|"I like to Show Cuteness in a Traumatic Way|
|Coordinated Cat Lady|
5 Fave Blog Posts
"All you need to know about Oxford is that you start and end at the gift shop. Buying and returning your Harry Potter gown, amongst Harry Potter movie merchandise, the I ❤ Oxford hoodies for the tourists, the ‘born to go to Oxford’ baby bibs for the pushy parents. And it’s one week later and I’m photo shopping out the stupid out of my face and the creases from my shirt."
The Real Oxford Manner
"Vegas is more Disney than Disneyland, more capitalist than Wall Street, it is both an affirmation and a parody of the collective weirdness of America and it is glorious. It's techni-colour dislocation with it's area 51 grafitti, mock European monuments and dystopian voice overs (seriously they pipe robot voices and britney spears first three albums into the street as you walk by). To call it tacky is to miss the point. It is not tacky. Because it isn't imitating anything. (Except maybe the secret wishes of 9-5 business dudes). Rather it consumes existing tropes and tales to suit its own need, to create something new. Vegas in it's alien immortality, theme park in the desert-ness is how I imagine the afterlife. Vegas is awesome. Go there."
Bright Light City
"I think of respectability, and how suicide is tenure for some, bankruptcy for others. I think about the difference between Hamlet's soliloquies and Ophelia Pre-Raphaelite portraits. Images vs words. Masculinity and femininity, the intellectual vs the precocious. The tortured vs the shrill. I once wrote a young middle class white girl who knows death, who speaks of death, who goes through a goth phase, is applauded like a cat than can stand on two legs. A party trick. The young girl of colour who knows death, speaks of trauma, is the opposite, common as dirt. (I think about how a mean, rather racist white girl once told me I had eyes the colour of shit, what a horrible thing to say to another human!) Both girls lose. Lose their lives, their 'creative' reputations whatever you want to call it. Susan Sontag said that Diane Arbus legit status was confirmed when she killed herself. I disagree. I think it was regarded merely as another neat party trick for the grown ups, like a child who can sing all the parts in So Long Farewell from the Sound of Music."
Selfies and Suicide Notes
"What if I could keep the rad ethos of community and creativity of zine culture but create something that can reach more people than a small circle of tumblr and twitter? People who might not necessarily know what a zine is but know what it's like to stop breathing on the way to class, to stop eating, to want it to end, but to want, to not want, to feel like this?"
An Exciting Announcement
5 Fave Articles I've Written
-Book Review of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham for 'For Books' Sake
“Now I may not be down for creepy ‘omg disability is soo creative’ outlook. *-*-vomits internally-*-*-*. But I am down for bbs not feeling inadequate for not matching up to some ridiculous ableist standards that encompass everything from our standard of life to our eyeliner decisions.”
-How to Do Cute Eye Make Up When You Have a Tremor for Powder Doom
Like many survivors of child abuse, I have always sought comfort and escape from my own life in the lives told in fiction—especially movies, in my case. A safe and scripted portrait of growing up, fucking up, falling in love—one that links you with the other people around you and is available for purchase as a six-disc box set on Amazon—is so much more appealing than an unreliably remembered reality that you are too traumatized to relive and too scared to retell for fear that the response will be “I don’t believe you.”
-Crimes and Misdemeanours for Rookie Magazine
"Invisible borders divide disabled bodies into two genres. The first: the romantic fairy tale style, a world where disabled bodies are represented as mythical unicorn fairy creatures, delicate, tragic and otherworldly inspiration. (This is where disability as dress up, romance, or quirky inspiration comes in.) The second, in contrast, is not mystical but medical. A place where a person is nothing more than the sum of their symptoms, a Caliban-esquecreature to turn away from, to be kept in the dark."
-Disability is Not a Dress Up Box, I Shape Beauty
"Much is made of dead white men, and the shadows they cast, but what of the dead white women? It’s Susan Sontag’s, it’s Virgina Woolf’s. It’s Sylvia Plath’s. What does it mean for a young girl of colour, struggling with mental health and suicidal ideation, to read the Bell Jar and feel nothing? Is she (I) not truly depressed? Am I reading it backwards? Upside down? Is it wrong of me to appreciate the remarkable gifts of these (white) women, struggling with similar mental health troubles, take my notes, reference them in class, admire their craft, but not choose to turn to them in my own time of need? "
-Doll Hospital Journal, The Coalition Zine
3 Fave Pieces of Academic Work
"Because the eReader lacks one important thing: a book cover. A curious commuter sitting opposite an aspiring cultural glutton will be presented with nothing but a plain grey or black rectangle. This is reading as a solitary pursuit, anchored not in image (for there is no image to display, no possibility to project a theatre of the self) but in the text itself, a concept that stands in direct opposition to the literature-as-image model. How fearful this jump is, the very medium that once sought to confirm a person’s impeccable tastes is replaced with an unpleasant ambiguity, that grey slab, a grave stone for one’s cultural credibility, slyly suggesting that the ‘cultural snob’ may be straying away from the canon. In using a medium for reading that conceals, rather than reveals, a person’s cultural consumption, a curtain is drawn, suggesting something to hide,suggesting, perhaps, that what lurks beneath is not Ulysses but 50 Shades of Grey."
-Oxford Mst. Dissertation: Literature as Image in Digital Culture
"It is said that God created man in his own image. Yet, when comparing one’s own reflection to the angelic figures of runway catwalks and movie posters, you can’t help but draw the conclusion that God is either very cruel or rather ugly. This is the dead space between ‘should look like’ and ‘actually looks like’, which can be identified in the profound sense of loss that undercuts the act of getting dressed. It is the gap between the item we want (the designer dress) and the item we can afford (the high street knock off), the physical body (how we are perceived) and the dream body (how we wish we were perceived), the clothes on the hanger and the clothes on the ‘ordinary’ person, the clothes on the ‘ordinary’ person and the clothes on the model."
"For, much as it is easy to dismiss the ‘real’ Miley for the picture Miley (not realising that it is these contradictions that reveal the whole) it is easy to place Hannah Montana Miley against VMA Miley. And it is easy to ignore the fact that the many faces of Miley are what give the construct of grotesque white girlhood meaning [13, 14.]. For the Hannah-Montana-image-Miley, celebrating white girlhood in the pure white paradise of the Disney Channel, and the VMA-image-Miley, celebrating whiteness by highlighting what she is not (a black woman) are not different, they are near identical. This is not a radical break from girlhood, as so many shocked journalists think, mourning the wholesome girl child she once was, but a clear continuation."
3 Fave Interviews I've Conducted
(I've done LOTS more this year but they're not published yet!)
"As Audre Lorde said, when we transform silence we become even more powerful. The things we thought would hold us down. Things that we thought people would judge us about, that we would judge ourselves about; it’s the sense of releasing all of that shame, so the story telling process has been a work in progress."
-Janet Mock Interview for For Books' Sake
"But guilt is unhelpful. Sitting around feeling bad about the state of the world doesn’t change anything. You think you can’t do anything so you aren’t going to bother. That reaction is frankly bullshit. You can do something. It’s these easy ways out that allow these systems to continue to damage the environment and exploit. We need to recognize where we are in the state of the world, globalization happened, the economy is a global entity, so our buying practices matter."
-Labour Behind the Label Interview for the Style Con
"I used to be very obsessed with the body and the emotional memory connect; the idea of muscle memory and your cells storing all of your experiences. I’ve always had a fascination with the grotesque, medical information, science information, and the death industry. I find diseases and deformities to be fascinating, they are the ultimate betrayal. So I started making imaginary diseases or organs. Objects that were inspired by specific organs or cellular structures but were then imaged into fantastical creations, that I tried imbuing with my emotional experiences and feelings."
-Emily Barletta Interview for the Style Con
Other Random Stuff I've Done (and Liked)
"It is this necessity of difference that I hope Doll Hospital can work towards. Our first issue has just been put together, we explore all kinds of topics from the trauma of rape, to dealing with psychosis and being in a mental health ward, as well as more light hearted pieces on self care, and even an essay on Kanye West, complete with fan art. Our contributors are from all different experiences and backgrounds, because there is no one story on mental health and to suggest otherwise would be kind of ridiculous."
-My Talk on Doll Hospital at Oxford
Doll Hospital itself(!!!) the art and literature journal on mental health that I founded this year
-This interview I did with the wonderful Francesca
"People suffering with their mental health are regarded as unreliable, unstable, and even frightening; the thing that makes us ‘qualified’ to discuss this subject (as in we have to deal with this stuff everyday) is the very thing that makes people uncomfortable about letting us speak. How can we tell our experiences accurately when we are regarded as such unreliable narrators? I think this is foolishness, all individuals are, by their nature, unreliable, and allowing people, especially women, to discuss their first hand experiences openly, without feeling like they need to provide a ton of footnotes to show it’s true, is the most powerful thing we can do to challenge mental health stigma."
-And this interview I did
"The Poem That Is Not A Poem does not trust phrases like:
Community Dance Troop
Tickets to the theatre on Friday"
Community Dance Troop
Tickets to the theatre on Friday"
-This random poem I wrote
....And finally this art series I did for Rookie