Racial Gaslighting, hides in plain sight in everyday interactions. It subtly shifts dialog from a racist topic at hand onto the accuser – forcing them to question and re-assess their own response to racism, rather than the racism itself.
“You’re being overly dramatic.”
“Are you sure it was about race?”
“I’m sure he/she didn’t mean it like that.”
Intentional or not, these types of comments trigger a spiral of self-doubt and create a convenient way to avoid uncomfortable conversations about race.
The constant questioning, twisting and undermining of what I know to be true – has had a compound negative affect upon me, manifesting in insomnia, anxiety and hefty amounts of emotional baggage. Through these works, I am exercising these demons.
This exhibition explores implicit biases facing BIPOC communities and the aesthetic armor for protection I have created to shield myself.
The show will be on view in MoCADA’s virtual exhibition hall from May 3, 2021 to July 5, 2021. Viewing link to follow. Sneak peak below…
Microaggressions are defined as subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.
The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination, is that people who commit microaggressions are often unaware they are doing these things – and if you point it out to them, they say, “That wasn’t my intention, you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression.
I often have the experience of people touching my hair without asking first, which makes me feel like a merchandise on display. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been complimented for being “articulate.” Which presumes that black people are not usually capable of competent intellectual conversation.
The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.
Created using a combination of free form weaving, knotting and wrapping techniques, I have frozen these moments with, zip ties, ribbon, yarn, paracord, cotton rope, beading and recycled fishing nets to create protective armor.