This post is simply to express my gratitude to the three artists whose images have accompanied my writing for Jacket2—Sandra de la Loza, Pato Hebert and Michelle Dizon—in these final weeks of my stint as a commentator. The presence of excerpts from their work in the header of each of my posts (like the company of writers and artists contributing to the vibrancy of this new incarnation of Jacket) gives me something to live up to each time I sit down to write. I often ask myself which conversations I most passionately want to inhabit, and how best to go about creating and/or entering the spaces of those conversations. When I consider work like Sandra’s, Pato’s and Michelle’s, I realize I am (at least some of the time) already in those conversations.
If you didn’t have a chance to explore some of the links in the sidebar text during the past months, please begin your investigations now! The current sidebar text features information on Michelle Dizon.
...even when we believe we have freedom to use whatever words we wish to use, that we have the entire lexicon of English, at least those of us who are Anglophone, at our disposal, and are able to express ourselves in whatever ways we wish to (all of us who live in the so-called liberal democracies, that is), much of the language we work with is already preselected and limited, by fashion, by cultural norms—by systems that shape us such as gender and race—by what’s acceptable. By order, logic, and rationality. (M. NourbeSe Philip, from Zong!)