Chinese photographer Jun C elevates humble safety pins into surprisingly expressive anthropomorphic subjects for an ongoing series of photos entitled Brooch. Some appear to sit alone on a chair or at a desk, while others spend time with loved ones.
The pins are carefully bent and positioned in scenes that are wholly familiar to us humans - so much so that the viewer immediately identifies with the little metal subjects on an emotional level. In Jun C’s world, the life of a safety pin has its ups and downs just as it does for any of us.
Let me explain something, white people: We just fucked up. Bad. We elected a racist demagogue who has promised to do serious harm to almost every person who isn’t a straight white male, and whose rhetoric has already stirred up hate crimes nationwide. White people were 70% of the voters in the 2016 election, and we’re the only demographic Trump won. It doesn’t matter why. What matters is there’s a white nationalist moving into the Oval Office, and white people — only white people — put him there.
We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by putting on safety pins and self-designating ourselves as allies.
And make no mistake, that’s what the safety pins are for. Making White people feel better. They’ll do little or nothing to reassure the marginalized populations they are allegedly there to reassure; marginalized people know full well the long history of white people calling themselves allies while doing nothing to help, or even inflicting harm on, non-white Americans.
If you really need some way to show your support, if you just can’t bear to sit in your discomfort for even a little bit longer, here’s my suggestion: Instead of doing the thing white people invented to make ourselves feel better, follow the example of the people from the marginalized communities you want to support.
There are better, more active ways of showing support to marginalized communities. Volunteer, donate, get in touch and get involved!
This is an awesome idea using safety pins! Instructions can be found here And thanks guys for helping Punky Pineapple now reach over 800 followers! It’s crazy how fast this blog is expanding but I love the support so please keep it up!
We don’t think safety pins work. We came up with something better.
The concept of safety pins, as a way of expressing support and solidarity with people from marginalized communities, isn’t necessarily a bad one. However, many of these same marginalized people that safety pins were meant to protect have expressed concern with the fact that they’re just not good enough.
Safety pins aren’t a solid form of visibility. You have to know what they signify. You don’t know what marginalized communities the person wearing the safety pin supports. And unfortunately, they’ve now been co-oped by facist groups looking to draw marginalized people into a false sense of security.