I have noticed a radical change in my thinking, especially as I draw closer to the end of my academic career. I have become less concerned with people as people; moreso fascinated by the idea of people as potentials.
When I first curated Underpass, it was a shambles! I had no idea what was required of me as an editor, a designer, a publisher and of course as an all round creative individual. The little experience I had with self-publishing had come and gone with my little stint in feminist zine making, back when Tumblr was rife with them – pre Rookie Mag and way before it became a novelty to capitalise on femininity. In both instances, my focus was on generating content; irrespective of whether or not I thought it was ‘good’; I just wanted there to be an end product – something to show for myself.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty and working specifically for an end goal is incredibly unproductive; in so far as how I interacted with the material. Each submission has a creative history behind it; it is ultimately part of a larger series of works, connected by loose threads, symbolism and intent. They are all small pockets of wisdom, torn off and glued in scrap books for many more people to see. These creatives are sharing philosophies; immortalised aphorisms that shift shape and colour.
My last year in undergraduate study has really uncovered my passion for black publishing: both in writing and production. A lot of my writing has tried to generate a dialogue about black spaces and the importance of not only creating them; but fully inhabiting them with our time, energy, money and other resources. With my eye on creative industries, it goes without saying that black women are cast out, or accepted on the marginal basis that their work somehow be a reflection and a reworking of colonial ideas/practices that effectively hand control of the black body to non-black ideas about its potential.
The shape and colour of black women are immortalised aphorisms. We are in hieroglyphics, in the Bible, in the Qu’ran. We are in pictures, in cinematography, in literature. Our body is a culture! Our hips, lips and noses have been known to fascinate and insight a deadly envy and misunderstanding of their nature. Black women have become so important to my work and my initiatives that I wish to dedicate (in advance) any future success to the queue of black women who came before me.
As I start to venture towards a new fold in my life, I want to begin by noting a few things to ensure Underpass’ succession, as well as my own personal endeavours. The following is influenced by Jenny Holzer’s Truisms.
Always begin with a blotch (beginnen mit einem Klecks)
& the rest should follow:
- sein (to be)
- speak outwardly
- shake hands
- of pen
- of lips
- of thought
- of camera
- mother and sisters
- pen pals
- b o l d
always end with gratitude (ende mit dankberkeit)
& the rest should make sense.