mardi 24 avril 2012

More reflections on Makode Linde's cake

"Makode made the Culture Minister Liljeroth and her spectators laugh while cutting the cake, instead of showing empathy to the theme of FGM."

Did he ? Or did THEY laugh ? That is the problem. I asked him on his FB if there had been people leaving the room or not even entering it at all as a gesture of refusal to participate in the "performance". He replied that there had been all kinds of reactions, including one he said he "couldn't" describe (?). Now I can't see my post on his wall anymore.

"the black race that he also genetically belongs to".
He would if "race" had a genetic basis. It is dangerous to criticize pieces that have a racist aspect and at the same time not be careful about one's own representations...

But.... somehow I *think* (that's where my analysis of this has led me so far) that Makode's goal was not FGM, but rather to show "us" (and them ?) that racists are racists, ie that their racism makes them totally insensitive to its effects.

The "performance" appears like a "mise en abîme" (damn I don't know how to translate that) of the effects of racism, with a kind of cascading layering of reactions that reflect the multiplicity of possibilities, depending on one's background and knowledge. This is why the author of this article makes a difference between the African and the African-American reactions and also finds reasons to evoke Linde's own background.
The problem being, if Linde's goal was indeed to provoke that snapshot exposing the Whites' continuing racism, that he indeed did nothing "against" FGM.

But at the same time, it may have been a way of saying, "this is none of your business, let the Africans take care of it, you have put your nose in their business (their private parts) long enough, to the point of literally eating them up, and this has made things worse for them, not better, last time I noticed."

If that's what he has done, then it is interesting, but do they understand it ? That's the problem. But it is the problem with racism as a whole.
How do you make a racist aware of his/her racism ? Observers can see it, but the actor doesn't. That's exactly what that performance did, right ? A picture of that scene. So will the actors manage to step back to the observers' stance and see themselves being racist ?

1 commentaire:

  1. Here is Linde's exact reply:

    "some people found it very hard to watch or participate, some reacted in nervous laughter, and some reacted in other ways that i cant speak for... but i believe everyone reacted... and hopefully gave some thoughts to their reactions."