It’s weird trying to formulate arguments on issues that are self-evident to me. I don’t know who I am supposed to be talking to. I feel compelled to speak to artists who seem clueless, who repeat destructive oppressive behavior in their work and words, but for my own sense of safety I’ve cultivated a life that eliminates them. A point of view that completely overrides their work and their images, to the point they almost don’t exist for me, and are strange illusions I have. Glimpses on a screen before I close the window, big blank spaces when I’m glancing around the convention floor. So who do I want to talk to? Myself? To try to sort out my thoughts? And if I am indeed speaking to myself, if the audience I’m working on is me (as if in a journal), must I formulate arguments in the first place, about things that are self-evident to me? Coming full circle.
Being anti-oppressive is a big goal for the comic convention we are forming here in Providence. I’m excited to be part of a team that’s dedicated to doing everything we can to be inclusive and exhibiting zero tolerance for oppressive behavior and artwork. We have talked about making sure our intentions are clear and to the forefront of our show. And maybe that’s why I’m in such a conundrum, trying to think about how to argue for and against things that appear self-evident. Because I want to make my stance clear too, for people who are looking for it.
Art allows you to do literally anything, and when people use it to reinforce oppressive systems that are already in place, it’s not only intolerable, it’s downright unacceptable. I want to be talking to people who also believe that.