[iDC] Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

"Ana L. Valdés" agora at algonet.se
Tue Apr 18 19:16:32 EDT 2006

Interesting with Black Atlantic and the discussion about a black culture 
based on the displaced, on the black diaspora. I find Gilroy theses a 
bit problematic and  I don't find  in his work  a  "literary approach".  
The narrative of the black and of the hybrides, "les metisses" as 
formulated by Aimé Cesaire, René Glissant and Derek Walcott, is a very 
powerful tool in the making of a own identity, the "negritude" as a 
confirmation of a broken identity, a "nomadic subject", in Rosi 
Braidottis words.
But maybe the problem is the different realities in the US and in West 
India and Antilles. Or the lack of an entity called "blacks". As little 
we can speak about "whites". The cathegories of witheness and blackness 
are not mirror images, the one has a normative value, the other is only 
perceived as a "lacking".
In Frantz Fanons book "Black Skin, White Masks" it's easy to see the 
patterns of the shattered ego who is not longer a black but either a 
white, rejected by the hegemonic society and concieved as a traitor for 
his own.
I think it's the dilemma today of all reading of a postcolonial 
situation, from which perspective we do the reading, are we using what 
Serge Gruzinski call the "Mestizo Mind" or are we exercing the need of 
labeling and classification than  Modernity imposed upon us?
I try to applicate Bachtins analyse and search and hear the polyphonic 
in the discourse.

Danny Butt skrev:
> On 19/04/2006, at 6:20 AM, Christiane Robbins @ Jetztzeit wrote:
>> With that said, my on-going hope is that we can acknowledge our 
>> role(s) and move forward on these issues - rather than covert assume 
>> that their shelf life convieniently expired in 2001.
> Absolutely! Part of the difficulty with these discussions on new media 
> lists is the uneasy feeling in the "room" when the discussions come 
> up. So if you have an interest in the issues you're always torn 
> between a) wanting to forward those issues in a new media space that 
> you know should respond to them if it's not going to repeat some of 
> the more egregious errors of the historical avant-gardes, versus b) 
> having the conversation in places where you're going to feel 
> recognised and where one can learn something. [Or, for people whose 
> stakes in the discussion are higher than mine, there might also be the 
> feeling that the "new media community" is not a particularly safe 
> place to have the discussion.]  "Identity politics" was an 
> unfortunately skilful framing of the uneasy feeling from predominantly 
> white-male US academia that seems to have found resonance in other 
> settler cultures (e.g. the Antipodes, and the "new media frontier"). 
> The question of the subject is not an individual question.
> With that said, I'm grateful that this discussion is better than what 
> we can expect on nettime - thanks Trebor!
> Paul brought up the word "literacy" before, and from my POV this is 
> what it comes down to. When the new media scene can have a discussion 
> about gender and race to the level of sophistication that we are used 
> to in other parts of the cultural sector - or optimistically, even 
> more so - then everyone is going to feel a lot better. This would mean 
> that Paul Gilroy's argument about black Atlantic culture as a 
> "counterculture of modernity" can be discussed with the facility that 
> we can talk about Benjamin - *particularly* if we want to then have a 
> conversation about "remix culture" within the broad parameters of 
> Euro-US modernism. A conversation about the remix unmarked by Gilroy's 
> material (if not his argument) is fake and boring. Eduardo, this is 
> nothing to do with "desperately separating things into categories". 
> It's about having some accountability to the cultural forms we engage 
> with as we do "theory" (or practice).
> The literacy trope is useful because it implies the reading and 
> writing of texts. In my experience new media discourse, as befits its 
> Euro-US modernist roots, is particularly invested in reading a wide 
> range of cultural texts without the capability to write in them. This 
> is not to say that to read hip-hop and Hannah Höch, say, as examples 
> of a more general "remix" methodology is always a bad idea. But when 
> your work is being assessed within a particular community of practice 
> the "general" (remix) is quite often less useful than something more 
> specific (hip-hop). Or that one's ability to articulate the specific 
> might be a precondition of having one's global generalities do useful 
> work somewhere. This is a simple question of sustainability and not 
> reinventing wheels.
> John, I appreciate your sensitive discussion of Jamaican music, and 
> that your your query about "innovative non-eurocentric new media 
> artists" (would we have consensus on "innovation?") is motivated by a 
> desire to see the discussion move forward pragmatically. But I have to 
> say that laundry lists of "non-Eurocentric media artists" are part of 
> the problem, not the solution. They become things that can be 
> name-checked as examples of non-Euro practices and this leads to 
> tokenism - not that tokenism is always worse than silence. FWIW, an 
> upcoming issue of Leonardo has pieces on the issue from myself and 
> others. But rather than looking for the marginal, it's more valuable, 
> I think, to precisely have a conversation about the *centre* of new 
> media discourse and its investment in particular 
> racial/ethnic/gendered/cultural norms.
> Manovich the "media biologist"'s comment - asking for "proof" that 
> social factors are at play in media change - is asking for "proof" 
> that the few decades of feminist and anti-racist studies of science 
> (and, implicitly, media culture) apply to him. This is a gendered, 
> racial position, and it makes me fucking angry. I think that a "new 
> media discourse" that can routinely include Haraway's work from the 
> 80s in its readers should be able to do a better job at not letting 
> Manovich make a mockery of that entire tradition. That's what I think 
> we should be able to talk about. And if we can have that conversation, 
> then I think we make our discourse more interesting and more the kind 
> of place where people who can have sophisticated discussions about 
> race and gender issues might spend their time.
> Regards,
> Danny
> -- 
> http://www.dannybutt.net
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