This isn’t strictly speaking about the literary arts but I had to share it. Because Amina Doherty is an Antiguan sistren and a feminist warrior doing big and important and inspirational things in the world and I have to tip my hat to that. This is her GREAT interview in the UK’s Market Magazine.
And for the record she does mention the transformative power of the creative arts:
“I truly believe that art (and I use this term loosely here to refer to all forms of creative expression) provides an incredible opportunity for people to bring their full selves to their activism. We are not one-dimensional beings and thus we are affected and influenced by all of the things around us. I see art as an opportunity to take some of the very complex concepts and issues that we face on a daily basis and break them down in ways that are more palatable and easily digestible by young people.
I do this in my own personal work by organising movie nights and discussion groups where we meet and challenge each other on issues of race, class, privilege, sexuality and identity; I moderate several online art spaces; I facilitate opportunities to connect young socially minded African fashion designers and musicians with organisations and NGOs working to promote women’s rights; I create mix-tapes to connect pop-culture with feminist literature – there are so many ways! This is what I mean when I say young feminists are finding new and alternative ways to express themselves and their activism.”
Her comment about art challenging our ideas/feelings/preconceptions etc on race, class, gender, privilege, sexuality, identity, got me wondering, which movies/books/songs changed your life? made you think? shook things up? changed your perspective?
I’m gonna give that one some thought. I think I take a little something from each piece of art I actually experience not just view so it’s hard to say this one or that one (though books like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, albums like the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, songs like Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, films like Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, experiencing Roots as a child and reading it as a university student, discovering Zora Neale Hurston, and Alice Walker, and Lorraine Hansberry’s writing etc come immediately to mind). But really this is a conversation that could keep going for a while. And it is one I want to have.