Saturday, October 2, 2010

Visibility pensamientos

"...and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength." Audre Lorde

When i was thinking about my visual project and my thesis of visibility vs. invisibility I thought of the famous Audre Lorde quote listed above.  I emailed my brother, my most trusted translator, and asked about translating her quote in the best way for my video on the guys.  Instead of translating it he said he wasn't sure that the quote really applied to the jornaleros in the way it applied to queer women of color (whom Audre was referring to).  I thought about this and just kind of dropped it.  Then tonight I saw a woman who is running the queer women of color collective I am interning with post the same quote on facebook and it made me think more about the difference between being "visible" as an undocumented person (which to a large percentage of the population makes you a criminal and/or a terrorist) and being "visible" as a person of color or  queer or a person with one breast (which Audre also theorizes about in terms of visibility), or being a woman.  I have a dear friend who was running a very respectable, political and highly artistic website consisting solely of videos of AB540 students "coming out," becoming visible, showing their faces, revealing their names and their legal statuses.  In this case, Ms. Lorde's quote can work; the students are politicizing themselves by making themselves visible and fearlessly confronting the risk of being "outed."  In the case of the men that I filmed however, my intent is to show them representing themselves and being visible while not putting them at any risk by revealing their names, legal statuses or locations.  So though I agree with my brother about the quote not applying in this particular case, I think it can apply to undocumented people whose visibility makes them incredibly vulnerable, but whose fearlessness can inspire and motivate people in ways that those who have the privilege of not being at risk just by existing can not. 

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