aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:
Unknown artist, possibly of the Brazilian School
Black Artist Completing a Portrait of a White Female Aristocrat
Brazil (early 1700s)
Oil on canvas
Philadelphia private collection
I was thrilled at first to see this image - a pre-modern Black woman artist, portrayed at work! But then I saw this:
Although this black artist appears to be wearing a dress, it is likely to be a male figure. As the scholar Sheldon Cheek explains, the artist wears an earring and a silver collar, both common articles worn by black male servants/slaves in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the collar traditionally indicating slave status. Women rarely, if ever, wore the silver collar. The artist also appears to be wearing a silver “shackle” on the arm.
Ugh. Pretty awful.
I think we should all be pretty critical of what’s written about this painting. Especially the part you’ve quoted above about how they have assigned the gender of the artist in the painting. I find it bizarre that something that is supposed to indicate enslaved status (not gender) somehow trumps this person wearing women’s clothing (that’s also a woman’s hat to the best of my knowledge).
The Americas, including Brazil, have a long tradition of transgender and third gender people. This is one of those images from the past that falls quite easily through the cracks because it is a collection of “exceptions”; it doesn’t fit nicely into categories that have been created and therefore, it’s more or less ignored.
If anyone’s hesitant to be critical, maybe you should also note that both the articles linked above make claims that slavery in Brazil was “less harsh” than other places. What???
How many of our assumptions are being projected onto this painting? Are the “contradictions” present in it a product of the painting itself, or is the problem with the categories we try to place it in? How many layers do we have to fight uphill through when we even look at this image? After all, History teaches us:
- women weren’t artists
- Black people weren’t artists
- Black people were enslaved
- Enslaved people didn’t do anything of worth
- Transgender, genderqueer and third gender people didn’t exist before the 1960s
- white people control how Black images are perceived, but not the other way around
- gender must be immediately perceivable and fit into our categories of “male” and “female”
^ So this is the baggage we bring with us when we look at this image. We look at this painting, and we actively search for indicators that allow us to continue to believe the above assumptions.
If we take away those assumptions, if we try to move past them and see this portrait with new eyes, what are we left with? Whose History do we see here? Maybe it’s mine; maybe it’s yours.
victims of the 90’s
Why is Hermione’s skin black o_o ? I am troubled here
Why wouldn’t she be? No where in the books did it say she was white. Also, why the idea of a black Hermione trouble you so much?
Now you know you cant have Black people in headcanons unless the book explicitly says she was a colored negro afro american chocolate ebony girl….
What really saddens me is that this has become so popular. Look past the ignorance of the white man, look past the disrespect and look past the misconception.
This is the true beauty of Afghanistan, my home country.
These are only some examples of the true beauty of Afghanistan. What you see above is simply the result of the western imperialism, western intervention in places that the west has no right to be.
A message to the (mostly US) outside forces “working” to better a country whose destruction is significantly at the hands of those who are “helping” it: get out.
Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Those are the countries. It will be drought-resistant species, mostly acacias. And this is a fucking brilliant idea you have no idea oh my Christ
This will create so many jobs and regenerate so many communities and aaaaaahhhhhhh
more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall
it’s already happening, and already having positive effects. this is wonderful, why have i not heard of this before? i’m so happy!
Oh yes, acacia trees.
They fix nitrogen and improve soil quality.
And, to make things fun, the species they’re using practices “reverse leaf phenology.” The trees go dormant in the rainy season and then grow their leaves again in the dry season. This means you can plant crops under the trees, in that nitrogen-rich soil, and the trees don’t compete for light because they don’t have any leaves on.
And then in the dry season, you harvest the leaves and feed them to your cows.
Crops grown under acacia trees have better yield than those grown without them. Considerably better.
So, this isn’t just about stopping the advancement of the Sahara - it’s also about improving food security for the entire sub-Saharan belt and possibly reclaiming some of the desert as productive land.
Of course, before the “green revolution,” the farmers knew to plant acacia trees - it’s a traditional practice that they were convinced to abandon in favor of “more reliable” artificial fertilizers (that caused soil degradation, soil erosion, etc).
This is why you listen to the people who, you know, have lived with and on land for centuries.
The Great Green Wall, to resist the encroachment of the Sahara. Fascinating.
Beyoncé photographed by Pierre Debusschere, CR Fashion Book Issue 5
As most of you probably know, someone somewhere dumped a deluge of purported nude photographs of a number of female celebrities online yesterday. The victims include the likes of Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Krysten Ritter, Yvonne Strahovski, and Teresa Palmer. But the focal point for this story has been Hunger Games/American Hustle actress Jennifer Lawrence, since the Oscar winning actress is perhaps the most famous actress on the planet right now. Without going into sordid details ( Justice and Grande have claimed their respective photos are fake, others have confirmed they are real), I’d like to make two very specific points. Ms. Lawrence and the other victims have absolutely nothing to apologize for in terms of the contents of the photos or the nature in which they were leaked. The story itself should not be addressed as if it were a scandal, but rather what it is: A sex crime involving theft of personal property and the exploitation of the female body.
Outlets as mainstream as People and CNN are referring to the photo leak as a “scandal.” All due respect, it’s not a scandal. The actresses and musicians involved did nothing immoral or legally wrong by choosing to take nude pictures of themselves and put them on their personal cell phones. You may argue, without any intended malice, that it may be unwise in this day-and-age to put nude pictures of yourself on a cell phone which can be act and/or stolen. But without discounting that statement, the issue is that these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them just like their male peers. The burden of moral guilt is on the people who stole said property and on those who chose to consume said stolen property for titillation and/or sexual gratification."
- Ferguson protestors plan to halt highway traffic on Labor Day (x)
- At least 6 other Ferguson officers have been named in lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force
- Why taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for the Ferguson lawsuit
- Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
- Between the world and Ferguson
- Teaching and talking about police violence