post colonial feminism

Feminism is necessary because of what has not ended: sexism, sexual exploitation, and sexual oppression. And for [bell] hooks, “sexism, sexual exploitation, and sexual oppression” cannot be separated from racism, from how the present is shaped by colonial histories including slavery, as central to the exploitation of labor under capitalism. Intersectionality is a starting point, the point from which we much proceed if we are to offer an account of how power works. Feminism will be intersectional “or it will be bullshit,” to borrow from the eloquence of Flavia Dzodan.
—  Sara Ahmed, “Living A Feminist Life”
No Platform for Land: On Nick Land’s Racist Capitalism and a More General Problem

We invite the New Centre for Research and Practice, if they are to retain any credibility as a critical institution, to end their course taught by Nick Land (ongoing through March and April 2017). That students have paid for this course is not a problem they should be burdened with; a refund, whole or in part, would be the appropriate recompense.

Nick Land promotes racism, in its eugenic, ethnonationalist, and cultural varieties, and yet he continues to be feted in art and theory scenes. As the crisis lurches into the Frog Twitter presidency, the New Centre for Research and Practice hosts Land for a suite of eight seminars; Urbanomic, the experimental small-press, announces a reprint of Fanged Noumena, the Land collection that hooked-in his philosophy fan club; and an academic conference is advertised, in terms all too flattering, on Land’s ‘ferocious but short-lived assault’.

Is it that these institutions and projects are wittingly racist? No, they strike us more as Land’s ‘useful idiots’, enhancing the reputation, credibility, and reach of a far right racist while imagining his presence in their scenes furthers different agendas. Sure, they make the odd noise against his racism, when challenged, but it peeves them to do so, their hackles rise; racism is an irritant, the assumed radicalism of their projects seemingly absolving them of mundane responsibilities to investigate further, to reflect on their role, to cut Land loose. Instead, their cutting-edge philosophy morphs into liberal commonplace as they deflect opposition to the content and aims of Land’s racism and the means of its circulation and traction into abstract defense of the free play of ideas, of ‘reflect[ing] the landscape of contemporary thought’, of ‘working with controversial thinkers’. One wonders if this kind of philosophy reaches any point at which the content of an idea provokes critical opposition?

It is suggested that lack of critical attention to Land’s racist scene allowed it to proliferate unchecked, that, as the New Centre puts it, ‘the political left’s dismissal of right accelerationism and neoreactionary thought [i.e. the Land camp] is one of the many reasons as to why we are seeing an unchallenged rise of fascism and white nationalism in Europe and North America’. Quite so, they are right to highlight this lapse of attention. Though they have missed the logical conclusion of their observation: that we should critically oppose all the means by which far right racists rise and gain credibility, including when the means locate themselves on ‘the left’ or within experimental philosophy.

We are accused of not reading Land, of a failure to understand him, but the only defense we can see of those who are yet to cut loose from Land is that this failure of understanding lies with them. So let us clarify a little with some brief exposition of Land’s far right racism. We hope it will also be of use to others concerned about the spread of the far right under cover of esoteric philosophy.

Nick Land advocates for racially based absolutist micro-states, where unregulated capitalism combines with genetic separation between global elites and the ‘refuse’ (his term) of the rest. It’s a eugenic philosophy of ‘hyper-racism’, as he describes it on the racist blog Alternative Right, or ‘Human Biodiversity’ (HBD). Here, class dominance and inequality are mapped onto, explained, and justified by tendencies for the elite to mate with each other and spawn a new species with an expanding IQ. Yes, this ‘hyper-racism’ is that daft – and would be laughed off as the fantasy of a neoliberal Dr Strangelove if it didn’t have leverage in this miserable climate of the ascendant far right. Regarding the other side, the domain of the ‘refuse’, Land uses euphemism to stand in for the white nationalist notion of a coming ‘white genocide’: ‘demographic engineering as an explicit policy objective’, ‘steady progress of population replacement’, is the racial threat he describes on the bleak webpages of The Daily Caller.

It is claimed Land has a superior philosophy of capitalism (‘accelerationism’ – you’ve heard of it – the topic of his New Centre course). But like the Nazis before him, Land’s analysis of capitalism produces and is sustained by a pseudo-biological theory of eugenic difference and separation: the redemptive productive labour of well-bred Aryans, for one, the escalating IQ of an inward-mating economic elite for the other. There’s no ‘philosophy’ here to be separated from Land’s far right ‘politics’; the two are interleaved and co-constituting. ‘More Capitalism!’ has always been the essence of Land’s supposedly radical critique, from his early philosophy at the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) to now. Hence it’s little wonder that his philosophy is inseparable from the racism that has always accompanied capitalism as an integral dynamic – from chattel slavery and the blood-bath of colonial expansion, to the passive slaughter of migrants in the Mediterranean and Black populations at the hands of the police, their mundane exposure to death calibrated to the crisis of the labour form. Land’s oh so virulent assault on the ‘Human Security System’, as he framed it in CCRU days, thrilling those who thought him the transvaluation of all values, is revealed to be the latest in a long and monotonous line of tropes that would disqualify the life of particular humans – the working class, minorities, and other ‘refuse’. For hyper-racists can rest assured, the elite’s ‘Human Security System’ is to be bolstered, by capital accrual and the proliferation of hard micro-borders.

That Land’s chosen people are internally homogeneous global classes of high ‘socio-economic status’ and not exclusively ‘white’ should not be the distraction he intends; the physical and psychological violence of racism has its own sorry architecture, but it has always closely partnered with the production and perpetuation of class privilege and pleasure. And inevitably, more traditional racist tropes of fear, hatred, and ridicule of Black people and Muslims, of ‘cucks’ (as the alt-right call those who would live without ‘race’ boundaries), feature with enough regularity in Land’s blog and Twitter (Outside in, @Outsideness, @UF_blog) that his ideas can merrily slop around on social media with the full gamut of racisms.

Take an example, posted on the day Land gave his third seminar at the New Centre, as if to rub their noses in it. On 19 March he tweeted favourably to a rabidly racist blog that explained German crime rates as the result of the supposed innate propensities of ‘races’ (and not, as anyone with a critical philosophy of capital knows, a result of racism, insecurity, and poverty); ‘Blessings from the Maghreb’, Land captioned it, with a wit worthy of Nigel Farage. Another chimed in to this dreary taxonomy of racial types with the observation that the Chinese ‘are impeccably well behaved’, to which Land’s response: ‘90% of my racism is based on that fact’. Don’t be mistaken to think the latter is some kind of light-hearted humour, for Land adopts – and teaches his junior interlocutors by example – a calculated ambiguity to his racism, all the better to broaden the milieu within which his odious ideas can circulate unchallenged.

Then there’s Land’s broader neoreactionary scene. For instance, he converses with Brett Stevens on Twitter as interlocutor, not opponent, and the two spoke as part of the ‘neoreaction conference’ (Stevens’ description) at LD50 in summer 2016. Stevens is a self-declared white nationalist whose ideas influenced Anders Breivik and who, in turn, praised Breivik’s murder of 77 people for, in Stevens’ eyes, being an attack on ‘leftists’: ‘I am honored to be so mentioned by someone who is clearly far braver than I,’ Stevens wrote of Breivik. ‘[N]o comment on his methods, but he chose to act where many of us write, think and dream’.

It is surely apparent from all this that any appeal from Land or his advocates to ‘free speech’ is a dissimulation, willed or accidental, that aides his efforts to extend the reach of his racism. It’s only those at the greatest remove from the violent impact of racism who don’t see that ‘free speech’ is repeated by the alt-right to such a degree – always front and centre in their profile – that it has become integral to their reproduction and dissemination. As ever, the art scene and liberal media have trouble seeing what’s right in front of their eyes. Look at Frieze’s recent effort, the magazine’s will to promote ‘free speech’ taking the form of a stacked ‘survey’ about the anti-racist shutdown of LD50, with an unbalance of three to one of those unable to fathom why it’s ill advised to give far right racists and their apologists a free pass through east London, the art world, and the university.

It has been said that we should learn from Land’s purportedly well-honed critique of the cognitive ecosystem of ‘the left’, the rather limited view that those who would overcome the violence, exploitation, and tedium of capitalist society are all just whingers. But the readiness of people to be impressed by this point suggests they may already be on the slippery slope to the right. For it would take little effort to find a wealth of critical work from radical theory and practice – from feminism, post-colonial theory, anti-racism, queer theory, Marxism, critical theory, communism – on the limitations of our scenes. That has always been a feature of radical currents, the ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’, where ‘all’ includes the standpoints from which that critique is made (in contrast to the drab inviolate principles of the far right: bourgeois individuality, race, nation). Undoubtedly, this critical capacity needs honing. Sustained critical and experimental engagement with this conjuncture and our limitations is sorely wanted, for there is much worse in the world today than Nick Land. But part of that critique should be opposing the presence of Land and his ilk in experimental scenes, rejecting the idea that we have anything to learn from these narcissistic, racist identitarians – nothing except how they came to proliferate so unopposed.

And that is a lesson for the future too. As the crisis deepens, we will be seeing more of these far right ideas disseminated under cover of ‘controversy’ and ‘free speech’; right wing ‘solutions’ camouflaged with leftist flavours; reactionary conservatism masquerading as techno-futurism; left wing scenes adopting right wing metaphysics; fantasies of social collapse arming the status quo, etc. Not that we’ll have to look too hard. Nick Land openly declares his racism, and yet critical institutions continue to promote him. Can they ride out opposition to Land and sail again on philosophical waters untroubled by the realities of class exploitation and racism? Perhaps, but it’s unlikely. Instead, we invite them to ditch their positive association with Land, before their credibility is tested beyond repair.



What’s New For African Feminisms?

African women are gaining force in music, writing and film, offering powerful and subversive views on gender, power and the future.

In partnership with the African Feminist Forum and the African Women’s Development Fund, this session looked at what is fresh in African feminist thought and action, and the relationship between Diaspora and continent based activism.

The speakers were Pontso Mafete, Women’s Rights Manager at Comic Relief; Jessica Horn, writer and women’s rights consultant; Rita Ray, renowned DJ and African music specialist; and Ethiopian/American singer and campaigner Meklit Hadero, who will also perform.

Chaired by Nana Darkoa Sekiyamah of the African Women’s Development Fund.

This session was part of the Women Of The World Festival at the Southbank Centre, 6-10 March 2013 in London.

It is so scary as young wlw when you get a crush on a girl and she may potentially be lbpq as well! No one talks about this much, but for lbpq girls who find themselves with an opportunity to begin dating someone, it’s really terrifying! And of course all young people are scared of dating but I feel like for lbpq girls especially, we’re constantly doubting ourselves and worrying about whether the relationship even has a chance or if it’ll last.

A girl I sort of have a crush on might be bi - like me - and we have a lot in common. We’re both Desi, we have similar interests in books and literature and analysis, we’ve hung out before in really peaceful & solitary settings, we love writing, we’re passionate about post-colonial feminism, etc. And I thought to myself that hey, Navya, you can actually ask this girl out! You’re usually the most Confident and Extroverted One ™ of your friend group, so why not take the chance? I even discussed this with my other friends - most of whom are straight and would prefer if the guys they liked asked them out (a convention of heteronormative dating) - and they told me to go for it, given that my personality is conducive to taking the initiative. 

But I’m terrified! I’m nervous and I’m afraid to take the chance for various reasons, not limited to the fact that lbpq girls don’t exactly have many guides or resources on dating! And I want to say that if you’re an lbpq girl in a similar situation, do what you think is best! If you need someone telling you to go for it, here it is: take the chance! Take the risk! What results might be bad or it might be amazing! Alternatively, if you’re too scared to (like me), that’s fine as well. These things are scary, and it’s okay if you’re not confident or ready or optimistic about it. You have every right to be cautious but you also have the right to take the risk and see how it goes! 

Major work Questionnaire

Hey guys!
I am currently undertaking my major work for my final year, and i have chosen to do an in-depth study into mainstream feminism and post-colonial feminism. I was wondering if you guys could spare around 10 minutes to answer my questionnaire relating to my major. This is over 40% of my final mark and it would mean the absolute world to me if you all can participate (The more the better!) 

Just click on this link and it will open up to a new page :)

Thank you everyone for your time, God bless!

cosmosincarnate  asked:

Best way to learn more about art history/ art theory (that exists right?) Like are there some must read books on the topic? Thanks!

I think ‘But is it Art? An Introduction to Art Theory’ by Cynthia Freeland is a good way to start with art theory. A lot of theories are briefly discussed and explained. From here you can look into specific theories or subjects you like, such as gender studies, theories about how the brain perceives art, post-colonialism, feminism etc. Feel free to ask me about books about specific topics, I’ll try to answer them (and otherwise my followers may know of publications)!