Monday, October 15, 2012

Reconstructing frames

What does the inhabitant of this urban living room have in common with
the large-mouthed bass in my previous post have in common? Both ar
voiceless, invisible, disenfranchised and powerless. The difference is that
we only eat one of them.
I didn't want to keep talking about CT & the BDS but it keeps coming up on blogs & on FB. I would like to see our whole set of values premises torn apart. Meanwhile, since I've already been outed on & called on my views, I'm reposting for the record, what I wrote in individual exchanges when i was taken to task for the seriousness of my charges quoted on Mira's blog (see previous posts). The following is from those exchanges today.

I stand totally by what I wrote about incitement to Neo-Nazis, who incidentally target Muslims as casually as anyone else. A good look at history is the best proof of that. I think ideally, this conversation goes to deconstructing and rethinking the narrative frame. As Suzanne Lacy mentioned in her workshop about narratives, & Mira referenced in her blog, some of us struggle with being defensive. I am very sensitized, as many Jews are, to the perils of anti-semitism. My Mother was a Holocaust survivor. My father escaped the Russian pogroms AND the revolution. One uncle, a revolutionary war hero, was sent to Siberia by Stalin for being Jewish and another uncle died in a suicide bomb in Jerusalem. My father changed his name from Gabin to Rahmani, because he had many Arab friends and sympathized with their cause. The BDS argument is that circumstances in Israel conflate with Apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid is a loaded term. I agree that in many circumstances that is the outcome in Israel but for very different reasons and that is worth noting. One of my most vivid memories is a conversation with a Palestinian taxi driver in Tel Aviv in 1984, who told me that Iranians then were going door to door threatening people's families if they didn't join the Intifada. I recall visits there as a child & young woman when the separations we see now were non-existent. It must also be noted that blacks in So. Africa never targeted school children and white supremicists there never offered to negotiate. This is complex stuff and my argument is against the dangers of over-simplification. And I've probably written too much.

How many artists from how many countries receive funding from govts whose policies are impeccable? Yes, I made serious charges. No, I don't think the BDS is open to serious dialog. I have been in dialog my entire life with both Israelis & Palestinians and my father before me. I think there are serious issues there that require serious attention with people's lives at stake, not flamboyant grand standing. My point beyond the excerpt in Mira's post, in much longer posts I wrote on FB, was that when serious political statements are made that tacitly disenfranchise any group of artists, both sides need to be presented and the whole framed in terms of what principles on what basis.  

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