Mary Lim

Saturday, February 01, 2014

act: sketches/artifacts

Subtle Racism: 6 concepts

1. misrepresentation of race in the media 
(i.e. black people always have roles that are in a lower class of society or asian actors are always casted in roles that depict asians as followers/weirdos/outsiders)

2. ignorance
(people do not know when they are being racist --> subconsciously demean people of different ethnicities)

3. stigma of racism (stereotypes)
(creates an "us and them" mentality...."'us' and 'them' implies that the labeled group is slightly less human in nature, and at the extreme not human at all. At this extreme, the most horrific events occur.")

4. homo stereotypus 
(a psychological term that describes an animal prone to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, but "one that also possesses the capacity to overcome these biases if motivated to do so." It is in our nature to be prejudice.) 

5. myths of affirmative action
(some think that "ignoring color" solves the issue, but actually are dismissing people's cultural background and identities...)

6. comparison with history
(because of what we've done in the past, people tend to compare what happened in history with the present and say that racism isn't a problem anymore, even though it is still very much an issue)

Here are some artifacts I found on subtle racism:


Below are advertisements by United Colors of Benetton (a global fashion brand) known for creating highly controversial ad campaigns. The brand is known for using shock advertising in order to raise awareness of a variety of issues including racism, AIDS, and political relations. 

The European Youth Campaign against Racism

The Swiss Chapter of S.O.S. Racism (Anti-racism organization)

For the National Congress of Native Americans


Designer Walter Van BEirendonck sent a model down the runway wearing a "makeshift feathered headdress, with the not-so-subtle message "stop racism" scrawled across it in what looks to be red paint." The picture shown below speaks to negative cultural appropriation in fashion and entertainment. 

Memes proliferate the internet made by ordinary people, sometimes involving subtle racism. This popular meme is used as a joke on those of us who have advantages because we live in a first world country. I found this meme along with an article on subtle racism...

COLORS Magazine addresses racism in one issue...
"The fourth issue was...the first monothematic issue, a formula that continues today. And the theme could be no other than Race, in the singular of course. Because there is only one race, the human race..."

Here is the whole issue on race:

Tibor Kalman was magazine editor of COLOR magazine. He also addresses race in his "anti-design" spreads in the magazine. This one in particular depicts Queen Elizabeth as a different ethnicity. The public's response was negative, as they were angered to see a black Queen Elizabeth. Kalman wasn't afraid to make bold statements such as this: 
"We live in a society and a culture and an economic model that tries to make everything look right. Look at computers. Why are they all putty-colored of off-f****** white? You make something off-white or beige because you are afraid to use any other color - because you don't want to offend anybody. But by definition, when you make something no one hates, no one loves it. So I am interested in imperfections, quirkiness, insanity, unpredictability. That's what we really pay attention to anyway. We do't talk about planes flying; we talk about them crashing."

What if...?
Photographer Kiyun Kim addresses racial microaggression through a series of photographs of people who face everyday racism...Her objective was to "shine light on some of the more understated instances of close-mindedness..."


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