What a weird time. I was in Santiago de Chile, hanging out with a bunch of artists, when the US election happened. A few days later, I went to the Museo de la memoria y los derechos humanos, which documents the history of the military coup that assassinated Salvador Allende and placed Augusto Pinochet into a dictatorship that lasted almost twenty years. Listening to Allende's final radio broadcast, when he knew that the end was near, just aches.
The museum also features biographical information and photographs of many of the thousands of people disappeared during the dictatorship, and artifacts from the campaign for the 1988 plebiscite that eventually ended Pinochet's rule. (The 2012 film No dramatized the campaign.) What does it take to say no -- as an individual, as a group, as a society? How do we work together to make change?
When I came back from Chile, I had the absolute pleasure of hosting a visit by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble at our campus. At one point during the day, someone asked about the responsibility for, essentially, a type of information literacy -- like, whose fault is it, if kids don't know the difference between fake news and real? And she emphasized the danger of neoliberal individualism in assigning blame -- if we have failed, collectively, to support education, it isn't the fault of individual parents that their children haven't learned. Accountability is shared, and in ways that are sometimes obscured.
Anyways, here we are. This has been sitting in my drafts folder since mid-November, and I have opened and closed it at least a dozen times without finishing it. I'm not entirely sure what to say, but I suppose that itself says something.