For some reason exam season also translates to a lot of Internet procrastinating time and I've tried to rework that into productivity by curating some of my favourite gems of this here Internet.
1. EVERYTHING Willow Smith
|Performing a five song set at Fader Fort's Brooklyn Pop Up along with brother, Jaden Smith and SZA (source)|
Willow's EP 3 is out today on Google Play; it's free for a limited time.
2. The Hair Issue by Miss Milli B
I'm a bit late to the party with the extraordinaire that is local blogger, Miss Milli B but her revamped site and her poignant articles that make use of language, matters and memes I can relate t and enjoy have me hooked.
A while ago she posted The Hair Issue, an interesting read on the links between stylistic and trend related choice and a long history of oppressive voices that influence those as well as the issue of being an educated Black women, uncertain of whether she is choosing to relax her hair simply because it's pretty or she needs a change or is she actually falling victim to a system that promotes the superiority of European standards of beauty.Hair, and pretty much anything to do with black women and black female choice and there seem to be very few articles examining the issue of hair in terms of South Africa and Africa, where it is rather different from its American counterparts where weave and relaxer are a longstanding culture and things like box braids and cornrows are re-surging trends.
3. Sonia Sanchez: A Course on Black Women
Initially, when this popped up on my Tumblr feed I was really reluctant to check it out because I thought it was going to be one of those things that pin-holed Black women as Angry and Mad or something really racist and upsetting that I wasn't ready for and I'm ashamed to admit that because it showed my ignorance as I didn't recognise the name Sonia Sanchez.
This is part of a really beautiful series of videos of an interview with the poet and activist, Sonia Sanchez and in this specific one she speaks about a university course she taught on Black Women and it was more about looking and understanding the culture of Black women in America and the issues that affected them that were rarely discussed like incest, rape and self-hate. Listening to Sonia is such an enlightening experience because there is such a vivid passion to her and she really does care about what her students have to say and what she has to teach and it's inspiring.
4. Under the Influence by Bryan Lewis Saunders
|Psilobyn Mushrooms [2 Caps onset] (source)|
|Butane Honey Oil|
"After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew myself under the influence. Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage that fortunately wasn't irreparable. I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time and I only take drugs that are given to me."I was looking at famous self-portrait artists like Egon Schiele and Frida Khalo and a Wikipedia rabbit hole led me to Bryan Lewis Saunders's series of self-portraits, all started and completed under the influence of drugs, ranging from heroin, cocaine and marijuana to xanax, ritilin and ambien.
It's a really experiment that reminds me of everyone's favourite Instagram caption, "Who sees the human face correctly; the photographer, the mirror or the painter?" and if you consider that the only idea of what you look like that you have ever seen is from reflections and film, self-portraits are all really a matter of subjectivity. There is no objective way to reproduce an image of yourself. My friend, Shai, was telling me how she can never resist the desire to arch her eyebrow a teensy bit more or square out her jaw a little bit less when she does a self-portrait and those are based on her ideals and insecurities. Self-perception, man. And, who knows, maybe Saunders's portraits under the influence are quite possibly the most accurate representations of who he is, if you're of the brand of thought that looks at self-portraits as more than just an image but insight into the subject and the painter/photographer than anything else.
This also makes me want to try out more drugs but, ugh, expenses.
5. Rapper, Junglepussy's Twitter
Junglepussy is the ruling empress of all things Bad Bitch Carefree Black Girl All the Women in the Building Put Your Hands in the Air. Her Twitter is an empowering and amusing reflection of the attitude I can't wait to fully embody one day when I've attained enough self-esteem, carefree-ness, no-fucks-given and sass. Follow her right now if you want your soul to be saved.