Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The 11th People of Colour in Sci Fi & Fantasy Blog Carnival had part one up on July 2nd; The Eye of the Beholder. It was a discussion that went on for a few days about things PoC see as representative of themselves that all too often are used in SF worlds to represent the alien. There's a bit near the end about characters coded as black or who could be interpreted as black. Honestly, I would have loved to get more information on characters that are coded NDN, or Asian (East or South) among other groups.
Part two of the Carnival is out. It's quieter and much much smaller than the discussion that preceded it. But it speaks of that unique, sometimes warped visibility as well, with a piece by Ciderpress of Livejournal who gives one voice to the set that was missing. Ciderpress talks of degrees of othering and alienation.
... there are times when *everything* I do is regarded as exotic, as 'foreign', as East Asian for a given value of "East Asian". And it's not just the stuff I do that's not "default" or "normal" for society at large, it's the normal stuff I do that lots of white people in society do, too.
Part two of the 11th Carnival also involves links to STEAMFASHION and a member there who discusses his interpretation of the fashion and the genre and how he tries to pull in aspects of imperialism and colonialism and the native cultures lost or dominated by them. So seriously check out the piece by lj user Anachronaut. His costuming is beautiful and provocative and thoughtful and his comments in threads at the link are just as insightful.
And finally there's Bibliophile Stalker on WordPress about The Philippines In Western Speculative Fiction.
Check it out.
But to the Carnival I'd like to add a few links
Debunking White Fantasy by Bankuei. His entry brought up aspects I hadn't realized I'd absorbed when it came to PoC representation on SF. Which is that all too often the PoC characters or the nation representing them are ghettoized/marginalized into having cultural markers, stereotypical markers, that say 'this is what a PoC culture is' / 'this is who PoC are' no matter what. Whereas white characters aren't limited to being from mock Northen European cultures. They can come from anywhere and be anything.
Complimentary to that entry is one by Naamen, Terminology - Savagification! I think the title itself is the best summary as to what that's about. Combined with Naamen's other essay Hollywood Stop Whitening Characters! No Really! Stop It! and in particular the link and quotes within it regarding Neil Gaiman's Anasi Boys.
Can you see the picture being drawn? About how PoC in SF, if represented at all among the 'normal' Northern European background and characters; they are Other, Exotic and quite often Savage (as in the savage enemy).
Next: IBARW & The WoC & Beauty Carnival. The PoC in SF Carnival will return in September.