Ep. 18: Representation Matters- Our Thoughts on American Dirt & The Halftime Show
This episode hear about our updates, how we survived Mercury Retrograde, Full Moon in Pisces and illness. We are deep in our feelings, and using this platform as a therapeutic outlet. If you bear with us for about 20 minutes, then we get to the meat of our topic.
We are discussing the controversy surrounding the novel American Dirt, and it’s cultural appropriation among the many critiques of the author and the book. As always we see ourselves in dialogue with many other Latinx scholars and organic intellectuals who have spoken out on this topic including our fellow podcasters at Latino USA and Bitter Brown Femmes, as well as Myriam Gurba who’s critique of the book sparked the controversy.
Our analysis of the book lands us calling out the publishing industry, and the power systems that create a world where a white woman can receive a 7 figure advance for a story about migrants, while people of color continue to struggle for any kind of representation. This leads us to a discussion about the Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira and JLO, and the complexity of the importance of representation while also leaving space for critique and the need for growth.
Representation absolutely matters in a white supremacist, patriarchal, cisheteronortamive world that marginalizes so many. We ask how can representation and critique work alongside each other? And it only means we need more representation to fully illustrate the complexity of our experiences.
We are glad to see shows like Genetfied, Vida and Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia are doing just that, and we implore the entertainment industry, the publishing industry to be intentional in giving marginalized people opportunities to tell their stories.
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“Popular culture constitutes a terrain where not only are ethnic and racialized, as well as gender, identity contested, reproduced, and transformed, but also the struggle for and against social equality is engaged.”- Michelle Habell-Pallan