…and who has experienced unfair projections from other people. This message is for you:
Y’all know the tagline for this blog is ‘Decolonising my mind’. Well I just came across – and was reminded of – this work by my beautiful sister in law, Torika Bolatagici:
Torika is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne where she teaches contemporary theory and practice. Her PhD ‘Somatic Sotia: Commodity, Agency and the Fijian Military Body’ was recently submitted for examination at the School of Art and Design, University of New South Wales.
Torika works across a range of media, including photography, video and mixed media site-specific installation. Her interdisciplinary practice investigates the relationship between visual culture, human ecology, postcolonial counternarrative and visual historiography of the Black Pacific. She is interested in exploring the tensions and intersections between gender, embodied knowledge, commodification, migration and globalization.
Her work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Yogyakarta and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local and international conferences and symposia about the representation of mixed-race identity; Pacific arts practice in Australia and Fiji; representations of teachers and teaching in cinema; and gender and militarism in the Pacific.
More on Torika and her work HERE.
I love this Tumblr note from Franchesca Ramsey, aka hugely successful web content creator/entertainer/public commentator who centres discussions about racism in her work. In it, she gives a shoutout to the viral video that launched her career (“Shit white girls say… to Black girls”) and talks about a mistake she made in the video in regards to equating being Jewish to being white, and casual antisemitism.
It’s an honest mea culpa about learning and accountability, and I respect that! Read it in full HERE.
“Thanks again for rocking with me all these years & being brave enough to let me know when I fuck up. Here’s to creating more space to grow in the new year.”
I just wanted to share with you this YouTube channel, which I “discovered” the other day and look forward to seeing grow. Titled ‘Afro Dance’, it aims to bring subscribers the highest quality dance videos within the afrobeats scene. I’m using dance as pain relief these days – a way to loosen and work out the knots and tightness in my upper body that inevitably accrues with wheelchair use. So these kinds of clips are my aerobics videos.
Here are two of my favourite routines so far – published in the last few months:
Love seeing a Black Woman and Black Man working together flawlessly…
…and a dark-skinned Black Woman slaying so hard.
“I’m right here, baby!” – me.
Still in holiday mode, stuck in Melbourne but listening to island music to transport me away. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate PNG/Melanesian Men Musicians for the number of love songs about Tolai* Women that exist. REPRESENTATION! Black Love is still strong in the Pacific. And of course ALL Melanesian Women are worthy of a million songs dedicated to their magic.
I am curious as to whether other regions in the world manifest this phenomena; the practice of lyrically identifying the ethnic group of the woman being sung too? It only just occurred to me that this might seem odd or inappropriate to outsiders.
That said, I love this track 🙂 ‘Ayo Meri Tolai’ by Dezine. I’m windin’ to it to wake up my body this morning…
*I am a Tolai Woman.
I really adore this video clip for Frenna directed by AZAD WASTARA; specifically the shots that capture THE PEOPLE, colours, and other sensual impressions of this place so well!
I believe it was filmed in Ghana (there’s a shot of Kiki Bees’s, which is in Ghana). Trying to find information on who the cinematographer was.
And daydreaming of filming in Melanesia…
Last year, this was my simple resolution, set out in the post ‘New Year Resolution: Pure Connection‘:
After several years of trauma and clinically healing from it in 2015, in 2016 I needed to practice remembering I am never alone and that everyone and everything I need (and that is for me), I am connected to; I just needed to let go and align with presence.
This resolution was successful 🙂
So I am doing it again in 2017, with this addendum:
I will love and cultivate my body, without conditions.
Starting today with a BIG healthy breakfast, yoga posture exercises, cardio + strength workout session, and afro hair pampering session.
Other than that I’m going to work on being responsible and stable, pursuing my dream career, and loving the Divine.
Here’s to pursuing and living the life of my dreams in this disabled, scarred, resilient, beautiful body. May it be so.
And here’s to all healthy resolutions you set for yourself this year!
Wishing you success and wellbeing in 2017.
Mood going into 2017 🙂 Listen to the words:
Some more words from the great one Herself:
Its been proved time and time again that a hero was always reluctant of their gift within.
The only difference with myself as an artist now and my audience is I’ve tapped into my strength.
In a year I went from audience to artist.
Solely because of embracing what makes me…. me.
HERoes is about finding the hero within.
The true gift and talents of oneself and nurturing the hero that is already there.
Wear your cape.
A great and timely post on the Media Matters For America blog:
It highlights why magazines that consider and centre the interests and perspectives of young women of colour are producing good journalism and staying in business at the same time.
Yet another theme for my life, going forward.
“What (mostly male) critics fail to recognize is that their reasons for dismissing women’s magazines actually form the foundation of those publications’ success. Magazines created by and for women audiences — not to mention exclusively online outlets like Broadly, Refinery 29, The Establishment, and Jezebel — inherently do things differently, and that’s their strength. They’re helmed by people who wouldn’t normally see their experiences depicted on the pages of papers of record. They’re also answering to an audience of women, especially young women and women of color, by finding ways to inject otherwise untold perspectives into the political discourse.”