Monday 2 January 2023

New Year, same old kimono

Sometimes I wish I was a post modernist performance artist!

I've been having visions of making a special tribute kimono for Emily Ito to display in my upcoming exhibitions of wearable art this year. I visualise it as a costume of extremely coarse fibre embroidered with golden luxury beliefs. Soaking wet with tears of people whose feelings have been hurt. Every colour will be celebrated except white, as that is the colour of the devil. The Ito Kimono will be affordable for elite individuals who've had tertiary education and induction into the upper echelons of the Critical Social Justice warriorhood. 

Readers may recall my blog from the17th of December describing my fracas with the Surface Design Association and how they kicked me out for not aligning with their values and code of conduct (otherwise known as getting revealed for not being in the cult of Critical Social Justice ideology).

Despite the SDA board director denying they were going to publish a transcript of the Zoom meeting "Holding Space: Unraveling Appropriation in Fiber Art "  it has appeared on their website and is now available for the general public to enjoy. During the live event on December 3rd the moderator Karen Baker intentionally removed me twice me so I couldn't participate.

                                                      work in progress, January 2023

Now that I've been able to listen this is my response.

Overall, I had to admire how moderator Baker maintained her sincere belief that appropriation is a real and significant problem and kept working hard to get the three presenters to find examples. The presenters, Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng, Meghan O'Brien and Emily Ito, didn't discuss real, specific examples of appropriation but felt it adequate to cite "personal experience". Their personal experience evidence is that because they feel hurt it proves appropriation has occurred. Asiedu-Kwarteng and O'Brien didn't point out any examples of appropriation, as none seem to have happened to them personally or to the ethnic groups they identify as belonging to, other than vague references to colonisation and things "white" people did in the past.

(An aside, don't call me white, I find it racist and offensive. "white" is a reference to my skin colour. White is not a national or ethnic group. 

 (Even the President of Ghana hates the world referring to "Africans" while not recognising African people are many different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, beliefs, values, et al. Ghanian President shocking comments on African Americans)

Any person dismissing me as white intends to imply that my skin colour is a package deal of ethics, values, beliefs and world views that I have no control over or choice. They see me as a stereotype white coloured human that unavoidably holds specific ideas because my skin coulour is white (unless I can prove otherwise by finding a BIPOC blood relative)

Ito, is an old hand at seeing appropriation everywhere who has been dining out on her fare of stale crackers and stinky tripe for about 5 years now, so she had her pre packaged mincemeat sanger with pictures ready to go. Despite Baker referring several times in the opening comments to the outstanding quality of the artists who were going to present, Ito is not any sort of fibre or textile artist. She admits to barely knowing how to sew. At 41.20 in the video she denies even being an activist, asking to be regarded as a person who is "activated". Apparently her expertise on appropriation is mainly centered around her pride in haranguing children what they are allowed to wear for Halloween. In the video go to 42.00 - 43.22 to appreciate that I'm not kidding she is proud to be teaching elementary school kids Critical Race Theory, maybe she shows the Pyramid of White Supremacy to the kids so they are educated how scary white people are...?(...mmmm, isn't Halloween appropriated from a Scots tradition "All Hallows"....?)

Another interesting segment is around 44.00 when Ito pauses to spruik for a publisher for her memoirs. Although only in her mid 30s she must feel she has some notable accomplishments. A Netflix special next, perhaps? Something along the lines of a Meghan Markle martyrship and struggle expose?

Sadly, its apparent her angst over people using the word kimono will probably never be assuaged as people all over the word continue to call robes kimono and many, many people cannot make sense of why she finds it offensive. Quite probably, more of the people who won't stop saying kimono are not even white!

The fact that the SDA finds Ito a credible commentator on appropriation in textile art points to the debasement of its own credibility as an arts organisation now that it is promoting lightweight propaganda devoid of genuinely academic critical analysis. Itos most compelling argument is that it hurts her feelings that non Japanese people call some garments kimonos so somebody should pay attention and make her pain go away. Beyond that....there is nothing. Despite pedalling really, really hard for many years, and having to tone down or excise some of the more ridiculous things she started out trying to legitimise, its hard to prove there is a problem....when there is not. 

One of the most annoying things Ito made us look at (apart from emotionally loaded family pictures, especially the one of her and little daughter Koto holding up placards at a political rally, protesting their oppression?) was this...

(my apology for the crap quality of this image. I've just upgraded laptops and haven't installed a program for editing yet, so this is a photo of the screen. On the actual video talk, Ito presents this at 48.10)

She has used this pyramid before. Some time back on another platform I made a response about it that was probably deleted. 

Pictured is piece of nonsense described as "The Pyramid of White Supremacy" 

Pyramid of White Supremacy

It was generated from a 3rd rate University in the USA in 2018. It is tool of Critical Social Justice agitprop intended to impress the credulous. It may be trying to resemble Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.

The Pyramid has no academic credence whatsoever. Its not a visual tool to illustrate facts or data. It is based on speculative assertions about "white supremacy". It illustrates someones THEORY, and isn't evidence of anything. Nada. 

I suggest the SDA should remove Karen Baker from being on the committee for Equity, Access and Integration. Futher I think the SDA board should consider Bakers academic competence to present the Holding Space seminars and the likelihood that Baker is making the SDA seem an organisation of questionable academic calibre.

I invite readers to cross post this blog on Twitter. 

Yesterday I was locked out of my account (2nd time in 2 years) and have no intention to go back using the Twotter platform in the near future.


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