In reaction to the recent events. I have decided not to sit in anger. The results proved what we all know. The world is a dark space to exist when you are not part of the dominant culture or viewpoint. I am channeling that anger into my work. I have been released from hesitancy, and I'm excited to see where this space takes me. I challenge you all to do the same.
The Sorealist age is upon us.
Sorealist Manifesto (Draft One)
Now more than ever the voice of the Intersectional creative is needed. We are not living under the reign of logic, but instead we are living through illogical processes of our time which benefit the status quo of white hetero christian male supremacy, patriarchy, sexuality, and gender binaries. Our lives and problems of oppressed peoples are of no interest. The absolute colonialism, which remains in our society, allows for erasure, and celebrates ignorance to facts relevant to our experience as oppressed peoples. When it comes to the recent election logical conclusions, escape us. Needless to say, boundaries have been assigned, designed, and executed in hopes to keep us obedient to supremacy, and complacent in our experience. We live in a cage where release has become increasingly difficult. The system depends upon our mental, physical, and metaphysical incarcerations, and avoids common sense. Under the guise of liberty, under the pretext of progress, we have succeeded in dismissing identities of anyone who doesn’t stand for white male dominance as the standard. Freedom is in our minds, and now could be regarded as superstition or myth. We have prescribed every way of seeking the truth, justice, and equity, which does not conform to white dominant norms. For this we have been punished.
It would appear by sheer numbers that critical thought about issues which no one was supposed to be concerned of any longer, has forcibly been brought back to light. For too long we were told to leave our identities aside to be viewed in creative realms as equals, to not call ourselves Black Artists, Queer Writers, Artists of color, or any intersection of the creative. We were told the creative world was an equitable space, but it has proven that it only mirrors the white hetero male dominant society we exist in. This election was an act of violence performed on all who oppose the dominant norm, and we’re reminded people in power have a plan, and we are not part of it. Credit for this must go to Toni Morrison. She stated:
Perhaps the recent actions we experienced means critical creative thought is on the verge of losing its rights. If the depths of our minds conceal expressions capable of augmenting or conquering oppressive forces in our reality, it is in our greatest interest to capture them; first to capture them, reflect on them, and later to submit them, should the occasion arise, for the progression of reason. As intersectional creatives we have a perspective that can inspire substantial change in this world. The gatekeepers of change themselves can only gain by experiencing our expressions, no matter how harsh they can be. But it is not our role to provide methods or solutions to fix the white male enterprise. We merely create the mirrors for them to face the consequences of their actions. So until new order can be considered, we the province of intersectional creatives, scholars, and enthusiast will be the disruptors to tyrannical praxis.
It was only fitting that Morrison shared her prophecy on the creative’s role in social justice. I have always been astounded by the extreme hypocrisies in American notions of freedom and liberty. The lack importance and acknowledgement to oppressive acts in the waking moments are lullabies of privilege that keeps us, the observer, up at night. When white hetero christian man wakes, he is above all the histories of his actions, and he normally delights when he knows there is no actual consequence. He has the reality of continuing something worthwhile. A world where he is in power, and the dreams of the oppressed find themselves relegated to a parenthesis, like the night. This state of affairs will be a harsh reality to deal with, and for some creatives find it hard to create in this state. But I am viewing this moment as a time to invite a few reflections, and ways of creating:
1. Observe the Power that is restricting you from being who you are, and analyze why. Watch closely to those in positions to perpetually keep you and those you care about oppressed. When I speak of observing oppression I am specifically speaking of the racial, sexual, gender, religious, and all intersectional oppressions. But acknowledge the privilege you have in your own identity and vulnerably state where you see your power lies.
2 Internalize how that power affects your state. We are human vessels, and reactions are ordinary as creatives, but before you express your force internally sit with the actions that affect you. Try to get a full sense of how the power affects your vessel, do you feel fatigue, helpless, depressed, are you sick to your stomach. These energies are needed to build a true emotional index to pull inspiration from and execute your reaction.
3 Reflect on your practice. What are you doing within your own practice as a creative to speak on this oppressive power. Does it affect others in your life you have strong allyship? What is the power you hold within your creative work to reach others and bring awareness to the dominant powers. How do you inform perspectives that do not reflect your own?
4 Create something to disrupt and challenge the power, and those who benefit from it.
In reference to Morrison, she stated, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” To disrupt the system we as sorealist creatives must be the mirror to the dominant oppressors. We must show them through our creative processes how white supremacy, acts of systemic oppression, micro-aggressions, patriarchy, subtle nuances of prejudice affect our humanity, and needs to change.
5 Be real and unapologetic in your execution. As creatives we tend to weave these themes within our work in a fashion that is not blatant or direct. We spoon feed our viewership to save face economically, socially, and to not hurt fragile white emotions of privilege. These acts of oppression are violent especially to people of color. The fragility of our feelings is not taken into consideration when systems progress white supremacist agendas, so as creatives we need to be as unapologetic as our oppressors. We will execute our craft in ways that give people pause, and punch harder to the gut with our creations.
6 When the time comes share and collaborate to create more. During this time of need, there is no room for ego, oppression is a collaborative effort and we need each other to build a strong force against it. We can strike harder in groups than individuals. Extend your vision beyond the four pale walls of the gallery space if needed. Work hard to create the space you need to share your ideas. Lend feedback to one another. Take advantage of the talents we have, and give it back to your community. Educate the new generations on how to create. Build across age ranges like our ancestors before. Banding together is what will help us in this fight and push our creativity to new heights.
I charge creatives to be Sorealists. To not suppress your creativity or identity out of fear. Unlike our predecessor, we create in reaction to realities, not dreams. Our reality is being forcibly taken from us, and we are responsible to challenge that force and show those in power that we will not submit to their order. Creativity is our voice and we cannot stay silent. I challenge you to use your creative process to combat their last efforts of true white hetero male supremacy. We have four to eight years to create. We will not erase our identities to exist in a creative world or this society anymore. We will be who we are, and we will express ourselves by any means we can. We do not need their crisp white walls to thrive. We will not be suppressed anymore. We will destroy their dreams of supremacy by being Soreal.
SOREALISM, noun, Pure creative force that expresses identity to combat white christian hetero male supremacy by either creating visually, verbally, in writing, or any form of making. This is a true function of thought and practice dictated by reacting to our oppressive realities, internalizing these events, reflecting, creating, and collaborating with the sole goal to fight supremacy. All to create the aesthetics that uplift and share perspectives of oppressed peoples, especially people of color. We work to show our realities, disrupt oppression, and combat the status quo of whiteness as a standard. We are Soreal.