Throughout this class, I have been noticing a pattern or theme in the movies we’ve watched and the movements we’ve read about: the more uncomfortable the audience, the louder the message. For example, while reading about the SI movement, we can see they actively challenge the reader and directly call on the reader to counter their extreme points; La Hora de Los Hornos uses the slaughterhouse scenes to illuminate the consumer cycle; Chris Burden interrupts the hypnotic state of TV watchers by squirming his bare body over shards of glass; Phil Patiris taking the magical images of Tinker Bell and incorporating the gruesome bombings of Iraq; students posting on yik yak about the BLM protest at frary; the racial separation of our class for the activity. This theme really became clear to me when we split up by “race” for the class activity. Initially, I didn’t like that we were split up. Everyone in the “non-white” group expressed how uncomfortable it made them feel. Then Professor Lamb said that that was the point, and I realized that it is uncomfortable which drives the loudest points. When we are made uncomfortable (even by reality), we become hyperaware of what is making us uncomfortable. People are not moved or swayed by the “normal”, every day experiences they have; being uncomfortable makes us want to change and revert back to our comfort zones. Being uncomfortable also shocks people into conversation. I think there’s a lot to learn about social movements and a lot to teach through social movements if we utilize the tool of “uncomfort.” Now, I am glad we were split up by “race” in class, and I hope we learn how to utilize the power of being and making others uncomfortable in order to make the loudest statements at the 5Cs.

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6 responses »

  1. lagray700 says:

    I completely agree. From taking classes like this, I’ve shaped the belief thaI’ve always believed think that in order

  2. lagray700 says:

    Um I have no idea how that comment posted…I wasn’t finished.^ Anyways, what I meant to say was:

    I completely agree. From taking classes like this, I’ve shaped the belief that in order to create meaningful social change, people need to be uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable, the better.

  3. This is so real! I think the reason why it takes so long for social change to occur is because most people are afraid of being uncomfortable and especially acknowledging the privileges that they have that some don’t.

  4. doriebailey says:

    I totally agree with everything said above. I felt pretty weird about the whole experiment while we were in class, but that feeling of discomfort stuck with me all day, and made me reflect on what had been said for a long time after the exercise happened–which is precisely the point. I think another cool point that came out of the discussion was some of the similarities that were rooted out between the groups after we split up.

    For example, people in both groups felt that a lot of the questions applied to them, even though they were only being posed to the white group. Questions about wearing clothes made by young women and children under terrible conditions, questions about living on land once belonging to Native Americans, and other questions like these are not only applicable to the white group, and I think it really made us all think about how racial inequalities affect us all in different ways, and what groups are affected the most by these inequalities. I thought the exercise was really effective in this way, and upon further reflection, am glad that we did it.

  5. nlredmond says:

    I agree with you as well, on the points about how feeling uncomfortable is important when identifying issues and privilege. I think the exercise was probably more powerful for the white students, because personally as a woman of color there are many situations I’ve dealt with and spaces I inhabit where I am made to feel uncomfortable as the only POC, something that is said or done, etc. The uncomfortable feeling regarding acknowledgment of privilege and being singled out for your race is a feeling I will assume many of the white students haven’t had to deal with or learn to navigate. I just think it is significant that the uncomfortable feeling is something necessary for social change, but inly when those with institutional power are made to feel uncomfortable in those positions of power. I think social change could also be enacted if there is an effort to make those outside of certain systems of oppression feel comfortable. What would that look like?

  6. amihk says:

    I completely agree with you! I just learned about ideology in my Theory and Aesthetics in television class and we talked about how ideology is meant to be naturalized and that were not supposed to see the structure of it. But when it does show up, it makes us feel uncomfortable and Greg Daniels does a great job in Office episode 2 “diversity day”. You should watch it it makes everyone feel so uncomfortable

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