Friday, January 20, 2017


a skirt. a gift. a gift from a faraway place. a retreat, holiday, escape. a colourful piece of fabric. exotic. vibrant. summer. i wear this beautiful cloth as a skirt, a dress, a provocation. i am aware of its possible connotations, yes. the othering of these remote 'cultures' that we might visit to find ourselves (we are not the other). but. but. but. i am the other (am i?). i am the other of men and the other of european and the other of the other. and, so, when i wear orientalism i wear it as self-exoticism, as femme as fuck you. i wear it to tell you i won't wait for you to position my body - i don't care for your vision of me. i position my body right wherever: woman, sensual, exotic, erotic. signifying goddess. i know these are the words, concepts, prejudices that will pop into your mind. your orientalism/sexism. i fuel it. to others' peril? perhaps. this is the danger of this game.

in class we talk. i feel a familiar latinamerican discomfort (compounded by naturalisation): not european, not not european. i think: i feel there are points of contact (or divergence? or overlap?) between the politics of passing and the politics of appropriation. i think/feel. western/oriental.

i didn't say this in class: the official nationality of people of my country is not 'Uruguayan' but 'Oriental'. this is what my Uruguayan passport (if I had one) would say 'Nacionalidad: Oriental'. my country so shy it doesn't have a name, but a location. 'the republic to the east of (oriental to) the river Uruguay'. oriental. eastern. southeastern (current geolocation: London SE).

i also didn't say this in class: i start this weekend a Thai Yoga Massage course.

i couldn't say this in class: as i waited for the tube in Canada Water a pair of African women checked out my skirt and discussed it with smiles. I didn't talk to them, but walked up and down the platform in front of them, discreetly giving them a show. pretty pleased, they seemed.

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