Playing The Whore: The Work of Sex Work
Disclaimer, borrowed from Autostraddle:
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I once got into an argument with two white men over race on the internet. That's not the beginning of a joke, it's just a shitty thing that happened to me. I've since learned my lesson about how "social justice" is deployed online, but at the time it seemed important to engage these two white men in dialogue around their problematic statements.
Perhaps because David Austin's Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex and Security in Sixties Montreal is the first of its kind, it has, ambitiously, set out to accomplish a great deal.
An academic text whose title recalls the classic 1990 Public Enemy album Fear of a Black Planet, it aims to provide a viable counter-history of Black Power and Black liberation organizing in 1960s Montreal -- a topic left mostly untouched by Canadian history.
Min Sook Lee describes the multimedia installation she helped to curate, Milagros for Migrants, as "an organic meeting of two artistic practices." We're having lunch at Oakham House Cafe on the campus of Ryerson University, where the exhibit is housed. To her left sits her artistic collaborator and academic advisor, Deborah Barndt. While we wait for salads, Barndt tells me that they have worked together in the past on similar projects, and have overlapping interests when it comes to academia and activism.
"We have a common passion for art and politics and thinking about how art can be used to educate and organize around migrant worker justice. I've done a lot of work around labour in the food system over the years," she says.
Within our capitalist heteropatriarchial cultural imaginary, masculinity figures as a sort of psychomachia. This is to say, masculinity has proven itself to be a double-edged sword in resisting the hierarchies of power and privilege that are so destructive to our humanity. As a cis, queer woman of color, who is femme by choice, I have been shaped by my own experience of the masculine in ways that have profoundly changed me.
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Chief Theresa Spence is now on Day 13 of her hunger strike. Too weak to leave the teepee she is living in on Victoria Island, a mere stone's throw from Parliament, she called for a round dance yesterday at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Prime Minister Harper's residence.
Guillermo Martinez de Velasco has news for you: you are probably implicated in racism, even if you think you are not. The Cultural Studies major at Concordia University in Montreal said as much in an article he published last month for The Daily, a student newspaper at McGill, where he is taking a course this semester.
The article itself was not groundbreaking, as critical race theorists have been making the same claim for some time. The veritable firestorm of reactions it touched off, however, confirm the sad truth that to this day we are more afraid of being accused of racism than of its destructive effects or our complicity in it.
Last week, a number of media professionals of colour answered the call to deconstruct the realities of living in a raced body while working in media when the Ryerson University Black History Awareness Committee hosted a panel discussion -- "Black Out: Who's Missing in Media" -- at the Rogers Communication Centre on campus. Dominique Bennett, a Ryerson student and aspiring media entrepreneur, moderated the event.
My friend Abdulle Elmi was killed in July. He was a victim in one of the shootings that took place in Toronto this summer. We were friends, but I never got the chance to meet Abdulle.
We knew each other exclusively through the Internet. We had a digital friendship without a single in-person interaction to back it up. I think about that now after his death. It seems surreal.