An artist's responsibility in times like this
Hi y'all. It's me, Bad Cat, and I'm back from All The Things. It's been a trying year, and its not over yet.
I worked at North Star Quest for Girls for two weeks in the Mattole River Valley, helping adolescent girls in Northern California to grow into intelligent, independent people who can challenge the the world standing strong. One of the mini-workshops I co-facilitated was The Bystander's Pledge. This is an easy activity, where campers participate in a discussion about what bullying is, what it looks like, and then they choose what they can commit to doing if they see someone being bullied. As always, it was inspiring, and recharging to be in a society created by women where people are heard, and respected. If you find yourself in a position where you would like to support NSQ, please check out northstarquest.org
And I just got back from CatCon2017 in Pasadena. It was wonderful to be in another mini society, where we are able to be as silly as we like, all for the love of cats. Some of my recent designs are downright strongly political in nature, and I found myself surprised that I had to explain to more than one person that I believe it is an artist's responsibility to create political and cultural discourse through artwork.
The events last weekend in Charlottesville are terrible, but provided a necessary window into the (not so) deep, dark soul of America. There are far too many people who cannot comprehend that institutionalized racism exists to the extent that it does. Wake up and open your eyes! It's okay if you feel you don't have a good grasp on the implications of racism and what you can do about it. Do better! It IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY to deconstruct these dominant paradigms and to challenge racist and discriminatory discourse. This has been going on for far longer than the Trump administration. Remember the Bystander's Pledge I mentioned in talking about NSQ? This is a good time to really think about what you are willing to do if you see someone being bullied or discriminated against. This kind of forethought is important, as it creates the neural pathways necessary for you to remember what to do when your limbic system tosses you into fight-or-flight territory. If you're white, this is where you do some research about what it looks like to use your white privilege to help in a discriminatory situation. It's ok to have no idea what to do at this point in time. It's NOT ok to do nothing, so do yourself a favor, and spend some time thinking and researching and deciding what you are capable of.
If you're interested in a good long read, check out Layla's discussion about what white women can do to actually make a difference. This is part 1, and go back in a couple days to check out part 2:
This is far from over, yall. RESIST. REBEL. REVOLT.