Friday, May 28, 2010

My letter to M.I.A. - and her beef with Lynn Hirschberg

Battle between, representation and translation, placement and boundaries, transplants and static states between M.I.A. and NY Times writer Lynn Hircshberg, and her piece profiling MIA while making her third album. Fascinating for M.I.A. being questioned, her taking it badly, and attacking another person's interpretation of her.

Dear Maya,

I do think you have to own your contradictions, and there is a place for you... just read about Latinidad, among other theories. I think you'd be more credible once you accept your placement along this fluid Post-Race, 2.0, postmodernist, 1st meets 3rd, borderlands, intersectionality, teacher/student - student/teacher aesthetic... it is a concept we have been living since Colombus first raped my mother...

I personally understand this dilemma. We are dealing with the simultaneous want to be part of a group, or to essentialize ourselves for sake of solidarity with others. Yet we carry unique differences that separate us from that group and move towards another... and when that difference likens you to features such as power and privilege, and appoints you to membership to groups that are flexing that power and privilege... we become resentful of ourselves for not being like the rest.

As interlopers between the altern and the subaltern... we carry the jewelry of the visible, and the blood and food of the invisible. We use these pieces such as record labels, the internet, blogs, English, dance music, and Diplo to translate and share rhythms, messages, ideas, and anger of the 'other'... but it is at that point we utilize these pieces is where we lose ourselves... right when you do make a polyrythtmic track with some Baile Funk... your quest is gone. My only advice to you is be in that space to the point of control. Take charge of your borderland, take hold of these features and grasp it for yourself, make power within that sphere... instead of leaving that space to accept another type of power that was not made for you.

So dont' worry Maya, you are no different from the rest of us interlopers... and its a nice place to be. Just do you and it'll feel a whole lot better.


No comments: