Tuesday, 11 February 2014

36. Writers' Block

I'm stumped. Over the course of the past 24 hours (because more often than not I write based on what I have immediately heard or seen or randomly thought or felt) there hasn't been one thing that has stood out enough for me to want to write about it. So I thought that it might be interesting for me to illustrate the thought processes behind some of my previous posts.

3. Penelope (Stream of Ratchetness)

This was a fun post for me as it was so early on in the project and was in a different style of writing from my usual mini essays on culture or race or society. With the likes of Pusha T and Trinidad James blaring through my headphones on my walk home from work one evening, I began to think about the flexibility of language, and how words can adopt completely new meanings when taken out of context. How the words "popping molly" could mean totally different things in different contexts. So, as I punched words frantically into my iPhone whilst simultaneously trying to navigate through other commuters and pedestrians, the monologue from a young woman scrutinising a spot in the bathroom mirror could be connected with a neighbour's account of a gang shoot-out, no questions asked.

When I finally got home, I thought that I would add a harsh contrast between genres - the hip-hop I was listening to was set off against the practices of James Joyce (stream of consciousness) and his own references to the epic poems and their leading protagonists in his novels (Penelope). A very eclectic, textured piece. I wish I had had the patience to take it even further.

15. What Is Art?

I remember writing this post the moment I got out of bed. It was a Monday morning and I'd taken the day off work. As I lay in bed, scrolling through my Instagram feed, I stopped at a photograph posted by Miroslava Duma relating to an interview with Dasha Zhukova featuring on her site, Buro247. In time, this photograph (Dasha sitting on a chair crafted out of metal poles and a real-life sculpting of a African woman, stripped naked and bound by belts) went viral and commentaries were popping up on every social media channel and credible online news outlet.

I was so angered by the photograph that I ended up losing my rag with a Duma fan claiming that people were being "too sensitive", but I eventually calmed down and asked the questions of the post instead - to myself, and to anyone reading.

26. Cymotrichous

There is a point in time during the wearing of one's weave - and ladies who are reading and who have ever worn a weave for longer than a month will recognise this - where a woman's own hair will grow out, creating a spongy barrier between her scalp and her weft. I love to dig my fingertips into this spongy mass (so much so that I decided to chop all of my hair off and go natural - see HERE) and so I wondered if I could capture that sensation in a poetic/spoken word format.

34. Night

Not much to say except for the fact that I was tired. Like, really sleepy. I thought it would be cheating if I went to sleep without writing something (still haven't done that! *punches air in delight*) so I thought I would put my tiredness in words. And that's pretty much it.

4. Sex, Cash and the Afridicto Disposition

I won't talk on this post for too long because I've posted it to death - not only on my own social media channels but also on others (www.mediadiversified.org - cheeky plug there). But this was, hands down, my absolute favourite to write. I was drawing from childhood experience, conversations I'd overheard as a little girl amongst aunts and uncles and conversations I've had with friends at a much older age; I was drawing from discussions I'd initiated with my own parents and imagining their accents as I typed particular phrases, and I was so thrilled at the response to the age-old question from readers across the globe! It's so contentious that I could probably lend another post to the topics of African parents and careers, but maybe I'll save that for the next project.

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