Artist Favianna Rodriguez – @favianna, on Facebook, on web – was part of this past Sunday’s Bay Area Book Festival event at a panel titled Who We Be: An Un-Panel About Our Colorized Futures, hosted by Jeff Chang and described as –
Favianna Rodriguez, Oakland artist
W. Kamau Bell, comedian, FX Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell
Adam Mansbach, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Dead Run, You Have to Fucking Eat
Who’s afraid of 2043? No, really?
At this Un-panel, author Jeff Chang (Who We Be, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop), award-winning visual artist Favianna Rodriguez (Migration Is Beautiful, CultureStrike), comedian/philosopher W. Kamau Bell (United Shades of America, Totally Biased) and author/parenting expert Adam Mansbach(Rage Is Back, The Dead Run, Go The F***k To Sleep, You Have to F****** Eat) riff and rant on art, culture, race, and demographobia.
Rodriguez was the first of three panelists. (over here for my post on Adam Mansbach and on W. Kamau Bell) Rodriguez described her perspective of the importance of culture, especially how powerful culture is to shape the narrative – not only through narrative correction but also through narrative creation. Although she was unable to show her work at the event because of the venue setting, Rodriguez did describe some of her past work on immigration and current project Pussy Power. Her main website also includes links to her artwork/portfolio at Flickr, to her online store at Flying Cart, and to her blog. Here are a few phrases that I jotted down during her talk –
… people defining culture are creating laws, affecting laws, etc.
… culture surrounds us everyday … we form our opinions based on what’s around us, … allows us to define ourselves
… narrative correction is important and narrative creation is important
… stop being the NO culture … what does the YES look like?
As a side note, I was introduced to Rodriguez’s work at Jeff Perlstein’s SoleSpace (on Facebook, on web) – shoe store, art gallery, event venue – in Uptown Oakland. In fact, I have her Migration in Beautiful V-Neck T-Shirt – with the image described as –
The monarch butterfly has come to represent the beauty of migration. Adopted by various migrant rights organizations, artists, and lovers of justice, the butterfly symbolizes the right that living beings have to freely move.
Like the monarch butterfly, human beings cross borders in order to survive.
This design is Favianna’s artistic adaptation of the butterfly. Each wing shows a human profile.