don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Context: learn your history… The world’s history answers so many questions for us.

Politics: our whole life is political. And it’s not about parties anymore, but what people stand for and what we’ll continue to accept or discard.

Comfort: real change comes from discomfort. Alicia Garza talked about how she’ll have meetings about things that matter and watch those on the opposite side get uncomfortable. “But I kinda just like watching them squirm… They act like it’s something new. We’ve been here the whole time, you just chose not to see us.”

Humility: Angela Davis reminded us of the importance of being Hubble enough to not be so ego centric and learn from the world. We don’t always have to be the first to speak. We need to listen more and learn from the successes of others.

Raising hell: Y’all… Davis, “if you don’t do the work, there will be no change. Now on the other hand, there’s no guarantee of change if you do the work. So work as if it’s going to change.”

 

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Wunderlust

After this summer, I know two things for sure: if you truly want something, it is yours to have, and also remain flexible, because you’ll never know where this world will take you. With a positive mindset and a good amount of stubbornness, I have no doubt that you can turn life’s unfortunate events into dreams. I had heard an artist say before that the most important thing to them was to “craft their life” and not just let it play. Being humans, we are creatures of habit and without a little bit of creativity or curiosity, we find ourselves stuck. Always question, always challenge, and always grow…for not all those who wander are lost.

Rest Your Mind

“Now that he was safe from the world outside he was being attacked from within his own head.” – Cal by Bernard Maclaverty, p.106.

The art process is very vulnerable and uncertain. Much of the time that I spend working alone is filled with doubts and negativity from my mind. Art involves so much self criticism that one become less bothered by others expectations. One of the things my professor tells students is to not forget what you do well. As a group, we spend more time attempting to perfect that which is already perfect. Let your mind rest and enjoy your days.

I’m Not An Artist Because I Enjoy Art

I’m not a painter because I like to paint. I’m not an artist because I love art pieces. I am an artist of various mediums because I like to learn, teach, observe, and communicate. When completing art, I learn about everything from how to mix paint from scratch to the construction of the human anatomy and the history of religious imagery to the importance of the direction of light. I am able to teach others about a new view point of the world while introducing color theory and composition. I feel at peace because of observation not because of the art. It’s widely mistaken that creating art is a peaceful task; however, it is the act of taking the time to closely analyze subject matter or allowing the hand to guide your work that is peace. And yet, at the core to all of this is communication: whether it be a mood or a movement, I hope to give a new experience or thought to someone. I don’t enjoy the ache and pain of being an artist, but I do enjoy the little moments in between when it’s just me, a blank surface, and time. It’s kind of like life: no one goes through it for the obstacles, just the little moments of bless, lessons, conversations, and observations.

-CDJ-

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Some Mistakes Are Good to Keep

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

I personally think that a lot of individuals have been taught to fear mistakes. As children, were were¬†rewarded for perfection, while condemned for mistakes. I think that it is important to look at the positive side of mistakes: learning to own one’s actions, reflecting for better future decisions, and gaining first hand knowledge about that specific event or action.

You can never be afraid to make a mistake. If you never try, you will never know. If you succeed, that is great. If you fail, that is just as great. Either way you will have learned something new.

The same goes for painting. If you allow yourself to be open to possibilities, you might venture down a path which will lead you to something more interesting than what you had previously imagined.