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Decolonial Aesthetics from the Americas »

The Symposium on Decolonial Aesthetics From The Americas will host diverse artists and scholars of the Americas and the Caribbean…

Decolonial aesthetics acknowledges and subverts the presence of colonial power and control in the realm of the senses. A decolonial option refers to a theoretical, practical or methodological choice geared toward de-linking aesthetics, at the epistemic level, from the discourse of colonialism that is embedded in modernity itself. It is an alternative approach that challenges the hegemony of modern/colonial aesthetics. By sharing their research and creative practices, symposium participants will develop and explore the decolonial option within the context of art practices in the Americas.

“Muslim presence in Canada is not a recent phenomenon. Some writers and historians have traced it to the late nineteenth century when Muslims came here from the Ottoman Empire, and settled in places like Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, most of those immigrants lived under precarious conditions. As Jasmin Zine, drawing upon Baha Abu-Laban explains, when the First World War broke out, many Turkish immigrants were labeled as enemy aliens and sent back to Turkey. Today, too, several of us who have come here as immigrants and refugees continue to be illegal, heavily policed, and marked for state and gender violence. We also live in times where there is significant distrust of Muslims everywhere, including Canada. A 2012 online poll of 1,522 Canadians, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies and Toronto-based Canadian Race Relations Foundation revealed that more than half of all Canadians believe Muslims can’t be trusted. And nearly as many people believe discrimination against Muslims is “mainly their fault.” It is a tough battle–a battle where it’s easy to ask “why should we worry about Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity when we are so targeted by ordinary white Canadians and the settler state?” …We cannot win this battle if foundational violences are not targeted in our struggles.”

Defining Muslim Feminist Politics through Indigenous Solidarity Activism by Shaista Patel

“Quebec’s own version of a founding national narrative is a tale of innocence and victimhood that conveniently omits the colonization of Indigenous peoples, the practice of slavery and racial exclusion.”

David Austin

Colonialism in Quebec: Myths, Misgivings & Nationalism »

a panel discussion with:

The three panelists will examine the historical and national narratives that continue to situate the descendants of 17th and 18th century French settlers in present-day Québec as a colonized population. What are the effects of this national narrative on today’s racialized landscape? Is it possible to build solidarity with the struggles of indigenous and racialized peoples while relying on a narrative that positions the French-Canadian Québécois as a colonized population? The panelists will explore these and other questions through a discussion of the historical treatment of slavery in Québec, the logic of the Québec feminist movement, and some recent scholarly work that insists that the Québécois inherited current racialized practices through British colonialism. 

Wednesday 18 September 2013, 7 pm, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University 2149 Mackay, (below Sherbrooke, near Guy-Concordia metro)

Co-sponsored by the School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University and the Concordia Community Solidarity Co-Op Bookstore

(Presentations will be in English: followed by discussion afterwards in English and French)

How To Be A Reverse-Racist: An Actual Step by Step List For Oppressing White People


by A.D Song and Mia McKenzie

White people who are confronted with their white privilege and the white supremacist acts they perpetuate have been known to cry, “You’re being a reverse-racist!” That is completely true: people of color have the power and control to create, perpetuate, and maintain brutal systematic reverse-racism that oppresses white people every day.  As such, we have created this handy list on how to continue this oppression.

1. Enslave their bodies.

Ship them from Germany, Sweden, and other exotic countries. Force them to build entire cities, roads, bridges. Force them to plant and harvest all the food everyone eats. Let an entire economic system be built on their backs, with their blood and sweat. Later, deny them access to the system they have been used to build, and accuse them of being extremely lazy.

2. Steal their land.

If they were here before you, steal their land. This is essential. Basically, just go in there and take it. If you have to kill some of them to get it…no worries. If you have to kill almost all of them to get it…shit, no worries. After you steal their land, make sure you create laws to keep them from ever returning to it. If they try to return anyway, build fences, and let bands of POC vigilantes patrol the borders with guns. If they somehow get past the borders and into your country, no worries, you can always just deport them.

3. Enslave their minds.

From these systems, build a long lasting institution of reverse-racism until all the violence and microaggressions make many white people into suspicious people with a lot of internalized self-hatred, health problems, and mental illnesses. Then deny them access to adequate mental health care. Or, adequate health care of any kind, while you’re at it. Cause, you know, fuck ‘em.

4.  Wipe out and/or appropriate their customs.

Since many of their customs are savage and unworthy of preserving, wipe out their traditions of eating mashed potatoes and meatloaf, playing miniature golf, buying khakis at Banana Republic, and sleeping with thousand-count Egyptian cotton sheets. For the customs you think are kinda cool, culturally appropriate from them. Sometimes wear a beret and lederhosen, because Swedish culture is really exotic even though it’s inferior to ours.

5.  Break their espresso machines.

With baseball bats or large hammers. Or, you know, just unplug them all.

6.  Call them “cracker”.

As people of color, we have been rightfully accused of being racist to white people, especially when we call them “cracker”. As we all know, calling them “cracker” is egregiously offensive and horribly shocking because of this long, violent, reverse-racist history.

7. Just keep being terrible to them.

Do everything you can think of to make it so that white people make less money; their children are shot by cops; white women are at higher risk for assault and they are exotified until they no longer seem human; white men are beaten and thrown into jails because they look “suspicious” and “threatening”; they are racially profiled everywhere they go.

8. Make sure most representations of them in the media are negative.

They should almost always be portrayed as pasty, stringy-haired, rhythm-less, sexless, uptight, and booooring. Also, there should be very few representations of them and when they’re portrayed at all, they should always only be the comic relief, the silent exotic sex object, the Debbie Downer, or the incompetent sidekick. They are only allowed to be easily forgettable, one-dimensional character. Sometimes use POC actors in white-face to portray these white people. By presenting this ONE image of them all the time, you will be able to convince the rest of the population that all white people are like this, thus ensuring a widespread belief in their inferiority.

9. Keep telling them how beautiful they are not.

White people know they will never be beautiful with their boring sour cream complexions and blonde hair (that was actually caused because of mutations). Plaster people of color on every magazine, show them in every television show and movie, and praise them as the most beautiful. When white people cry at these injustices, bottle their tears and sell them as health creams for people of color. Nothing like a soothing lotion made from the pain of white folks!

10. Finally, force them underground to become even whiter, albino people while you laugh manically like the cruel, bloodthirsty, oppressive person of color you are. Take their thousand-count Egyptian cotton sheets to make POC-supremacist flags and hoods and march through the streets, spreading fear and terror. Every time a white person thinks your behavior is unfair or wrong, tell them that they should stop being so sensitive. We live in a post-reverse-racial society now. Jeez.

*Digging this blog? Support it and queer, trans*, and gender-non-conforming writers of color! We need you! Please go HERE!!

A.D Song was voted “most likely to be a bitter old cat queen who capitalizes on punching people in the face”. They is a glitter, floral, black pleather-wearing androgyne who experiences repeated hair woes. Ze are really into vegan food, DIY, glitter, combat boots. She is not interested in your racist, anti-trans*/anti-queer, transmisogynistic, white supremacist ideas; He is a highly allergic & will bite your head off. Fear the yellow peril.


Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She just finished a novel and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.

Follow @BlackGirlDanger

LIKE us on Facebook.




this was my embroidery work based on the story of Bolivia and the Spanish conquistadors in Bolivia.

I am fascinated with cloth and fabric as not only a metaphor but as an actual way of transmitting history from a geneeration to the next. Should I pass this embroidery work to my children in the future, what would they think of the PVC that I used for the mountains and the shiny silver beads used to represent the silver in the ´mine´?

Probably nothing, because all history would someday be forgotten.


how not to be a racist jerk when talking about the attawapiskat crisis

lots of people have been asking me about the attawapiskat crisis. every time i have tried, though, i can’t really find the way to without wanting to cry or scream. so i’ll just together a really short recommended reading list.

anyone who is slightly informed about the indian act, the colonial legacy of canada, the state of reservations across this country.

what is really coming to light thanks to this situation and the media attention it has finally garnered after years (yes, years) of asking for assistance, for help isn’t so much the problems certain aboriginal communities in small, northern reserves face - it’s the latent racism, hatred, and spite of a large number of canadians (including many elected officials) are ready to spout at the drop of a hat.

it’s the “why can’t they just live in the south like us” complaints.

it’s the “we gave you money but you don’t know what to do with it so let us handle it” condescending colonization redux.

it’s the “they brought this on themselves because they are uneducated addicts.”

the amount of condescendition, misinformation, and racist vitriol currently found on news website comment forums is nauseating - and i don’t know what to do about it other than try and turn it off. to not read it. to not confront it.

but at the same time i feel like more people need to know and hear these racist statements to understand what native people in canada come up against and are fighting. the leaders of attawapiskat ask the government to provide the housing they promise with the indian act? they shirk their responsibilities. they ask the government to provide access to clean drinkable water that is also promised in the indian act, not to mention the charter of human rights? nah. they declare a state of emergency when they are facing a SECOND winter of living in tents and shacks, entire families huddling together in ramshakle housing in -40 degree weather, around dangerous wood stoves? they get ignored for a month, until a member of parliament published an editorial on the huffington post, and then they get slapped on the wrist. they get blamed.

politicians are talking more about what this says about political parties than what it says about the illusion that all canadians have the highest standard of living in the world. politicians are talking about how this makes them “uncomfortable” to know that hundreds, thousands of people are living in UNLIVEABLE circumstances in their own fucking backyards.

this isn’t politics. this is people’s lived realities. this is people asking for the very basic human necessities. and they aren’t being treated as people, as peers. and as far as i can see, the only reason is because they are native. if that’s not proof that racism is alive and well (hell, even THRIVING) in canada today, i don’t know what is.

I have never experienced a situation violating more constitutional rights than what is happening on Wall Street right now. No media helicopters, no press, no personal video is being allowed. This, if nothing else, should scare you.




Oh. Let’s try:

  • prisons/private prisons/prison labor
  • immigrant detention centers
  • juvenile detention centers
  • slavery/slave trade
  • the entire placement of the US-Mexico border
  • Patriot Act
  • segregated schools/the continued extralegal segregation of schools
  • sterilization of women of color and immigrant women
  • eugenics
  • George Bush declaring war on an idea
  • McCarthyism
  • the three-fifths clause
  • the fact that raping a black woman during slavery was trespassing, not sexual assault
  • lack of universal health care
  • stop-and-frisks
  • racial profiling/racial checkpoints/religious profiling
  • the failed Sensenbrenner Bill/Arizona’s SB 1070/banning ethnic studies
  • Japanese-American internment camps
  • Chinese Exclusion Act/Alien & Sedition Acts
  • Brasero Program
  • US’s continued existence occupying indigenous land

but maybe you haven’t experienced those things or their legacies. Trust me, there’s more; that was off the top of my head in five minutes, but now I need to go to work.

This doesn’t scare me. I’ve BEEN scared. I’ve also been angry. This shit has been around my whole life.

because unfortunately it seems like a whole lotta people need a reminder of this. your privilege is showing.