giovedì, agosto 17, 2017

Do you know the way to Santa Fe

We've just finished rendezvousing with (rendezvouing? No idea how to conjugate that. Meeting up with. There you go) some family in New Mexico after a visit to Canada, and it was a fascinating time. Santa Fe is an interesting place. Simultaneously a massive shopping centre for and run by well-to-do white women (which obviously I'm not able to whole-heartedly knock) and the place outside of northern Canada with the biggest, most visible concentration I've ever seen of First Nations residents.

Because of the circle of acquaintance of the family we were visiting, and because of the neighbourhood we were staying in, and because of a rabbit hole of Southwest American jewellery I seem to have fallen into, the only time I spent with the white people who live there was when they were trying to sell me something. In a context where the main things for sale are First Nations culture and craft, that was creepy.

But as deeply as I fell into a jewellery rabbit hole - and it was fucking deeply, because besides the awesome way that stuff looks, the history of the making, materials and marketing is giving me so much to think about in terms of the livelihood of artists in general and identity artists in particular; I'm probably going to spend the next year wrapped up in reading and thinking about this - there was no occasion to actually give money to dealers. Everything I wanted to buy (and I bought much more stuff than I'm accustomed to buying because it was awesome and because I could) was available as direct sales from the jewellers themselves.

So there's a whole class of white people uselessly and lucratively piggybacking there. They pat themselves on the back over what an enlightened part of the US they live in because it's all peaced out and left wing; oh yep, the shopkeeps got straight into that with me when they realised I wasn't from around there. I know Trump is giving people bad cases of the cringes lately but I still felt cornered, not having brought up politics myself; it's like having a few drinks with a German and having them spontaneously bring up how the Holocaust was awful and not their fault,  but I digress.

Anyways - in Santa Fe - simultaneously back-patting while overtly living out the racist, colonial model of something-for-nothing exploitation that has never been truly faced and has made the US in general the fucking shitshow basket case of a country that it is today. After a week I was glad to leave. 

2 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

The jewellery - sounds like my distraction heaven...

But the shitty colonial piggy-backing...

Sorry. I am struggling to retain any sense of perspective. Everything is going to shit. I think it's the worst it could be - and it gets worse. I wonder if I can sustain this level of anger - then get angrier.

But I've been buying a lot of jewellery. And walking. Walking with jewellery on. Loads of it. Big chunky ridiculously striking jewellery - that would likely drag me to the bottom of the Clyde if I slipped on my river walkway walk.

If you're home. I have a biscuit or 30 to send :-D

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

Yes, I'm here and I'm starving!