Remembering Charlottesville: Notes from the Frontlines

Guest writer Khristian Smith shares his experience as a counter-protester of the ‘Unite the Right Rally’ at Charlottesville on August 11 – 12, 2017. 

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Late in the evening on August 11, I turned away from my work to find that hundreds of real-life Nazis had descended onto the Grounds at the University of Virginia. I honestly wish I could say I was surprised by their clandestine march or the fact that they were wielding torches, but given the City of Charlottesville’s, UVA’s, and Thomas Jefferson’s histories, pretending to be surprised would be dishonest and as much an assent to the violence that inevitably followed as, say, a condemnation of violence “on many sides.” Fortunately, I was not alone in my lack of surprise.

As hundreds of torch-wielding white supremacists marched their way across the lawn to the Rotunda, 20+ third and fourth year students created a wall around the Rotunda’s statue of Jefferson. These students linked arms, held signs, and met “you will not replace us” and “blood and soil” with “Black Lives Matter” and civil disobedience. Their nonviolent determent of (mostly) white men retained even when “blood and soil” transformed into “we have the right to beat you.”

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Flag Race // A Queer History of the Rainbow Flag

Happy Pride everyone! I hope everyone reading this is decked out head to toe in glitter, rainbows and body paint. To mark the momentous occasion, there has been a victory within the gay community; the pride react button is back on Facebook. Truly, this is an event up there in the pantheon of queer successes along with gay marriage, the return of Will & Grace and this.

Everyone loves rainbows right? They’re fun and colourful and 9/10 times there’s an untouched pot of gold at the end; surely that should be reason enough for the LGBTQ+ flag to be a rainbow right? And what’s up with the recent brown and black additions? What kind of rainbow has brown and black stripes? Let’s have a look at a brief history of the most fabulous flag the world has seen.

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Sigalit Landau // Barbed Hula (2001)

Winding through the tourist scattered streets of Málaga on a Sunday afternoon, sun beating down on me, I headed to El Centre de Pompidou, a smaller branch of the world famous contemporary art gallery in Paris. Making my way through the gallery, I stumbled across many striking exhibits, such as ‘Self Portraits’ which featured feminist icon Frida Kahlo’s The Frame (1938), as well as a sincerely thought provoking exhibit, ‘The Man Without A Face’. However, it was the gallery’s segment for ‘The Political Body’ that struck my attention most. This is where I discovered Sigalit Landau, an incredible Israeli female artist who uses video, sculpting, installation and her own body to create political art. Her art was astounding, but her message was even better.

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Pepsi Lives Matter || The Revolution Will Be Sponsored

You know the old saying that the revolution will be televised? Apparently there’ll be commercial breaks featuring misguided Pepsi adverts. And oh boy is this one a corker.

 

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Voices of Resistance || 100 Days in Appalachia

Voices of Resistance is an ongoing project at Boshemia to share narratives of activism in the current geopolitical climate. If you would like your story of activism shared with our global feminist community, contact us at boshemia.blog@gmail.com. This is our first installment.

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For this first installment of Voices of Resistance, we turn to Appalachia—a region of the United States often overlooked—and remembered by many only for stereotypes of rural life, poverty, coal mining, and opioid abuse. This great swath of America has long endured sensationalized myths of identity and little media attention has been offered over the years to mitigate these perceptions.

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photo by Appalachian-American photographer Ashley Renee Hoffman

Appalachia describes the cultural and geographical region in the contiguous United States that stretches from southern New York to northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. At the 2010 census, 25 million people were reported to inhabit this land of sleepy hollers and ancient mountains. That’s a substantial population to overlook, and that’s precisely what has happened.

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