please use the comment section of this blog post to add you project ideas before class on monday – so that we can all see what everyone’s interests are to work towards creating groups around topics. – GL
Posted by socalens on September 9, 2016 in Uncategorized.
I have a couple ideas for my media project.
The first is one that Professor Lamb suggested about how policy directly and indirectly affects Black and Brown communities in the United States. I love infographics and have made one in high school about Rape Culture. I think infographics are a very clever and accessible form of media sharing. I would like to do this because it would combine both my interested in design and aesthetics with my interest in the potential affects of policy, specifically when those affects differ starkly from the dialogue surrounding them. For example, the dialogue surrounding the No Child Left Behind Act before it was policy was about equality and educating children, when, in reality, it did more to derail schools in poor communities, which disproportionately negatively impacted Black and Brown people and benefitted White people. I am interested in exploring policies like these up for vote in the November election and making them into a format that is accessible to the Pitzer community.
My second proposal is about Nike’s current sponsoring of non-athletes. For example, Kevin Hart, a comedian, and Drake, a rapper, have enormous publicity from their sponsor, Nike. I would argue that Black culture in the form of music (including comedy) and fashion are more popular now than ever, while violence against black bodies are an everyday tragic occurrence. A phrase I have seen recently on social media reads, “Everyone want to be black, but no ones wants to be black.” Exploring this, how is Nike using Black culture to profit? What are they doing to support or hurt communities of color in the US? While unsure of how this information would be presented, it is a topic I have been thinking about a lot.
Your second proposal sounds really cool, I’d love to work on that with you.
Your second proposal I would also be interested in pursuing more!
Here are two ideas I’ve had so far:
1). Some sort of archive or exploration of African American representation and contribution to animation over the years. Everything from Song of the South to the crows in Dumbo to Princess Tiana. Exploring both positive and negative portrayals of African Americans in animated features/tv shows as well as talk about African American animators and artists. Animation is a platform that reaches all people from children to adults and it can even be a useful platform in the future for the Black Lives Matter movement.
2). Another type of archive or exploration about African American representation in Broadway. In contrast to the trending has tag #OscarsSoWhite, there was earlier in the summer the hashtag #TonysSoDiverse when the four main acting awards were given for the very first time to people of color. Looking at both the growing presence of African American actors, directors, writers, etc. as well African American centered stories in shows like The Color Purple, Fela, Dreamgirls, etc.
I would be interested in looking at the propositions relating to criminal justice! If not that, then the history of protests, and comparing other movements to BLM
In terms of topics, I have several in mind:
1) I would like to explore BLM and Palestinian Solidarity. I am not sure exactly what this means yet, but I think this is a great platform to be able to talk about the ways in which oppression operates in contexts outside the US, and use the BLM and Palestinian struggles to elevate each other, and teach the audience about each more deeply.
This might be done in creating a gallery juxtapositioning images from Palestine as well as images from the US that connect the two struggles and elaborate on the ways they differ and the ways they resemble each other. This would be done with careful attention to not reduce the complexity of each situation, but rather use each context to advance one’s understanding of the other.
2) I was also thinking about looking at the reaction of Jewish communities to the word “genocide” in The Movement for Black Lives platform. Some Jewish communities rejected the platform since, while they claim to support the cause of the platform, they were not comfortable with the use of the word “genocide” to describe the practices of the Israeli state. In response, many Jewish activists came out in support of the platform, working to call out the Jewish communities of which they were a part. The Jews of Color Caucus, more specifically, stood in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.
3) Creating a project that would make the information in The New Jim Crow accessible both in terms of format and in terms of content – making it more accessible to skeptical audiences and to people who don’t want to read the whole book. Having read the book, I know there is a lot of important information in it, and it is important to make this information more succinct and accessible.
In terms of medium, I would like to perhaps operate beyond the screen. Thinking of engaging the campus community in some way (a flyer campaign, gallery show, screenings… not sure yet).
Also, another project I had in mind is creating a resource hub for white allies to concretely demonstrate how to utilize one’s white privilege to call out injustice in white spaces as well as concentrate resources one could rely on for arguments with family, friends, or strangers.
The resource hub sounds really cool and I’d be interested in helping if you end up choosing this project!
I have a lot of ideas about your third proposal and I would love to work with you!
Here are my project ideas:
1) I’d like to compare the Black Lives Matter movement’s inclusion of disabled people currently (I’m pretty sure they released a statement about it a few weeks/maybe a month ago) and black disabled people’s contributions to the Disability Justice movement. Specifically, I’m thinking about when it first started becoming more recognized in the U.S., around the mid to late 80s (when the ADA was created). The BLM movement has been criticized by some disabled folks for not creating space for disabled people to join them, but white people have often been the face of the disability justice movement. I’d like to explore these two movements and think about how they can be in solidarity with one another. Perhaps it’d take form as an archive or timeline? Along with some posters? Or even a portraiture photography project from disabled and/or black students at the 5Cs?
2) I’m also interested in studying predictive policing. I might connect it back to phrenology and how both use “science” to convince people to discriminate against black people and other PoC. Or I might try to use same techniques current researchers are using to develop predictive policing programs and apply it to the 5Cs: where will a crime happen next and by whom? I’m hoping that it will give me some kind of ridiculous data that I can then unpack to illustrate how predictive policing is BS.
The first idea I want to share is similar to what we already discussed on class, how rap music reflects black culture, how does African American use music and lyrics to reflect their rebellion towards the dominant group.
The second idea is also related with music. I want to talk about how music video reflects the rebellion and protest of black people towards the dominant group. Both lyrics, costume, gestures and other details can be used as the ways to declare their ideas and rights.
I was thinking about wanting to do something with the prevalence of BLM and rappers speaking out more in regards to the movement in their music and their media. I also think Maddie’s second proposal sounds really interesting and would love to do something with that.
A few ideas:
1. Navigating the BLM movement as a mixed/bi-racial black person. Here is one article I found on this matter:
I think it would be interesting to profile either students on campus or prominent mixed race leaders and their opinions and actions as activists for BLM. Another avenue to explore this topic is the controversy surrounding Kanye West’s tweet for “multiracial women only” models, and how black people are only seen as favorable if they are mixed with another race, or are “lighter skinned/white-passing”.
2. To echo one of the ideas above, doing a case study on how popular brands (Nike but also in print magazines such as Vogue, and other Conde Nast owned publications) appropriate black culture. I would love to center this project on fashion, and also exploring brands by celebrities such as Rihanna (Puma x Fenty), Beyonce (Ivy Park), and Kanye West (Yeezy)- how are they supporting or hurting the BLM movement? Also looking closer into black owned products and beauty brands:
3. Tracing the BLM in Sports – also mentioned in class I was really interested in this topic. It would be interesting to create a timeline tracing the history of the two. Also profiling Colin Kaepernick, and the role the BLM has in the future of sports – more and more players are following Kaepernick’s lead – what does this mean for the NFL, and how can athletes use these protests to enact change?
Tracing black protest through sports history would be super interesting, I’d be game to join you if you chose that topic.
Hey I saw you comment on my post! I love your second idea! Definitely down to work with you.
One thing I would be interested in looking at is the ways in which people discredit and attack BLM protests of any kind. For instance, someone on the internet site Tumbr pointed out that mainstream America calls active protesters like those in Ferguson “thugs” and say that violence is not the answer. However, these people also denounce passive, non-violent protestors like Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers. I don’t have a clear plan on how I would frame this project at the moment, but maybe a sort of hub that collects comments made about various protests and how they denounce all forms of them.
Here are a few ideas that I am really interested in pursuing more..
1.) Sports figures and the BLM, How are they connected/ what did they create in society(positive and negative.) To elaborate a little bit on this is that I want to focus on sports athletes such as Colin kaepernick. Muhammad Ali, Jesse Owens and others who have used there celebrity status to provoke social change/ political change in the world.
2.) Generation by generation of hip hop artists speaking out about oppression,police brutality and racism. (Connection of music and political activism in a way.) To elaborate on this, its a lot like my first idea except I’m replacing athletes with hip hop artists of many generations speaking out abut current events of those times.
Your first idea about sports figures sounds good, I’d be interested to work with you on that!
Adding to the mix:
1) Examining the ways in which high-profile, white media stars (such as Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift and others) appropriate aspects of black culture (i.e. dreads) and/or use black bodies (background dancers, etc.) as a way of lending “exoticism” or “an edge” to their performances, without suffering negatively for the stigmas white culture attaches to these expressions of blackness. Maybe as a sort of an archive of “calling-out” these entertainers for their behavior?
2) Given the long-overdue increase in attention regarding the lack of black presence in media (such as #Oscarssowhite), I would be interested in shifting that focus from film and television to a different form of media: video games. Black characters in video games are few and far between, and many appearances limit these black characters to stereotypical and harmful roles such as “the thug” or “the hired muscle”. I would like to address the stereotyping rampant in the gaming industry, while simultaneously highlighting the lack of black protagonists and heroes. Additionally, I think it’s worth noting that even in games where the player can create and customize their own protagonist, the default is still assumed to be white (and usually male).
I want to look at the conversation made on police brutality as well as the rise of black resistance in the United States through films like Malcolm X, Straight Outta Compton, Selma. and maybe others we can think of. I think that it’d be interesting to see the parallels between the time period covered in the films as well as the time period in which these films were premiered. I made it more specific to biopics but maybe there’s a way to include other films that aren’t really based on history.
I’d also like to look at the intersection between the BLM movement and other movements like the sacred stone camp in North Dakota which has been happening currently. I could also expand it to include a greater period of time and more than just the two groups. I think I’d like to explore the support each group has had for each other in recent years. I find intersection and solidarity is important for marginalized groups to show for each other and finding commonality in struggles will push the groups to fight with each other rather than against each other or for the media’s attention.
I would like to pursue a project that has to do with black music (specifically centered around messages of social change/justice.) I would like to take songs and mix them with excerpts of powerful Black Lives Matter or black social justice movement leaders who have spoken intellectually about the topic, the voices of survivors, or those who knew/loved those that have been killed unjustly (or the voice of those who have been killed). I believe that this project would make the Black Lives more accessible and aesthetically pleasing to the masses (especially if the message is dubbed over a Beyoncé song) as music is a platform that almost everyone uses. I also believe that adding well respected voices to songs would not only make songs more powerful and meaningful, but would also help to lessen the stigma against rap/hip hop music and help people see the importance of the genre.
My second idea is a project that is centered around a timeline of art created by black artists and their depictions of the around them at the time they created the art. I think that this would serve as a nice alternative depiction of the history of systematic racism from new reports and telecasts controlled by white people.
I would love to work with you on either of these, particularly the second one.
I would love to work with you on the first one! If you take a look at my first project idea, it is very similar to yours; I am interested in the way between modern popular black musicians actually utilize famous civil rights speeches/intellectual excerpts like Beyonce, Kanye West, and many others.
I don’t really have any ideas of my own but would be interested in working on some of the others ones that have been proposed. The only ones I have are:
Something about tracing the position of black people in the music industry like from when many female artists couldn’t get their own record deals and had to be backing singers etc. to now where they hold more prevalence in popular music.
Something collecting street art or murals with messages about BLM.
Something about how BLM is expanding outside of the US. The first BLM protest in the UK was at the start of August so it might be interesting to trace its development.
I’m interested in working on a project that explores the cultural appropriation done by celebrities to gain social capital and thus only getting the benefits of black culture. While I’m open to the different paths this could take, I think it would be interesting to explore this in the context of fashion and seeing how particular styles or outfits are seen as innovative and edgy on white people while on black people it is not seen in such a positive light.
Another idea I had in mind was to see how black celebrities are framed in the media and how often their blackness is “overlooked” so as to only present a palatable form to the masses. What comes to mind is how Beyonce was loved by a lot of white people but after she released an album in which she became very open about being a black woman, or when she performed at the Super Bowl, suddenly people got mad because she expressed who she really was.
I love your idea about exploring fashion and I would be interested in joining you.
Either of the idea sounds really interesting! If you end up choosing this topic, I am down to help you!
I really like your idea about cultural appropriation and would like to work with you on that
I would like to do a project that explores how modern black musicians use samples of either old civil rights speeches, old gospel/jazz/spiritual songs, or simply incorporate older styles of black music into their own. When artists do this, it is usually to get across a strong message about how black lives matter, and I am always impacted by the way that this highlights parallels between what’s going on today in the world and what was going on during the civil rights movement (or before/after that, etc). I also think it demonstrates a sense of black pride and cumulative culture, which is important for social change.For example, Beyonce’s Lemonade utilizes civil rights speeches, and Kanye West’s Ultralight Beam and De La Soul’s sampling of Funkadelic. In my project, I would have links to certain songs/videos and links to the original song/speech that the song sampled from. I would also try to find interview information coming from the modern artist themselves about why they believe their choice in sampling makes a statement about why black lives matter.
In addition, I am fascinated by how white artists historically have illegally appropriated music from black artists and claimed it as their own. For example, both Elvis Presely and Led Zeppelin have sampled from classic black jazz musicians and have gotten famous from this, demonstrating white privilege and domination. Is modern music sampling done by black people from black people a way to reclaim their own culture? Is it subverting the practices done by white people in the past? I would like to explore ways to incorporate this into my project as well.
My second idea is less concrete, but after watching the New Jim Crowe, I was thinking about exploring the ways that prisoners are represented in media, and how accurately/inaccurately television and movies tell the stories of prisoners of color and their experiences in the school to prison pipeline and inability to escape the system. I am thinking about both Orange is the New Black, Prison Break, and Shashank Redemption, because both media objects focus on a white main character and only feature prisoners of color as supporting characters, which is odd based on the true representation in prisons.
I would love to create an exhibit on campus of incarcerated voices/poetry and art pieces (film/photo) to expose the culture around those being personally inflicted by these conflicts. I know that a lot of classes work directly with prisons so to tap into those networks would be amazing. I also have a friend working with incarcerated young men (many of them wrongly convicted) on a hip-hop initiative. Creating music in the prisons themselves and empowering the men to tell their stories and create a collective.
My second idea would be to film some voices on campus about their experiences around school. Reading the blog about things that are heard on our own 5c’s made me sick to my stomach, and I know that people’s individual experiences on campus have been even more upsetting than that they just might not have been given an outlet or a platform with which to speak to those experiences.
I would like to explore how the Black Lives Matter is portrayed in media and do a project to inform people about how media can manipulate and shape the way we think. I would also like to explore the role of race and ethnicity in recent world events such as the olympics and Paralympics.
My idea is to look at how black people are represented in media – mainly tv and movies – made by white people and how it compares to media made by black people. It would be looking at all genres and seeing where black people are most prevalent and where they are missing and what roles they play both in front and behind the camera.
This sounds really interesting I would love to work on it with you!
I would be interested in doing something about the voices of those left behind eg. family members of the deceased. Something that shows that there is a network of people behind each individual event. Or else I would be interested in looking into some of the protests that occur in sports.
This semester I will be interning with the anti-incarceration/discrimination organization Riverside All of Us or None. The Riverside branch operates under the umbrella of Starting Over, Inc, and is led by a core team of organizers, 75% of whom are formerly incarcerated. Over the semester I will be helping them with the California Voter Registration Act in Corona by engaging with the community and discussing how propositions working to be passed right now will affect communities of color, especially those members who have been subject to incarceration.
Considering the broadness of the issue as well as the upcoming election, I would love to create a media platform of all the action being taken in Southern California to end discrimination in employment, housing, and social services that formerly incarcerated people face. Many congregations and congregants already shy away from exercising their prophetic witness for justice in the public sphere, which pushes those involved further from the decision making power, and their values further off of the public radar. I have noticed these effects in the fact that RAOUON and their partners have a very weak social media presence. As such, I would like to design a platform with the aim of diminishing public apathy and inspiring civic engagement here in Southern California. I would like to employ various forms of media to address systemic issues while exploring how they manifest in our daily lives. These could include an archival of the personal experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals and/or family members in the area, an infographic break down of the local policies in place that prevent community re-entry, an outlet that prioritizes and explains anti-discrimination campaigns that are disputed/misunderstood (i.e. Ban The Box, Stop Riverside Jail Expansions, Redefine Crime-Free Housing), as well as a communal calendar of anti-incarceration events in the greater LA area (i.e. protests, community discussions, fundraisers).
Ultimately I would like to build a media platform of solidarity that operates on a grassroots level; in which those unaware of how mass incarceration affects them are educated, those who would like to get involved in change are provided with the knowledge and resources to do so, and most importantly, those intimately tied to the experiences of incarceration are given the space to be heard. I believe there is an opportunity to shape the public narrative towards values of criminal justice and community healing, if we are proactive and all brought into the discussion in the coming months.
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