“All the things you always wanted to know about visual identity politics but were afraid to ask.”
The realm of identity politics is fueled with concepts, definitions and theories that are complex, ambiguous and delicate. The ‘Encyclopedia of —isms’ is an effort to explain some of these terminologies.
Do you miss some —Isms? Or want to add, remark or comment on one or more? Please feel to mail us with suggestions.
Appropriation refers to the practice of artists using pre-existing objects or images in their art with little transformation of the original. It raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, and questions the definition of art itself.
“Now part of what”…“I see as the problem is the idea of anybody’s having to fight the fragmentation and multicultural diversity of the world, not to mention outright oppression, by constructing something so rigid as an identity, an identity in which there has to be a fixed and immobile core, a core that is structured to hold inviolate such a complete biological fantasy as race— whether white or black” —Samuel R. Delany, interviewed by Mark Dery, 1994
…“race is the child of racism, not the father. And the naming of “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy.”
—Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the world and me, 2015
…“the relation between ‘things’, concepts and signs lies at the heart of the production of meaning in language. The process which links these three elements together is what we call ‘representation’.”
“Representation functions less like a model of a one-way transmitter and more like the model of a dialogue —it is, they say, dialogic. What sustains this ‘dialogue’ is the presence of shared cultural codes, which cannot guarantee that meaning will remain stable forever.”
Originally associated with cultural mixtures of African, European, and indigenous ancestry, today, creolization refers to this mixture of different people and different cultures that merge to become one.
“I write “Black” with a capital B because this term addresses first and foremost political and historical dimensions of the concept of Blackness, and relates only indirectly to skin complexion.”
“When it comes to defending Barack against the charge that he’s not Black enough, I tell folk, ‘Well, I’ve know him for over fifteen years, and what I’ve noticed is that he’s proud of his race, but that doesn’t capture the range of his identity. He’s rooted in, but not restricted by his Blackness'”
— Michael Eric Dyson in the forword of “Who’s afraid of Post-Blackness” by Touré.
“Een flink deel van [de tentoonstelling] Black is beautiful is gewijd aan Negrophilia – liefde voor de zwarte cultuur – die in de jaren twintig in Parijs ontstond en later ook in Nederland werd opgepikt. ”
— De Volkskrant
Afrofuturism is a “Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture—and, more generally, African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prothetically enhanced future”.
— Mark Dery, 1994, p 180