Sorry for the terrible photo quality—I took this with my phone out the window of a car on the way to my acupuncture appointment the other day. I wanted to stop on the way back and get a better shot, but I was late getting the car back (I don't have my own but use the awesome City Car Share program when I can't bike or get somewhere on pubic transit), so I couldn't.
Here in Northeast Portland is a place called In Other Words Women's Books and Resources, a nonprofit bookstore founded in 1993. I've only lived in Portland for a year, so most of what I know I've learned from talking to people and reading news articles, like this.
A few nights ago I went to a screening of a short documentary called Moving In: A nonprofit feminist bookstore and the politics of place. The documentary, created by Dawn Jones (who's on the board of Bitch; photographed below), examines the bookstore's 2006 move, which resulted from being economically displaced from their original neighborhood, to a historically African-American neighborhood. The film is fantastic; you should see it if you have the opportunity.
I don't know what I should be doing or saying publicly about everything that's happening. Some voices in my head tell me to be quiet and make space; others tell me to stand up and scream. Some voices tell me it's pointless to try to do anything; others tell me I need to do anything and everything possible. Some voices tell me to focus on positive change; others tell me to keep fighting...
Toni Tabora-Roberts, one of Bitch's new Board members is facilitating this great event in Portland tomorrow afternoon where she will be talking to Roberta Wong, an artist who does installation pieces addressing identity, gender, race and politics, about her work in the current IFCC gallery show, RWONG Ideas.
Artist Tea: Roberta Wong talks with Toni Tabora-Roberts
If your idea of a media conference includes a focus on social justice, community building, and creative, participatory media, I strongly encourage you to attend the Allied Media Conference. June 20-June 22nd, in the incredible city of Detroit.
If ever there were a film that ought to be required viewing for the readers of Bitch, it would be Lisa F. Jackson's The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, which premiered on HBO last night. And not for the bleeding-heart liberal reasons that instantly spring to mind.
I haven't posted about either WAM or the rest of my trip east because, frankly, I haven't had time — I got back to Portland with a teetering pile of pre-production work about to fall off my already stacked-sky-high plate, and I'm still slogging through it. But I have been reading what others out there have had to say about their conference experiences, and it's a combination of unsurprising, enlightening, and depressing.
Among the postconference musings I read today were those of Blackamazon, one of which has started something of a...situation with Seal Press. Namely, the musing — which came at the end of a long and sort-of-unrelated-to-said-musing post — was "Fuck Seal Press," and the situation was that the ladies at Seal jumped in to defend themselves, with less than satisfactory results. And when I say "less than satisfactory," I mean for everyone.
A lot of discussion about WAM! is going on. Some of it's in public blogs, like here, and here, here, here, and here. (I know, that's a lazy way of linking, but I'm tired....) Also here. (OK, I promise I'll stop that.)
A lot of the discussion is also happening over email, and so it's not public. I've participated in some of this email discussion, but in the interest of being open about my perceptions, I'd like to mention some of the things I've written about in emails…
This was my first WAM! experience, so I have no direct points of comparison. In all honesty, I've outright avoided WAM! up until this year. Here's why...