I’m an art lover so I thought I’d share. I’m excited about this exhibit. Should in the vicinity of Dartmouth before August 10, you should go see this exhibit at the Hood Museum of Art.
Maud Sulter, Scottish (1960-2008)Terpsichore, 1989
“”Black Womanhood” aches with old wounds, probed tenderly by artists who still contend with these scars and restrictions. It has a mighty scope, embracing topics such as the spice trade, Josephine Baker, African initiation rituals, and homophobia in South Africa.
The paradigm it sets up – between black and white, woman and man, colonized and colonizers – is one we’re all trying to dig our way out of. It’s easy, and perhaps even necessary, to paint the oppressed in a gauzy, heroic light so they can shed the projections of others and reclaim their own identities.
But I found myself wondering, as I wandered through the traditional African masks, pots, and costumes, reading wall text that emphasized the complementarity of male and female roles among various African peoples, was it really so noble and perfect? Was no one oppressed? What about practices such as female genital mutilation, enacted by African women upon African girls? It may be too much to ask this already ambitious show to examine yet another topic fraught with conflicted meaning, but it certainly adds another layer to the already rich iconography of black womanhood.”