vendredi 20 avril 2012

A racist cake by Makode Linde

This "thing", if not disgust, might bring discussion among people who know what they are talking about. 

That is the problem. What about those, (like the people in the room) who don't know a thing ?

Here is my take on this... 
It seems to me that Africans have been objectified enough so that one doesn't have to add another layer of it (in the form of cake and distasteful charcoal chocolate glazing). 

This is obviously not offensive to the "whites" in the room, they are obviously not laughing out of "embarrassment".

If only they could leave Sarah Baartman alone... Even after 150 years, they won't let her soul rest.

Also, it is yet another misconception from the west (even though the artist is "black") to think that excision is practiced only in Africa (as if it was something "reserved" for the black woman's body). It is also practiced in other countries. The art piece and artist may have as a goal to denounce excision, but in the end the accused will be the “black” man/ African / Muslim man (as always).

His performance deliberately concentrates racist representations... To "provoke", they say.

Sarah Baartman is the archetype of the African women being used, exploited, dissected, "eaten" up by white society at "tea time", for entertainment.

It is quite obvious, and if it is not, then it is part of the analysis of that art object... there obviously are references to other objects, and in that very case, the "Afromantics" the artist refers to cannot be without the very "character" of Sarah Baartman... the "invented" African woman at the period during which race-ism became racism and romanticism was at its peak. She was not representative of the average African woman and yet she became “her” in the eyes of Europeans.

Cuvier (a French naturalist) and others had her put in different jars, in particular her genitalia. As you preserve vegetables. Or herbs. Or medicine. As if they hoped that somehow they could later on get some kind of aphrodisiac out of it. It was already gravitating around the "private" (how private, right ?!) parts of the African woman.
It is still. To "preserve" it -they say-, again (African female genitals are very precious to the white man it seems). But now they are invited to eat it and they do...

The confusion and disturbance around this piece of "art" comes from the confusion it contains in itself.

It certainly hasn't achieve anything as far as female genital mutilation or racism. As yet.

Let's just hope discussions around it will bring up real arguments, discussions and elements of history that will not be dismissed with a "no repentance" 
instead of will to learn and take responsibility in the present.

I am not sure that most light-skinned people "can" (that is have enough knowledge and will, because "white" societies haven't taught them how to) really grasp what behind this. It is not going to be "a piece of cake", for sure, to turn around centuries of racist ideology with a such a piece of cake.

1 commentaire:

  1. An interesting perspective.