For Monday, May 10th, you'll do your first blog post about your topic for essay #3. For this essay you're going to select a work of art (a painting, song, film, poem, story, etc) that you think has some political meaning. Or, select a political act that has some cultural piece. You can use some of the works we've discussed in class. Or you can use one that was in our readings/packet but we didn't get to. Some examples -
Nina Simone's "Four Women" (lyrics in course pack)
Eudora Welty's "Where is the Voice Coming From?" (course pack)
The Black Power salute by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics. (see David Zirin reading in course pack)
Some other possibilities connected to our course readings:
Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"
Bob Marley, "War" (If you're researching this one, don't miss Sinead O'Connor's use of the song in a different political context!)
Bob Dylan, "Masters of War"
Nina Simone, "Why? (The King of Love is Dead)"
Public Enemy, "Fight the Power"
Public Enemy, "911 is a Joke,"
Public Enemy, "Welcome to the Terrordome"
Public Enemy, "By the time I get to Arizona," This one is timely! It would be interesting to see if people are referring to it in the new context of the current Arizona law.
Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989 film)
If you're interested in graffiti, you could write about 5 pointz, or a similar space, or a particular work of public art.
If you're interested in the women's movement and the issues raised in Alice Walker's essay, you might look in to the quilts done by the women of Gee's Bend Alabama (see the example at the start of the post and google for more.)
And Here is a link to an interview with an Iraqi artist about his unique brand of political art that would make a great essay topic. At the end of the interview, he has an interesting response to the quesiton, "Do you consider yourself a political artist?"
And here is the myspace page for lowkey, and Iraqi-British rapper using this now-global form for political change.
Just be sure you're picking a specific text: you don't want to do a whole overview of Nina Simone's career, or you won't have time to do anything but summarize.
Your text/act need not be from the United States. It can touch on issues - like the environment - we haven't much discussed. If there's an issue or type of text you're interested in but can't think of an example, pose a question in the comments and we can help you find one: 30 minds are better than one.
Post your choice of topic and reflections by Monday, May 10th. Look at the posts by your colleagues for ideas. Look for my comments about your topic.
What did you think about 5 Pointz? Is the art there 'political'? Is it political art? Where in the city's landscape do you see public art of different kinds? What ideas does it contain? Here's an article about graffiti in another context - what connections do you see to our trip or your other experiences with graffiti?
And here is an interview with David Zirin, author of the chapter on Mohammad Ali and the '68 Olympics that we read, about the responses in the sports world to Arizona's anti-immigration law. Notice the comparisons he makes to Ali and Carmichael. Share your thoughts on this breaking story and whether and how you think sports can have a political impact.