The Transformative Power of Visibility

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It is such a gift to feel reflected and to be seen, especially when you are different. Two weeks ago, I was watching an awards show on BET and listened to a woman give a speech. I did not know her name, but there was something different about the way she carried herself, and in her difference, I felt a kinship.

As it turns out, I was listening to Carrie Mae Weems, one of the most accomplished Black female visual artists in the world. A recent recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a retrospective at the Guggenheim, Weems is a rarity and an outlier in multiple regards. She is an outspoken woman of color, an artist who stands firmly in her complexities and dares to not only contemplate them, but to showcase them and allow us to engage in discourse through them.

Although heterosexual, one could consider Carrie Mae Weems and her work to be queer. While “queerness” is most commonly associated and articulated with regards to the LGBTQ community, it essentially refers to otherness or “outsiderness.” Queerness as resistance to the mainstream is an critical aspect of social movements and our own individual evolutions. By expanding our narrow definitions of self, queerness allows us to explore new ways of being in the world.

For more, click here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simone-n-sneed/the-transformative-power-of-visibility_b_5042486.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices.

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