Category Archives: Global

Emotions tell us a lot about time; emotions are the very ‘flesh’ of time. They show us the time it takes to move, or to move on, is a time that exceeds the time of an individual life. Through emotions, the past persists on the surface of bodies. Emotions show us how histories stay alive, even when they are not consciously remembered; how histories of colonialism, slavery, and violence shape lives and worlds in the present. The time of emotion is not always about the past, and how it sticks. Emotions also open up futures, in the ways they involve different orientations to others. It takes time to know what we can do with emotions. Of course, we are not just talking about emotions when we talk about emotions. The objects of emotions slide and stick and they join the intimate histories of bodies, with the public domain of justice and injustice. Justice is not simply a feeling. And feelings are not always just. But justice involves feelings, which move us across the surfaces of the world, creating ripples in the intimate contours of our lives. Where we go, with these feelings, remains an open question.

Sara Ahmed, Cultural Politics of Emotion, 202

(via Learning Everyday…)

Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands, the foundational text of borderlands theory, situates Indians and Europeans in a dichotomy that can be healed through mestizaje. Anzaldúa positions Indian culture as having ‘no tolerance for deviance,’ a problem that can be healed by the ‘tolerance for ambiguity’ that those of mixed race ‘necessarily possess.’ Thus a rigid, unambiguous Indian becomes juxtaposed unfavorably with the mestiza who ‘can’t hold concepts or ideas in rigid boundaries.’ As many scholars have noted, Native identity is relegated to a primitive past, a premodern precursor to the more modern, sophisticated mestizo identity. In queer of color critique in particular, mestizaje and queerness often intersect to disappear indigeneity through the figure of the diasporic or hybrid queer subject. The consequence is that queer of color critique, while making critical interventions into both critical race and queer studies, generally lacks an analysis of settler colonialism and genocide.

Andy Smith, “Queer Theory and Native Studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism.”

(via queering the game of life)

Whole Foods is a point of entry into a new version of American whiteness, one which leans on a pseudo recognition of diversity through sanitized food presentation. It offers a new order of “otherness” in which the other is a pleasant-looking piece of food, totally safe, and with a pedigree. Within the Whole Foods’ bubble we are turned instantly sophisticated, and the store becomes the place where we can self-indulge in notions of cosmopolitan openness to world products and political struggles. To buy an avocado “with a background” ends up, dangerously, filling the space of our urge for political awareness. The store did the math for us, as well as all the thinking, so we can “shop with confidence” and just relax.

The whole process does something rather particular: It creates the illusion of an “independent” understanding within the larger implications of corporate intervention in defining a food’s background. In establishing a perimeter of commercial values based on social responsibility, Whole Foods depoliticizes us. Worse, for those already sinking into the hybrid life of a world without politics, it offers a parachute, a sort of immunity: “I shop here so, by extension, I know a thing or two about social awareness.”

Whole Foods unavoidably widens the gap between people who have everything and people who have nothing: How can super expensive foods that look like an invention of Edward Weston’s camera – that the majority of the world cannot afford, or would laugh about – be synonymous with social responsibility? This is truly a modern enigma.

The recent situation with quinoa, the “hot” and “trendy” new grain that we are suddenly unable to live without – and without which we are suddenly missing essential nutrients to keep us alive – is case in point. Paola Flores, filing for the AP from La Paz, Bolivia, reports that “[t]he scramble to grow more (quinoa) is prompting Bolivian farmers to abandon traditional land management practices, endangering the fragile ecosystem of the arid highlands, agronomists say.” A quinoa emergency, then, at the bulk bins. A separate exposé published in the Guardian goes even further: “[T]here is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.” Whether we blame vegans or hipsters or the organic food movement or a lack of appropriate trade regulations, the troubling truth about quinoa represents that repetitive drama between the West and rest in which our voracious consumption depletes yet another land and another people.

Whole Foods widens the gaps, and it does so in the most subtle and displacing manner, giving us an environment (the actually sanitized, spotless physical space) that is the embodiment of an elite (yet perceived as “open,” especially through the chain’s less pricey “360” product line) that finds itself at home within a soulless, sterilized experiences. The notion of gentrification has been surpassed, attaining the space of a perennial state of mind. This is where even an apple turns into an object/jewelry of desire, not of need, or at least of normality. In that sense, Whole Foods is simply the last piece in the long, familiar chain of shifting perceptions in neo-capitalistic societies that exploded after the Second World War, in which the creation and multiplication of desires is central to the self-preservation of the system.

“Shipwrecked in Whole Foods”

(via Polycule)

Feminists too must organize against police brutality, the military build up, and first of all war. Our first and most important step must be to oppose the recruitment of women into the armies, which regrettably was introduced with the support of some feminists in the name of women’s equality and emancipation. There is much we can learn from this misguided policy. For the image of the uniformed woman, gaining equality with men through the right to kill, is the image of what globalization can offer to us, which is the right to survive at the expense of other women and their children, whose countries and resources corporate capital needs to exploit.

–Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Reproduction, Housework and Feminist Struggle

(via knowledge equals black power)

As Americans, we have this naïve assumption that people all over the world are struggling and way behind us. They’re not. Sweden and South Korea have more advanced high speed internet networks. Japan has the most advanced trains and transportation systems. Norwegians make more money. The biggest and most advanced plane in the world is flown out of Singapore. The tallest buildings in the world are now in Dubai and Shanghai. Meanwhile, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

–10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America [x]

(knowledge equals black power)

When we learn about Africa, we learn about a caricatured Egypt, about the HIV epidemic (but never its causes), about the surface-level effects of the slave trade, and maybe about South African apartheid (the effects of which, we are taught, are now long, long over). We also see lots of pictures of starving children on Christian Ministry commercials, we see safaris on animal shows, and we see pictures of deserts in films and movies. But we don’t learn about the Great African War or Leopold’s Reign of Terror during the Congolese genocide. […] The white guy who turned the Congo into his own personal part-plantation, part-concentration camp, part-Christian ministry—and killed 10 to 15 million Congolese people in the process—doesn’t make the cut. You see, when you kill 10 million Africans, you aren’t called “Hitler.” That is, your name doesn’t come to symbolize the living incarnation of evil. Your name and your picture don’t produce fear, hatred and sorrow. Your victims aren’t talked about and your name isn’t remembered.

Don’t African lives matter? | Socialist Worker

(via She Who Shall Not be Linked to)

When you ask Sadaullah or Karim or S. Hussein and others like them what they want, they do not say “transparency and accountability.” They say they want the killing to stop. They want to stop dying. They want to stop going to funerals — and being bombed even as they mourn. Transparency and accountability, for them, are abstract problems that have little to do with the concrete fact of regular, systematic death.’

–Madiha Tahir, ‘Louder than Bombs’

(via She Who Shall Not be Linked to)