I’m new to the world of the archive, a world where you dig through text and images in an attempt to excavate some new or previously rejected truth. Kathleen Bomani is not. Our work became entwined with one another's through our shared attempts to find answers to questions about Germany that history and relationships to communities have guided us towards. And also questions we didn’t know to ask.
I went to summer camp with designer Mi Leggett. Back then, we were both kind of hippie-ish theater kids. I think we were in a production together that involved large paper mâché puppets? But it was a long time ago.
Although there may be a push for legal rights wrapped up in the logic of visibility, to be steadfast while circumventing stable definition, as an individual and as a community, challenges the project of colonial law-making and undoes the foundational idea that there are universal scientific or moral parameters that people must follow.
How do we bridge our community work so that we are not only in solidarity with the people in the margins around us, but those to whom we are connected globally?
Sometimes, Pete told me, he needed to ask his crew, “White people also do this, right? And they’d all be like, ‘Yes.’ As an Asian-American filmmaker, you’re very wary of someone not getting your culture right.” Pete didn’t want to turn around and do the same thing even if, we agree, white people are over-represented in popular culture. “I still feel like I have a responsibility to reflect things honestly.”
New Definitions is an ongoing series of op-eds feeling through the journey of finding home in a neocolonial homeland as el 李 spends six months in Hong Kong visiting community organizations and reconnecting with family. Traversing geography, politics, and subcultures, these articles consider the specificity of the history of Hong Kong as former British Colony and now ‘Special Economic Region,’ as well as how diasporic queer experiences are transnationally impacted.
summer mason and I walk through Mountain View Cemetery during golden hour as we shoot scenes for their next project, Gemini. They gently instruct me to walk away from the camera, to look back, to practice reflection. summer tells me it’s okay to smile and I realize, if not for their divine warmth, I would shy away from the process.
On May 13, 1985, the Philadelphia police with FBI support threw an improvised bomb of C4 and Tovex TR2 (a dynamite proxy) on top of a building they knew to be filled with men, women, and children of the radical Black Power organization, MOVE. The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed dozens of homes and resulted in eleven deaths, including five adults and five children, some as young seven years old. Not a single member of Philadelphia’s city government was criminally charged for their complicity in the bombings.