things i read #5

Sometimes I read something really good online and I just wanna save it somewhere. This is that stuff. Split into categories for easier browsing! (Category names intentionally vague/sometimes inaccurate.)

Data

What would feminist data collection look like?, Catherine D’Ignazio at the MIT Center for Civic Media blog: I love love loved this post because I think about this question constantly. I’ve enjoyed the mechanics of the research projects I’ve been involved with thus far but what really interests me is the stuff that falls through the cracks. Like, when we visualize a lot of data what are we not representing? What ideologies are dominant in the visualizations we produce? Who is collecting data and where are they socially situated? D’Ignazio writes that charts and other data visualizations can wield a lot of ideological power because they create the illusion that they are totally neutral (they “see from the perspective of no person, no body”). I’ve always found data visualization very frustrating for that exact reason…I don’t want to visualize the data, I want to write a long theoretical paper about the data that didn’t quite fit in the model, you know? Anyway she comes up with some ways to situate data visualization that I think are very smart.

Queerness

On Being Queer in the Caribbean, Gabrielle Bellot for the New York Times: This article came out a while ago (I’ve gotten a little behind on my to-read bookmarks…) and it’s very good. I gotta read more about what it’s like to be queer outside of the U.S. To be honest, living in Oklahoma has definitely hyper-focused my energy.

Lesbian Beds, a photography project by Tammy Rae Carland: I saw this project ages ago on Tumblr and I still love it. These images ground me.

Art & Media

Alternatives to Alternatives: the Black Grrrls Riot Ignored, Gabby Bess for Broadly: Before reading this, pretty much all I knew about black girls in Riot Grrrl was that there weren’t that many of them, because the movement wasn’t all that inclusive. But there were black girls in Riot Grrrl and while they were definitely isolated, they also did some incredible stuff. Have you ever heard of Sista Grrrl Riots? No? Go read this.

Bad Black Mothers, Melissa Harris-Perry for The Nation: Melissa Harris-Perry writes about the recent proliferation of negative images of black mothers on TV. See also: this excellent interview with Melissa Harris-Perry for the podcast Another Round; I think that’s where I heard about this essay in the first place.

The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Artist, Her Mysterious Death and Cult Resurgence, Guelda Voien for Observer: Do you know who Ana Mendieta is? Now you do. She was an artist whose tragic death has some troubling overtones of misogyny & racism.

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