Building the Artistic Agenda for an Activist Moment

That art and activism go hand in hand is not even a question. There has been no modern freedom struggle without its painters and poets, storytellers and speakers and songwriters. The radical artist’s work in absorbing the nature of the world around them and translating that into tangible objects is vital in helping people make order out of what can seem like chaos. Central to that is their ability to respond to what the people need to carry forward. Art for art’s sake has its place, but its place is not in the movement.


Her incisive essays reference familiar touchstones of the mainstream minimalist movement: mental health, mindfulness, authenticity, and so forth. But from her very first post, it’s clear that her focus is broader when she mentions “keeping my resources within the Black community and supporting women-owned businesses.” The “Afro” in AfroMinimalist isn’t merely a self-description. It’s a critique of the prevailing whiteness of minimalist culture.


In the world of architecture and design, community is the touchstone for a movement that goes by many names: activist architecture, participatory design, socially-engaged practice. They reflect a shared idea: systemic social inequality is designed, planned, and built into all aspects of our lives. Perhaps, then, design and planning might be instrumental, even necessary, in tearing it down.

The Bravery and Peril of Unapologetic Queerness

How typical – that the most passionately, fiercely, unmistakably queer among us are the ones who bear the brunt of this country’s and the world’s hatred, expressed either through dehumanizing laws and social mores, or brute violence. How typical – that the deeply radical existence of queer and trans people of color is pushed to the background of the narrative, marginalized even in the stories of their own lives.

A Foolproof, 100% Money-Back Guaranteed Guide to Achieving Your Writerly Dreams

But thinking about it now, I wonder if it should have been so unexpected after all. It was, in truth, an alchemy of encouragement, persistence, and belief in myself — in addition to luck, which we can all use a helping of. So I decided to make a list. While I can’t guarantee that everything will happen exactly the way you’ve fantasized, I can guarantee that you’ll be close to where you want to be sooner than you know it.

Feminist Mags You Should Be Reading Right Now

When women are present in media production, we’re often shunted to “women’s interest,” the section of publications and other media outlets that are focused predominantly on the performance of femininity and traditionally feminine pursuits. There’s really nothing wrong with these types of media. The discrimination lies in our confinement to them, the presumption that this slice of life comprises the entirety of “women’s interest.” To borrow a catchphrase from one of my all-time favorite chick flicks, "As if!"

Standing Your Ground Without the Guilt

Her words were quite familiar, because I’ve heard the same words in my own mind and from the lips of others. Women suffer from a pervasive fear of asserting ourselves. It goes against everything we’re taught about what it means to be a “good girl." But keeping the peace has a high price: when we compromise our opinions, feelings, and desires, we end up internalizing society’s devaluation of ourselves. And if we don’t value ourselves, we don’t stand a chance at self-fulfillment.

T.W.A. Q&A

Natural hair hasn’t always been accepted in America, and many would argue that it still isn’t. Advertisements and television shows rarely feature black women with natural hair, and in the black community the perception of natural hair is even less flattering. Because of this complicated background, it’s uplifting to see more black girls at PVA who feel confident enough to wear their hair the way THEY want it, stereotypes be damned. To explore this trend further, I talked to fellow PVA naturalistas Breasha Blaylock, Cabria Scott, Jamie Perry, and Maya Williams.

The Revolution Will Be Tweeted

This summer, if anything, has been one to remember. At the very beginning of June, a small protest by Turkish citizens against the tearing down of a park was turning into a massive grassroots protest against the administration of Turkey’s prime minister. By early July, Egypt’s democratically elected ruler Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian military following widespread protests, and the middle of July brought a turning point in American race relations when the not-guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case sparked demonstrations all over America. How could these things have happened so quickly, so forcefully, capturing the world’s attention? Simple. The revolution has been twitterized.