Photo
medievalpoc:

aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Unknown artist, possibly of the Brazilian School
Black Artist Completing a Portrait of a White Female Aristocrat
Brazil (early 1700s)
Oil on canvas
Philadelphia private collection
[x], [x]
I was thrilled at first to see this image - a pre-modern Black woman artist, portrayed at work! But then I saw this:
Although this black artist appears to be wearing a dress, it is likely to be a male figure. As the scholar Sheldon Cheek explains, the artist wears an earring and a silver collar, both common articles worn by black male servants/slaves in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the collar traditionally indicating slave status. Women rarely, if ever, wore the silver collar. The artist also appears to be wearing a silver “shackle” on the arm.
Ugh. Pretty awful.

I think we should all be pretty critical of what’s written about this painting. Especially the part you’ve quoted above about how they have assigned the gender of the artist in the painting. I find it bizarre that something that is supposed to indicate enslaved status (not gender) somehow trumps this person wearing women’s clothing (that’s also a woman’s hat to the best of my knowledge).
The Americas, including Brazil, have a long tradition of transgender and third gender people. This is one of those images from the past that falls quite easily through the cracks because it is a collection of “exceptions”; it doesn’t fit nicely into categories that have been created and therefore, it’s more or less ignored.
If anyone’s hesitant to be critical, maybe you should also note that both the articles linked above make claims that slavery in Brazil was “less harsh” than other places. What???
How many of our assumptions are being projected onto this painting? Are the “contradictions” present in it a product of the painting itself, or is the problem with the categories we try to place it in? How many layers do we have to fight uphill through when we even look at this image? After all, History teaches us:
women weren’t artists
Black people weren’t artists
Black people were enslaved
Enslaved people didn’t do anything of worth
Transgender, genderqueer and third gender people didn’t exist before the 1960s
white people control how Black images are perceived, but not the other way around
gender must be immediately perceivable and fit into our categories of “male” and “female”
^ So this is the baggage we bring with us when we look at this image. We look at this painting, and we actively search for indicators that allow us to continue to believe the above assumptions.
If we take away those assumptions, if we try to move past them and see this portrait with new eyes, what are we left with? Whose History do we see here? Maybe it’s mine; maybe it’s yours.

medievalpoc:

aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Unknown artist, possibly of the Brazilian School

Black Artist Completing a Portrait of a White Female Aristocrat

Brazil (early 1700s)

Oil on canvas

Philadelphia private collection

[x], [x]

I was thrilled at first to see this image - a pre-modern Black woman artist, portrayed at work! But then I saw this:

Although this black artist appears to be wearing a dress, it is likely to be a male figure. As the scholar Sheldon Cheek explains, the artist wears an earring and a silver collar, both common articles worn by black male servants/slaves in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the collar traditionally indicating slave status. Women rarely, if ever, wore the silver collar. The artist also appears to be wearing a silver “shackle” on the arm.

Ugh. Pretty awful.

I think we should all be pretty critical of what’s written about this painting. Especially the part you’ve quoted above about how they have assigned the gender of the artist in the painting. I find it bizarre that something that is supposed to indicate enslaved status (not gender) somehow trumps this person wearing women’s clothing (that’s also a woman’s hat to the best of my knowledge).

The Americas, including Brazil, have a long tradition of transgender and third gender people. This is one of those images from the past that falls quite easily through the cracks because it is a collection of “exceptions”; it doesn’t fit nicely into categories that have been created and therefore, it’s more or less ignored.

If anyone’s hesitant to be critical, maybe you should also note that both the articles linked above make claims that slavery in Brazil was “less harsh” than other places. What???

How many of our assumptions are being projected onto this painting? Are the “contradictions” present in it a product of the painting itself, or is the problem with the categories we try to place it in? How many layers do we have to fight uphill through when we even look at this image? After all, History teaches us:

  • women weren’t artists
  • Black people weren’t artists
  • Black people were enslaved
  • Enslaved people didn’t do anything of worth
  • Transgender, genderqueer and third gender people didn’t exist before the 1960s
  • white people control how Black images are perceived, but not the other way around
  • gender must be immediately perceivable and fit into our categories of “male” and “female”

^ So this is the baggage we bring with us when we look at this image. We look at this painting, and we actively search for indicators that allow us to continue to believe the above assumptions.

If we take away those assumptions, if we try to move past them and see this portrait with new eyes, what are we left with? Whose History do we see here? Maybe it’s mine; maybe it’s yours.

Photoset

agent-sif:

Ladies of the MCU in action.

(via kateordie)

Photoset

the-dark-city:

"North By Northwest" (1959) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock

(Source: yocalio)

Quote
"Don’t get too high and mighty, ladies. Don’t step out of line. Don’t do anything to upset or disappoint men who feel entitled to your time, bodies, affection or attention. Your bared body can always be used as a weapon against you. You bared body can always be used to shame and humiliate you. Your bared body is at once desired and loathed."

Roxane Gay: The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 is just the beginning (via guardian)

I wrote this

(via roxanegay)

(Source: theguardian.com, via machinery)

Photo
theorlandojones:

As we wrap up this terrible week and weekend some final thoughts before I get my black ass back to work tomorrow to fight fictional demons instead of feeling powerless against the real ones —
Although he wasn’t by any means a close personal friend, the death of Robin Williams affected by greatly. Working with him and David Duchovny on the film House of D was a privilege and seeing how he treated everyone he encountered regardless of race, class, gender or orientation remains a hopeful reminder that genuine kindness and empathy does exist in the world. Whatever the ultimate reasons for his decision to take his own life I pray for him, his family and all who suffer from the unrelenting grasp of depression and substance abuse. By shining his light on us all for the period of time he did, I am 100% certain that Robin left this world a better place than he entered it with a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.
That said, if we spent even a fraction of the time given to the tributes about Robin and the late Lauren Bacall also remembering the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford or Dante Parker (the 5 unarmed black men killed by police just in the past month) or honestly looked at the data about how often police shoot unarmed black men and women in this country we would all hang our collective heads in shame.
In the midst of thousands upon thousands of peaceful protesters who came out demanding answers and marching for justice with the powerful and heartbreaking refrain Hands Up. Don’t Shoot. the actions of a small few in Ferguson (many of whom were anarchists that intentionally came into the city to stir up trouble and perhaps a few others from the community who had simply reached their breaking point in the face of racial, economic and social injustice) gave the white power structure the cover to quickly change the narrative to one about the violence in the city (in reality almost entirely perpetrated by the militarized police rather than the demonstrators) instead of the murder of an unarmed teenager by a cop who “never meant for this to happen" (and don’t even get me started on that fuckery which should instead read "a cop who never meant to be held accountable").
In this way, a PROTEST became a RIOT. Images of demonstrators THROWING BACK tear gas canisters launched at them became stories of rioters throwing molotov cocktails AT THE POLICE (and yes I am aware of media reports showing that molotov cocktails were in fact used by protesters in some instances but not in the way that it was ultimately spun). And the police released incendiary and ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT information about Michael Brown that the media lapped up because it reinforced the all too familiar trope that “the violent black dude was a thug who got what he deserved”.
Black victims are regularly eyed with suspicion and contempt (and ultimately deemed responsible for what happened to them) while the media too often generates headlines that exhibit an air of disbelief at an alleged white killer’s supposed actions.
Even in our outrage at what happened at this week and the necessity for our voices to be heard so this story is not swept under the rug, we all know something like this will happen again. And again. And again.
Until each of us (black, white, brown, etc) demands accountability from our elected officials we will get the country we deserve. Tweeting is not enough. Feeling bad is not enough. Acting like we’re overreacting and it can’t really be that bad makes you an accessory after the fact (not to mention an asshole). 
Which is why, as the GIF above shows, I’m giving America a down vote.
So how can we stop feeling powerless? What can we actually do?
Honestly, there are people much smarter than me who can do a better job of answering that question.
But trying to answer that question for myself is a large part of why I do what I do for a living. Because representation matters. Because being in control of our own stories empowers us to show a wide range of depictions of blackness and “otherness” (shockingly, not only do we not all LOOK ALIKE but we also don’t all THINK ALIKE) that are far more interesting than what we’ve been spoon fed in the past. I’m the first to admit that we’ve still got A LONG WAY TO GO and that’s where you all come in.
Although my engagement in fandom is embraced by some and side-eyed by others, these spaces of interaction may in fact play one of the most significant roles in the future of media and representation as we know it. At the very least it will create a future generation of professional storytellers (and social justice advocates) who were raised in the trenches of Live Journal, Tumblr, ao3 and other platforms currently in use or yet to be created.
I know this is your turf and even though there are times some of you wish I’d go away I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to interact with you here.
Together, we can make a difference.
Trollando out.

theorlandojones:

As we wrap up this terrible week and weekend some final thoughts before I get my black ass back to work tomorrow to fight fictional demons instead of feeling powerless against the real ones —

Although he wasn’t by any means a close personal friend, the death of Robin Williams affected by greatly. Working with him and David Duchovny on the film House of D was a privilege and seeing how he treated everyone he encountered regardless of race, class, gender or orientation remains a hopeful reminder that genuine kindness and empathy does exist in the world. Whatever the ultimate reasons for his decision to take his own life I pray for him, his family and all who suffer from the unrelenting grasp of depression and substance abuse. By shining his light on us all for the period of time he did, I am 100% certain that Robin left this world a better place than he entered it with a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

That said, if we spent even a fraction of the time given to the tributes about Robin and the late Lauren Bacall also remembering the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford or Dante Parker (the 5 unarmed black men killed by police just in the past month) or honestly looked at the data about how often police shoot unarmed black men and women in this country we would all hang our collective heads in shame.

In the midst of thousands upon thousands of peaceful protesters who came out demanding answers and marching for justice with the powerful and heartbreaking refrain Hands Up. Don’t Shoot. the actions of a small few in Ferguson (many of whom were anarchists that intentionally came into the city to stir up trouble and perhaps a few others from the community who had simply reached their breaking point in the face of racial, economic and social injustice) gave the white power structure the cover to quickly change the narrative to one about the violence in the city (in reality almost entirely perpetrated by the militarized police rather than the demonstrators) instead of the murder of an unarmed teenager by a cop who “never meant for this to happen" (and don’t even get me started on that fuckery which should instead read "a cop who never meant to be held accountable").

In this way, a PROTEST became a RIOT. Images of demonstrators THROWING BACK tear gas canisters launched at them became stories of rioters throwing molotov cocktails AT THE POLICE (and yes I am aware of media reports showing that molotov cocktails were in fact used by protesters in some instances but not in the way that it was ultimately spun). And the police released incendiary and ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT information about Michael Brown that the media lapped up because it reinforced the all too familiar trope that “the violent black dude was a thug who got what he deserved”.

Black victims are regularly eyed with suspicion and contempt (and ultimately deemed responsible for what happened to them) while the media too often generates headlines that exhibit an air of disbelief at an alleged white killer’s supposed actions.

Even in our outrage at what happened at this week and the necessity for our voices to be heard so this story is not swept under the rug, we all know something like this will happen again. And again. And again.

Until each of us (black, white, brown, etc) demands accountability from our elected officials we will get the country we deserve. Tweeting is not enough. Feeling bad is not enough. Acting like we’re overreacting and it can’t really be that bad makes you an accessory after the fact (not to mention an asshole). 

Which is why, as the GIF above shows, I’m giving America a down vote.

So how can we stop feeling powerless? What can we actually do?

Honestly, there are people much smarter than me who can do a better job of answering that question.

But trying to answer that question for myself is a large part of why I do what I do for a living. Because representation matters. Because being in control of our own stories empowers us to show a wide range of depictions of blackness and “otherness” (shockingly, not only do we not all LOOK ALIKE but we also don’t all THINK ALIKE) that are far more interesting than what we’ve been spoon fed in the past. I’m the first to admit that we’ve still got A LONG WAY TO GO and that’s where you all come in.

Although my engagement in fandom is embraced by some and side-eyed by others, these spaces of interaction may in fact play one of the most significant roles in the future of media and representation as we know it. At the very least it will create a future generation of professional storytellers (and social justice advocates) who were raised in the trenches of Live Journal, Tumblr, ao3 and other platforms currently in use or yet to be created.

I know this is your turf and even though there are times some of you wish I’d go away I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to interact with you here.

Together, we can make a difference.

Trollando out.

(via allheadybooks)

Photo

(Source: msavignon, via seananmcguire)

Photo
spitecho:

Purrpetual motion

spitecho:

Purrpetual motion

(Source: emedemabri, via theadventuresofmichaelpawlak)

Photoset

guidedbygandalf:

nateswinehart:

Being good to each other is so important, guys.

This is so relevant to my feelings lately, guys.

(via maryrobinette)

Photo
eschergirls:


maplepoutine submitted:






This is not really an Escher Girl, but the LoL cinematic trailer submission on this page made me think of this screencap of an FF XV trailer.  Notice how every male character have textured, realist skin while the two female characters have perfect pale skin with makeup on.

This reminds me of a previous post where somebody brought up the lack of wrinkles or facial creases of any kind on a woman character in a League of Legends trailer, and I also posted a picture of the male and female faces in Batman: Arkham City as another example where female faces must be devoid of any lines (even expression lines) while male faces can have all sorts of interesting features and details, and can be exaggerated to give more character to the faces.

This isn’t just about women having to be portrayed as eternally young, or how women’s standards for beauty are so tied with having no lines on our faces, but it’s also incredibly limiting when designing and portraying female characters.  If all your female characters always have to have smooth round faces, no wrinkles, etc (and often big eyes and pouty lips too), then it’s going to be that much harder to try to make them look different than each other.  And if they also aren’t allowed to show lines on their faces for expressions, then it’s going to limit the range of their expression too, or they’re going to end up with a weird doll look when you do have them emote.  The point is, it can end up creating a very limited box for female character visuals, and creating characters that all look very similarly, even if you really don’t mean to. And that in turn limits how much information you can convey about those characters, visually.

eschergirls:

This is not really an Escher Girl, but the LoL cinematic trailer submission on this page made me think of this screencap of an FF XV trailer.  Notice how every male character have textured, realist skin while the two female characters have perfect pale skin with makeup on.

This reminds me of a previous post where somebody brought up the lack of wrinkles or facial creases of any kind on a woman character in a League of Legends trailer, and I also posted a picture of the male and female faces in Batman: Arkham City as another example where female faces must be devoid of any lines (even expression lines) while male faces can have all sorts of interesting features and details, and can be exaggerated to give more character to the faces.

This isn’t just about women having to be portrayed as eternally young, or how women’s standards for beauty are so tied with having no lines on our faces, but it’s also incredibly limiting when designing and portraying female characters.  If all your female characters always have to have smooth round faces, no wrinkles, etc (and often big eyes and pouty lips too), then it’s going to be that much harder to try to make them look different than each other.  And if they also aren’t allowed to show lines on their faces for expressions, then it’s going to limit the range of their expression too, or they’re going to end up with a weird doll look when you do have them emote.  The point is, it can end up creating a very limited box for female character visuals, and creating characters that all look very similarly, even if you really don’t mean to. And that in turn limits how much information you can convey about those characters, visually.

Photoset