I really enjoyed watching the Barby Asante Talk, especially the showreel. It really gave us an insight into what her work was about and it kind of reminded me of one of my video collages.
One of the most important things I got from her work was the use of the “Black voice” – giving black people and people of colour a voice in society. This is extremely important because it educates white people about racism from the point of view as a black person or person of colour. The media usually portrays racism from the white perspective, which kind of defeats the purpose of why we need to educate people – it’s literally talking over black people and people of colour.
This concept is very similar to what I’m writing about for my dissertation, apart from I’m talking about trans people and how the media always portray the trans experience from the cisgender perspective. I know these are two completely different experiences, but somethings do intersect.
I particularly liked the film/spoken word piece about the Declaration of Independence. It reminded me of me own spoken word performances. Like Asante, I also use my work to educate others and raise the voices of a community that is often silenced – the transgender community and people with mental illness. The use of statements in this piece really gave it a sense of importance – almost like it was saying “Listen to me. I am here and this is my voice”. This emphasised the feeling of voices rising up and being heard.
In conclusion, I will definitely look into more of Barby Asante’s work. Her use of voice, visuals, and soundscapes will influence my work in the future.