The Coalition of Docile and Agreeable Femmes of Color for the Continuation and Propogation of White Fragility
The Five Pillars of White Supremacy, August - Dec 2016, Seattle Center
Commissioned by The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Five banners, confronting pedestrians/tourists/Seattle Center workers over the course of several months, with the phrases:
COLONIZE MY BODY
ERASE MY EXPERIENCE
PROTECT YOUR PRIVILEGE
CLAIM MY CULTURE
DEMONIZE MY FATHER
The pennants were modeled after historical pennants that were carried by women of color in protest parades for the British Suffragettes. In these protests, women of color from 'the colonies' lent their voices and solidarity to white British women, often being encouraged to wear bright traditional 'costume' to show that women from all over the world were united under the Suffragette movement.
It goes without saying that, when the time came to figure for independence, and the rights of the British Colonies, as well as the women within those colonies, the Suffragettes turned their backs and leverage their privilege against their white male counterparts in favor of the women of color.
In this piece, I was interested in subverting the historical tradition of bleak, fascist-like commands being placed in public spaces, as well the silence that serves white supremacy so well. I was interested in the idea of micro-aggression, and how someone who worked or regularly traversed under these banners might, at first glance, find them a nuisance, but when confronted by them day-after-day on their walk to or from work or to a friend's house, might feel their annoyance growing and accumulating.
Over the course of four months, individual banners were ripped down and cut into violently a handful of times. This could have been the act of a thoughtless person who was interested in vandalism, and not necessarily the banners, or it could have been someone who was very much targeting the banners. Both scenarios interest me, the first for the banners as being seen as part of the structure of Seattle Center to be vandalized and taken down, and the second for more obvious reasons of replicating experiences of perceived helplessness or marginalization by populations who do not regularly experience helplessness or marginalization.