selected projects > archive of older work

This fictional diary entry reads:

29 December 1815
"The one they call the Black Pearl, Her. I don’t understand. They debase me and compare my features, considered beautiful near the Gamtoos, to monkeys and baboons. She who tempts the desires of the Other in both their men and women with bananas around her hips, teasing with the erotic fruit that rests beneath her darkness. Oh don’t displace the love never gained in your homeland for the eyes of the Other that long to taste of your secrets and peer into your darkness to embrace what they imagine they don/t have. Why would you want to boil the water of things that evaporate and leave residues of hideous and repulsive untruths about our bodies, ourselves and how we love? Oh Josephine, you may find fame, riches, and the favor of the powerful Other, but you will not be free from the untruths you perpetuate that our sisters will live with long after you are gone. Celebrate our blackness, not theirs. Our full hips, our voluptuous backsides, strong thighs and secret lips that hold our lovers in delicious embrace. Abandon the savage dance, and the buggy eyes that weave stories of us that aren’t true. You seat us off our thrones and give them cause to justify what they do to us, and others with brown skins.

And when you are in my position, when you can see from the other side, talk to the little one they call Kim. For you, Cuvier, Darwin, Bertillon, Galton, Murray and the like, should ask for her forgiveness. You, not as much as the rest. Yet certainly you know firsthand the pain the little one they call Kim hides under the knife and the jelly she puts inside her chest. How she searches for the throne she has in her closet, but has not yet found the key that opens the door. Tell her to talk to her sisters, the ones in the curious moving cages that remind me when I was captive to piercing, prying eyes, that wanted to see or get between the legs of what they imagined was my dark, juicy continent, who prodded and poked at me in my cage to see if I was real or a figment of their demented imagination. Three pence! Did you see the advertisement Josephine? I’m at least glad you got much, much more!"

Oh Josephine, detail
Oh Josephine, detail