Saturday, October 05, 2013

Writing opp, cultural appropriation, mexican film y mas

Writing Opp
Speculative fiction for the rest of us, is their slogan. If you're a non-güero with a spec story (fantasy, sci-fi, magic realism, or horror) you've been trying to get published, you might consider Expanded Horizons. Their mission is: "To increase representation of under-represented authors and characters in speculative fiction." Go here for guidelines.

Should Susan be displayed here?
How appropriately "Hispanic" is this?

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, at Open Road Integrated Media, non-latina Cynthia Ward makes an interesting contribution to the cultural appropriation debate. "I've written about Hispanic characters and will continue to do so, but as a WASP/French/Irish American I can't imagine having my works about those characters being promoted as part of Hispanic Heritage Month." Go here to read the whole comment and add to it, if you choose.

Maybe gringos can't "get it right?"

Maya Gonzalez
At the website The Picture Book Academy Blogettes, children's book author Maya Gonzalez posts a very worthwhile article entitled, Polka Dots, Self-Portraits, and First Voice Multicultural Children's Books. She speaks to several questions, especially whether Anglo writers can "get it right" when they portray latino characters and story. I especially like the term, First Voices, used to described books by authors of the same culture they portray.

She writes, "At a conference I looked at a large collection of multicultural children's books. With each book I picked up I could sense if something felt original and authentic and when something felt somewhat discordant.         

"Each time that I sensed a lack of resonance, I looked more closely at the author and artist and each time I found that they did not originate from the community they were representing. It is not that their books lacked merit, by no means. But it did feel different. And each time, I got this funny feeling in my gut, it reminded me of educators, professors, experts, ethnographers, authors and artists who were telling me about me or my people or my culture. I did not feel felt. I felt studied, categorized, defined and documented by outsiders. I did not feel that I belonged. I felt separate.

"While 2012 statistics show that almost 50% of our children under age 5 are children of color, less than 10% of children’s books published each year are about children of color. The statistics are even lower (with only 4½ % of the 5000 children's books published in 2012) when it comes to First Voice children’s books that are both about AND by people of color." - Read her entire article here

Diversity or inclusion?

Over on Latina Lista, Cory Silverberg has a good--though convoluted--piece that take the issue of diversity in literature to a higher level:
"We need to think not only of diversity but also of inclusion. Writing inclusion then, means leaving spaces, rather than adding boxes." It's worth a read after you get through his academic style.

Cómo se dice?

If you're a latino author and you want people to pronounce your name correctly, you might do what children's book author Matt de la Peña did here

Spec writing opp from Omnidawn Publishing

One day I'm going to win this competition. Until then, it's open for you to try with what the editors call Fabulist Fiction. It's got an entry fee, has tough editors, but is prestigious. A fantasy or magic realism work qualifies. They use a "blind submission process" (if you're worried they'll know whether you're latino) and the deadline is Oct. 15. Go here for details.

the novella
A sweet Mexican spec film

From fantasy-enthusiast Ron Hosler comes this: "A silent film: La invención de Morel appears to be an old film, black and white with variations in lighting that were consistent with those made during the silent era, but was actually produced in 2006. The title is from a novella by Adolfo Bioy Casares, who was friends with Jorge Luis Borges. There are references to surrealism and contemporary philosophical thought.

Hollywood misinforms us who the bad guys are

Now they think we're just a bunch of stupid Mexicans susceptible to brainwashing. Joss Whedon’s fantasy world has given us Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He's been a good guy. But now in his new TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D he's joining in an attack on a legitimate environmental movement. Here's from a scoop entitled Rising Tide vs. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

"Rising Tide North America is under attack by the corporate super villains, Disney and ABC Studios, seeking to co-opt our name and brand for ratings and commercial air time with Whedon’s new show.

"Whedon’s new ABC television series depicts a secret NSA/Dept. of Homeland-style agency confronting a 'looming new threat' called The Rising Tide, a shadowy cyber-terror group similar to Anonymous. Their role on the show is to expose super humans like the Hulk and Thor, and secret government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D.

"The series plays to mainstream culture’s fears about anarchists and radicals, and portrays the group as a threat to national security. Hollywood uses pop culture to turn government agents into heroes, and seekers of truth, justice and ecological sanity into evildoers.

Left, Disney's plagiarizing RTNA logo, right
"The big problem for Rising Tide North America is that Whedon’s show uses our name and a logo very similar to ours for his villains. In a most humiliating blow, at the end of the first episode, the lead Rising Tider, Skye, actually joins S.H.I.E.L.D. as an asset. So not only are we depicted as terrorists, but one of our own actually switches sides and joins the police state."

The facts: "Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change."

The "root causes" might be some of the programs sponsors? Go here to read more and to inform Josh Whedon of your views on this. 

Do you know where your leaders are grazing?

doing what they do best - nada
More hilarious than the idiots we delegated to run our country--who are running our country into historical mediocrity--is an editorial by Charles Pierce called The Reign of Morons Is Here. [Wish I'd thought of that title.]

"In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress--or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress--a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one. . . . The government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.

"We have elected the people sitting on hold, waiting for their moment on an evening drive-time radio talk show. . . . We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government.

"We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons."

Before the morons figure out how to herd themselves back into the barn, you've got time to read his whole editorial.

Es todo, hoy,


msedano said...

Heritage events should include "first voice" and derived voices, why not? It's a version of what my friend magu, qepd, used to say about art, "can an anglo make chicano arte? why not, we've been making gringo art our whole lives!" or like the academic says, make a space for them, don't box ourselves in.

Anonymous said...

Magu said that, but I doubt he guaranteed how authentic that arte would be.
Why should heritage events include "derived voices?" Never heard that one.
Plus, there's Maya Gonzalez's insight that I also refer to in this post about such attempts often lacking resonance.
"Make space for them"? Tell that to the displaced indios, the acquisitioned puerrtoriqueños and any of the Dreamers who are being boxed out.
Híjole--it's the hispanics heritage month. Like Junot Díaz might says, why allow in what's still colonialist lit.