Yesterday I finally managed to successfully create a twitter bot. Thanks go out to the amazing twitter community that made this possible, namely @samplereality who provided me with the easiest bot creator I’ve found to date… and I say easiest because I managed to get it to work in less than 30 minutes, once I realized I’d been forgetting to authenticate. The tutorial he suggested that worked can be found here:
I think it might be something I use in my classes too, just need to come up with the broader framework and theoretical engagement. I know it’s there, but I’m stuck on the “OMG this is so friggin cool” moment still.
Why this bot?
Because why not? No. That isn’t the reason. I’ve been vocal of the years about how horrid that American translations of Fanon’s works are, partially because of the time they were translated in and the political situation on the ground here. But, it can be translated better, in bits and pieces, by a bot and a platform. You see, twitter has integrated bing translate. So if you click on a tweet, you have an option to translate it, and the translations so far have been pretty good. So, gift to anyone who is interested.
The other reason I made this bot is… I like have random bits of Fanon show up in my own twitter timeline. So, as a result, we now have @FanonInFrench putting the quotes out there as they were originally written, because.. I think that’s important.
The one thing about the amazing simple bot creator that I used is, there’s a limit to the text archive. Which is fine. It means that I have to form a schedule of when and what to update. But, I think that’s good to. It’s like a half bot bot. Or I’m part bot. Or, it’s a cyborg bot. Right now I’m trying to determine if text will be updated weekly on Friday, or bi-weekly. Given my character, I imagine it will be updated once a week.
I’ve embedded an entire video above, that is great if your into this stuff, if not speed ahead to 8:05 or click the link below. This stuff being dada and surrealism. It explains how surrealism, for Tristan Tzara, one of the dada creators that moved on to surrealism, is dadaism with a political purpose, less individualized, more goal oriented… basically, it is dada with an ideology. And that ideology, the one that sort of skeeved my favorite poet Robert Desnos , was marxism. What I found extremely interesting though is that dada was not without a theory or political purpose. In fact, they say as much at this specific point, that OMG it’s changed my life and everyone should hear the words that come out of their mouths:
I was always taught that dadaism was a reaction to the war, but without skipping a beat, they say it was a reaction to the wars (meaning the great war, and a war that was going on in Morocco was explicitly mentioned in the interview) AND the imperial regime. I feel like this is something that is lost to history. So I guess I might be down the rabbit whole for the next few days to see if anyone wrote explicitly on dada’s dadaism (dadaism is when it stops being practice and moves to theories per the people in the video etc etc), towards an anti-imperial politics.
I find that I’m coming up against this a lot with theorist, movements, etc. from the past 100 years that were doing anything that had to do with pushing against the marginal boundaries. Fanon, Hurston, and now possibly dada, did not have the language to say that they were engaging in something that we might now call decolonization. It is more than post-colonization, it is a complete letting go of all the colonial notions, and imagining creating something new using the mechanical limitations (and language is a mechanical limitation I think) of the time. The other thing I love about the three is they realize that this isn’t a project that is just for the group I’m in but is for everyone. If Zora is writing about decolonization from an american (exposed to diaspora) perspective, Fanon from a French (experienced diaspora) one, and the dadaist are creating from a hodgepodge European centered in Zurich/Pairs but from all over Europe… I think that the way their practice came out is worth noting.
And I think I’ve decided too that if I am going to allow for a language to not exist yet, I can show how even though women are not a large part of the conversations of say Fanon or Dada, their role was still central in a really, really interesting way. That I’m not going to write about here because it should probably just go in my diss.
The UN had a report come out on the global sanitation crisis. It was almost impossible to find the original story but I did. I think the thing that made it so hard to find is that rather than leading with the global santitation crisis, most news outlets apparently didn’t get past the first sentence. Or they did, but that was the lead for the story:
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today launched a call for urgent action to end the crisis of 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation, and to change a situation in which more people worldwide have mobile phones than toilets
So… the Time version of the story, titled “More People Have Cell Phones Than Toilets, U.N. Study Shows“, has a photo from Getty. The image stopped me.
I mean, I totally smiled. The photo is beautiful. It perfectly captures how I would imagine what this sanitation crisis, I mean plethora of cell phones, must look like. Here are the keywords Getty has it listed under the photo.
|Keywords:||Communication, Technology, Horizontal, Outdoors, 30-34 Years, 35-39 Years, Africa, Mobile Phone, Kenya, Indigenous Culture, Animal, Domestic Animals, Mammal, Cattle, Day, One Person, African Tribal Culture, Masai, Color Image, Herder, Large Group Of Animals, One Mid Adult Man Only, One Man Only, Native African Ethnicity, Animal Themes, Westernization, Photography, Science and Technology, Livestock, Using Phone, Developing Countries, Wireless Technology, Adults Only, Warrior, Herbivorous.|
Lots of stuff about animals and indigenous african culture. A few on technology. Westernization and development make an appearance. Vocational information. Location. And… nothing about why the UN report was actually written.
The UN piece has a slightly different title than the time piece, “Deputy UN chief calls for urgent action to tackle global sanitation crisis“, and a very different image:
The phones are a wonderful hook, and they are mentioned one more time later in the piece to give the numbers:
Of the world’s seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines – meaning that 2.5 billion people, mostly in rural areas, do not have proper sanitation. In addition, 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open.
But the call to action later in the article:
“But the effort succeeded not by building latrines; it succeeded by getting people to recognize and to talk about the problem,” he stated.
Seems like it may be lost. I know that if I didn’t have time and I saw the headline, clicked the article, and saw the beautiful image of the Masai Moran warrior on his cell phone, out with his animals in an uncluttered field, I’d probably think “good for them”, and then move on… but maybe I’m more apathetic than most.
In terms of what this means with regards to how we talk about the digital divide cannot be understated. But… our need to gloss over. The fact that most of the articles that have come out over the past few days do not link directly to the UN piece nor do they lead with the sanitation crisis means that the bigger, messier issue is being glossed over and beautified for western/global north consumption and page views.
Is this a problem? I think yes, but I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just me.
It’s been about a month since I made my initial post on the Trigger Warning that appeared on Sociological Images. Since then, they’ve posted another post with the exact same trigger warning and issue. It has been very generative for me to experience this. I am working through what it means to face oppression the way that we do. I think I am almost comfortable with my thoughts on it, which is good because I have a final presentation/performance thing for my last performance studies course ever on December 7th and that is what I wrote/am writing on. This is what I’ve come up with so far (aka iteration/draft 1) for my digital installation:
I might play with it a bit more… I might even try to play with popcorn.js, but I am happy with where it is. Popcorn Maker was easy to use. Working through this allowed me to let go of that second post. I think I don’t need to comment on it. But I will add it to the list of things that make me shake my head and push me to do my project.
In attempting to understand the origins of racism, it is important to avoid removing it to a historical past or displacing its sources onto the oppressed. Any investigation or representations of [otherness], then, must take a critical look at Euro-American whiteness to understand the construction of race as a category. As critic Coco Fusco has insisted, “To ignore white ethnicity is to reduce its hegemony by nautrualizing it”
Brian Wallis, Black Bodies, White Science: Louis Agassiz’s Slave Daguerrotypes, in “Only Skin Deep”, p. 179
In the original quote, “otherness” was “african-american blackness”, but as we move out towards Euro-American ideals of seeing “types”, it becomes the other. This is post is a reaction to a recent post that was featured on Sociological Images, Human Zoos at the Turn of the 20th Century. The post featured this mans quotes and appeared to be in response to a Speigel Online article on remains being returned home. The article featured a small photogallery. Instead of using the image of the man behind the terror/horror, the only images that accompanied the article, and article that led with the trigger warning on the image above, only featured images of the “victims”, not the man. I think the trigger warning should sit with the man holding the gun. If we are going to face it, we should see the proper faces of the violence. Not the metaphorical remains of their inhumane actions. That strips those people and their descendants of their humanity, over, and over, and over again. The new term I learned this weekend from my psychoanalysis reading was “soul murder”. I’m starting to think that is what the displacement of oppression does.
The image above is my attempt at properly facing the trigger warning, because he was not one of the ones who stayed so behind the scenes of the people and the photographs that we do not have his name or quotes or (hi)story, and because his name is still spoken, anytime someone wants to go to his zoo, the one that bears his name.