November 16th, 2016

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.46: Colonialism with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, Dongwon Song, and Shveta Th

Writing Excuses 11.46: Colonialism with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, Dongwon Song, and Shveta Thakrar


Key Points: Colonialism? Contextualizing conversations about race and culture in history. Manifest destiny. What gets appropriated, how it's told, and who gets to tell. Justifying taking things from other people. Colonialism is two-directional, first the impact on those who were colonized, but then reflection when those people internalize it. De-colonize, don't diversify. Colonizing erase culture, but it also creates cultures. Navigating that intersection of cultures is our challenge. Colonialist narratives make colonizers feel better about themselves, and those who are colonized or marginalized feel worse about themselves. The meaning of a communication is the response you get, and repeating an offensive communication is not respect. Repeating a trope again and again, the impact accumulates, and leaves a mark, a wound over time. Doing this is a craft problem -- why are you repeating what 10,000 people have done? Do something new, exciting, interesting, and specific instead. There are resources out there. Sit down, talk to someone, and do your research.

Collapse )

[Mary] That is great advice to end on. So we are going to end by giving our listeners some homework, or a writing prompt. Which I…
[Tempest] That's me.
[Mary] You got that?
[Tempest] I got the writing prompt. All right. So. What I want you to do is I want you to take a character that you know very well. You want to start… Do this exercise the first time with a character that's not yours. With some character from a book, TV show, movie series, whatever…
[Mary] Fanfiction!
[Tempest] Yeah. That you know all about that character. Or you feel like you know all about that character. Write a character sketch of them. Like one page, two pages. Then change that character's… Something about that character's identity that has to do with their race, their ethnicity, their culture, their… Where they come from. Make that change. Think about it. Then sit down and write the character sketch again. Really think about what would be different about that person, about their history, about their life, about the way they interact with people that they're on the superhero team with or their friends or whatever it is. How those things might be different? How they might be impacted by that major change?
[Mary] That's a great prompt. So I'd like to thank our panelists. I would like to thank our listeners on the Writing Excuses cruise.
[Whoo! Applause.]
[Mary] You guys are out of excuses. Now go write.