Founded in 2008, arts group Queer Rebel Productions has made it their mission to showcase queer artists of color and connect generations.
"We are a multi-generational, Queer Black and Asian artist-activist couple," explain co-directors Celeste Chan and KB Boyce, via email. "Queer Rebels is our lovechild: beautiful and rebellious, aesthetic and experimental, born from our experiences as people of color in punk and DIY scenes, and created with riotously gay love and joy."
In my last post, I explained my love for the new anthology Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Using personal narratives, empirical studies, and scholarly essays, over 40 different authors discuss the challenges faced by academic women of color in higher education. I emailed with Seattle University School of Law Professor Carmen G. Gonzalez about what it's like to put together such a meaty and long-overdue book.
How did the idea for this book come about?
CARMEN G. GONZALEZ: As women of color who have managed to survive and thrive in academia despite formidable obstacles, we (the co-editors of Presumed Incompetent) felt a need and a responsibility to create a public dialogue about the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of workplace bias women of color experience.
I'm a feminist and a high school English teacher in the south suburbs of Chicago. Last year, one of the students in my class was inspired to start a group for girls at our school and approached me about sponsoring it. Of course I agreed! A few weeks ago, we tackled the topic of positive female role models in pop culture. The high school students came up with a list of eight current, mainstream "feminist idols" they and their friends look up to.
The list is a good insight into what interests teen girls these days, as well as hopefully a helpful resource. We talk a lot about degrading and regrettable portrayals of women in media, here are eight actresses and comedians my high schoolers are excited about supporting.
1. Emma Stone: My students loved the movie Easy A, a modern film inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. In it, Emma Stone plays a high school student who tries to bring the book into her real life. The movie definitely has feminist undertones, but Stone herself is a major feminist. In a recent interview she did with her boyfriend Andrew Garfield, she was asked who her style icon was. After Garfield said he never got asked questions like that, Stone piped up, "You get asked interesting, poignant questions because you're a boy... It is sexism." Way to call out sexist media, Emma Stone!
Summer's winding down and those of us who are students are gearing up for another tough year. Even if you've been in school for years, something about the first few days always makes ya nervous–like summer camp, but perhaps with more sex, booze, and drama. It still feels like summer, so maybe you're not so motivated to get back into an academic mindset, but never fear, your lazy brain will make the change once it realizes that you're nose deep in work. Here are some songs about being back in school, being reunited with your besties, finding new friends, basking in the last days of freedom, and of course, school spirit (but not really). Tracklist after the jump!
I'll admit, I kind of fudged when I said this would be a three-part series about zine artists I love. Honestly, I could probably do a fifty part series on zine artists I love, then publish it as a memoir called Can I Be You? But I'm not doing that, and instead, I'm going to take a few minutes to tell you about something really important. A couple of weeks ago, you might have stopped by the Portland Zine Symposium (or any zine fest anywhere) and thought to yourself "Wow, there are a lot of white people here, where are all the zinesters of color?" Or at least, that's what I was thinking. I scoured the entire space looking for people of color only to find one table all alone, in the back of the warehouse. One amazing table, to be sure,, but I still left wishing for something more. I'd imagine Daniela Capistrano had some similar thoughts when she founded the People of Color Zine Project in 2010 in order to make zines by folks of color accessible, available, and distributable for all, because really, these things can be incredibly hard to find in such white dominated DIY, activist, and artist communities.
Cristy C. Road, a Miami-raised, Brooklyn-based, Cuban-American illustrator, writer, and of course, total dreamboat, is no stranger to DIY, punk, queer, zine, and activist communities all over the place, and certainly no stranger to the pages of Bitch magazine. You might recognize her work from covers of books such as We Don't Need Another Waveand The Revolution Starts at Home, or maybe you've caught her on tour with Sister Spit The Next Generation when they rolled through your town, or perhaps you've flipped through an issue or two of Green Zine, or you stole your ex's copy of Bad Habits, or you saw her band play in someone's basement, or maybe you've never heard of her at all, but basically, she's a big deal, not to mention a badass. This is what happened when I sat down for a chat with her on a sunny Friday morning, pajamas on, and breakfast in hand. Cristy shared her feelings about everything from her art, to astrology, to racial dynamics in radical communities, to cats and brunch. It's all here for you to read, so let's get started!
I first saw Tilly and the Wall some years ago at the Knitting Factory in New York. I had never been so immediately entranced by any band, nor had I ever seen so many feathers and balloons on a stage. They quickly became one of my favorites, but then one day, shortly after their Summer 2008 release O, they dropped off the face of the Earth. Whew, has it seriously been four years since we last heard from Tilly and the Wall? Yes, yes it has. So, needless to say, I actually yelped when I heard that Omaha's own stomping, tapping, clapping babes have a new album called Heavy Mood, being released on Team Love on October 2nd. "But but but, that's so long from now!" Well, good thing we have a couple of sweet new tracks to hold us over.
New songs, album tracklist, and tour dates after the jump!
The Visibility Project, a national portrait and video project seeking to bring presence and representation to the queer Asian and Pacific Islander communities, who we've featured on the blog, are looking for more folks to participate in New York until August 7th! They'll also be in Portland on August 11th! [The Visibility Project]
Portland update: The 12th annual Portland Zine Symposium is in two weeks! Come support local artists and all sorts of DIY awesomeness!
What have you been reading, musing, raging, or raving about this week? Share your thoughts in the comments!