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Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and burrows old,
We must hop on, ere break of day
To seek our high carrot gold.
Billboards are everywhere in New York City. They’re on subway trains and in stations, and on top of and inside taxis. But few, if any, have been anything like a series of anonymous billboards that have popped up on bus shelters in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. They’re not selling anything but a delcaration: that racism still exists.
That’s also the name of the appropriately titled campaign. At least half a dozen billboard sites have sprung up around the neighborhood since August, with each month dedicated to highlighting racial disparities that impact black people in America. So far, the billboards have touched on topics ranging from the entertainment industry, education, fast food, smoking, policing, and black wealth. Each month’s billboard is also accompanied by an detailed post on Tumblr that provides background information, news articles, studies, charts, and statistics to back up each claim.
A brief statement on the Tumblr page says, in part, that “RISE is a proejct designed to illuminate some of the ways in which racism operates in this country.” But who’s behind the project remains a mystery.
For the time being, the project seems dedicated to its anonymity. Both the Tumblr page and the billboards themselves are devoid of any contact information. Similarly, the private advertising company that’s contracted by New York City’s transit agency to host advertisments and billboards said that it does not give out information about who paid for the advertisements.
Even local activists who spend their time dedicated to working on racial justice issues can’t figure out who’s behind the billboards. Nonetheless, they’re intrigued by the campaign. This month’s billboard is dedicated to Stop-and-Frisk, the controversial NYPD tactic that’s drawn national criticism for its disproportionate impact on black and Latino men. The billboard’s provactive text reads, “Don’t want to get stopped by the NYPD? Stop being black.” On the heels of New York City’s 2013 mayoral race and the prominent role that critics of Stop-and-Frisk have taken in city politics, the billboards have become a meaningful part of local discussion.
It’s no accident that of all of New York City’s neighborhoods, the billboards have targeted this one. A historically black neighborhood, Bed-Stuy has become one of the most contested spaces in New York City. A 2012 study from the Fordham Institute found that Brooklyn is home to 25 of the country’s most rapidly gentrifying zip codes. That’s created a stark contrast between those in the neighborhood who have more upward social and economic mobility than others. Several high profile media accounts have recently noted Bed Stuy’s so-called “hip” transformation and “resurgence”, but the borough’s medium per capita income in 2009 was just $23,000, which was $10,000 below the national average.
The content of the billboard’s messaging may not exactly be news for most residents, but the presentation has nonetheless been powerful.
at the end of All Yesterdays (the extremely good book about imagining and illustrating dinosaurs in complex speculative ways i was talking about yesterday) there’s a section where they prove the point about the fact that we need to be more open to imagining skin coverings and fat/cartilage deposits by illustrating modern-day animals as if a nonhuman paleontologist from millions of years in the future reconstructed them using the just-skin-stretched-over-the-skeleton-and-muscles method that unimaginative paleoartists use with dinosaurs
with results like:
and i love it so much because it absolutely unquestionably proves the point the book is making
Multiculturalism for Steampunk is starting up a weekly art challenge, and it looks promising. SO EXCITED. I’ve had a bunch of ideas for non-Western steampunk outfits floating around in my head, and it’s nice actually having a weekly deadline to motivate me to finish some of them.
This is pretty subtle in its steampunkery (read: no extranneous metal bits), but I was just trying to bring in a few western/Victorian elements to traditional Indian clothing- legomuttoned sleeves, the double breasted, collared choli, and adapting the churidar into buttoned spats.
…Also a sweet hat.
Editing to add commentary in response to toryot: No such thing as being oversensitive with this sort of thing! I appreciate it, honestly. I tried to avoid choosing anything specifically British (or any of the imagery specifically associated with colonization/”exploration chic”, things like khaki and piths), and tried to make it seem like the character had agency. I definitely don’t want to pretend I’m creating this in a void, that there aren’t historical and cultural contexts surrounding the politics of dress, but was trying to integrate elements that didn’t overwhelm the original culture.
Granted, I am of the opinion that Steampunk that erases past racial greivances (i.e. alternate history where white people are awesome and never did anything wrong and we’re all best friends) is kinda shitty and naive- that’s why I drew this as a character, and not as a costume design for something I would wear (as a white chick). If one were designing a Steampunk world, it would be unfair to assume that this cultural crossover didn’t happen and wouldn’t have existed, but I honestly apologize that the original post might make it seem like this was drawn solely for aesthetic purposes- and I’d like to address that and make it clear that I am definitely trying to keep context in mind, and am happy to be called out like this.
Colored version of a doodle in my sketchbook. Originally I wasn’t going to rip anything out of there, but I really felt the urge to color something lol
Trickster Jane is so pretty and terrifying. <3
For every complaint about her skin color I get I will draw another fanart of her with her skin a shade darker each time.
I love the little girl checking her out from the window, it’s the little touches like that which I really like.
Here is a thing I made to help you art.
praise da lawd for this post
well done person