“James Luna often uses his body as a means to critique the objectification of Native American cultures in Western museum and cultural displays. He dramatically calls attention to the exhibition of Native American peoples and Native American cultural objects in his Artifact Piece, 1985-87. For the performance piece Luna donned a loincloth and lay motionless on a bed of sand in a glass museum exhibition case. Luna remained on exhibit for several days, among the Kumeyaay exhibits at the Museum of Man in San Diego. Labels surrounding the artist’s body identified his name and commented on the scars on his body, attributing them to “excessive drinking.” Two other cases in the exhibition contained Luna’s personal documents and ceremonial items from the Luiseño reservation.
Many museum visitors as they approached the “exhibit” were stunned to discover that the encased body was alive and even listening and watching the museum goers. In this way the voyeuristic gaze of the viewer was returned, redirecting the power relationship.
Through the performance piece Luna also called attention to a tendency in Western museum displays to present Native American cultures as extinct cultural forms. Viewers who happened upon Luna’s exhibition expecting a museum presentation of native American cultures as “dead,” were shocked by the living, breathing, “undead” presence of the luiseño artist in the display. Luna in Artifact Piece places his body as the object of display in order to disrupt the modes of representation in museum exhibitions of native others and to claim subjectivity for the silenced voices eclipsed in these displays. “
OH GOD I WANT TO PLAY
I WANT TO PLAY
BEST GAME EVER OMG!
“I work at the library. Today I was feeling bored and frustrated, and I wanted to shave off most of my hair. But then I realized that it would be a bad idea because this thing on top is making me super happy.”
“Do you often do fun things with your hair?”
“I used to dye it a bunch of colors. It was pink, it was blue, it was purple. I always loved it, little kids loved it, and really old ladies loved it. Usually it was parents who didn’t really like happy hair.”
“That’s interesting. Yesterday I saw a lady, probably in her 90s, who had pink hair.”
“That will be me one day. I’m actually sad that my hair isn’t going gray or white because then I could dye it a bright color a lot more easily.”
“Tell me something about your work at the library.”
“I feel very fortunate because I work for a great university, and I have access to all this amazing research. However, not everyone is so lucky. This week there is a global event called Open Access Week. It promotes the idea that academic journals and papers should be free and open to everyone, and scholars and universities across the world should be able to freely share information. There is a lot of talk, but it’s frustrating that smaller institutions often can’t afford subscriptions to many academic journals. I have a friend who is teaching at a public university in Florida, and her university is starting an Asian American Studies program but doesn’t have any money for it. So now they have a program, but they can’t get any new material. It would be great if it was open access, so someone teaching at a small school, who has students who really want to learn about something, wouldn’t have to pay $100 for a single article.”
Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion."
This is accurate and extremely well-said and 100% more coherent than I could ever be, although I will try to keep the phrasing of that whole first paragraph in mind.
In fiction about near-future space travel, there is sometimes a scene that makes a character relatable by showing that they have decorated their small personal space with mementos and souvenirs. This is almost such an image. The character is Karen Nyberg, PhD, a mechanical engineer whose work concentrates on thermodynamics, especially of space suits. She misses her son, who is back on Terra with his father, also an astronaut. The almost is because this is not fiction: Dr Nyberg is real, and really took this photograph. As I write this, she is 475 km over the South Pacific; she tweeted a photo of Turkey three hours ago.
This kind of thing is one reason I am unsympathetic to the “We were promised jetpacks” refrain (previously and passim). We have a space station. It is a little bit mundane because real things become that way. More satellites look down than look up because we’re down here. I have many strong opinions about what we aren’t doing in space that we should be (and vice versa), but Dr Nyberg’s cabin reminds me that, ambitious as I am, I can be grateful for what we have today.
I struck up a conversation with him, and he casually mentioned that he was having trouble adjusting to Columbia, due to his “previous situation.” So I asked him to elaborate.
"I was born in Egypt," he said. "I worked on a farm until 3rd grade with no education. I came to the US for one year, started 4th grade, but was pulled out because my father couldn’t find work and returned to Egypt for a year. The first time I went to an actual school was middle school, but the whole school was in one classroom, and I was working as a delivery boy to help the family. It was illegal for me to be working that young, but I did. When I finally got into high school, my house burned down. We moved into a Red Cross Shelter, and the only way we could live there is if we all worked as volunteers. I got through high school by watching every single video on Khan Academy, and teaching myself everything that I had missed during the last nine years. Eventually I got into Queens College. I went there for two years and I just now transferred to Columbia on a scholarship provided by the New York Housing Association for people who live in the projects. It’s intimidating, because everyone else who goes to Columbia went to the best schools, and have had the best education their entire lives."
This is a list I made for YALSA’s The Hub on the wide range of YA literature featuring LGBTQ characters. See the full post and a downloadable pdf here.
America, we are a great nation.
Greatness is not goodness.
Greatness is not the lack of gruesome failure.
Greatness is not liberty and justice for all.
Greatness is less useful. It’s the ability to find solutions within problems. It’s the ability to, after it’s too late, after the irreparable…
I’ll just leave this here. (via Corgi-thulhu by ~AlizarinJen on deviantART)
this is the cutest fucking martial arts class demonstration I’ve ever seen
when she was running to him omg<333
Can’t stop watching.
I was informed by the Mansplaining Brigade tonight that “man” is not a gendered word in the English language.
Great, so your mother is a man then? Lesbianism is man-on-man love? Don’t you dare say “well obviously I only meant sometimes”. I’m not psychic; your use of “man” doesn’t come with a…
but people who get all ‘think of the children!’ when you mention putting queer characters in kids shows piss me off so much
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