not so recently concluded Farafina Creative Trust workshop, in what was arguably my most challenging class (and I think I speak for many of the participants too), Binyavanga Wainaina asked us to look at a painting by Wangechi Mutu, titled the The Partician, and write what we saw. Here is the painting:
The Partician by Wangechi Mutu
I wrote down two things Binyavanga said when he gave us this classwork: “It is the anomalies in things that signify what you are looking for” and ” Grotesque is judgement without evidence.” With these thoughts in mind, here’s what I saw:
Some say you can tell where a person is from by looking at their feet.
If they looked down, they’ll know where I’m from. Poverty.
They’ll know then that I’m a fraud.
So I distract them with all the glitz, all the glamour he gave me.
I’m a fraud and he’s the only one who knows it.
He made me this way and this way it would stay
As long as I give him what he wants, the attention he seeks.
If I get hurt, it is worth it.
“Bow to me”, he told me.
“See the others, I made them who they are.
Look what I gave them. I can give you more.”
Gliding towards me, wearing all his wealth, bleeding hand outstretched, he said, “Pledge your allegiance.”
I had no choice. I was defenseless.
I betrayed the gods of my father; the ones I clung to in a claw hold.
Bowing my head as lips met back of palm, I sealed my fate with a kiss.
What did you see?
p.s: Maryam had the bestest, most memorable depiction of the painting. Let’s hope she posts it on her blog.
p.p.s: We dubbed this ‘the Ojuju painting’ in class.
p.p.p.s: I still have no idea what Wangechi was thinking when she painted this :s Check out other interesting Wangechi art here and here.
Birthdays are for celebrating
and famzing beautiful people, like the world renowned, award winning Nigerian author of Half of A Yellow Sun that one was in the same room with for 10 days straight, soaking up as much creative juices as one could.
To this special lady who taught me to be unapologetic for my sometimes brazen writing voice, and that showing is so much better than telling in creative writing, I wish you much more than you could possibly wish yourself as a new year begins for you.
Happy birthday Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
From a grateful student,
In solidarity, bra burning and all.
*phew* I made it just in time.
You know how a new year usually starts in January? Well, mine started seven months after. As far as I’m concerned, everything else before August was prep for my real new year – ThePseudoGeek Shōten year (don’t ask).
I have also narrowed down three things I want to do/be known for and I have somehow tied them into one huge snowball effect. I should write them here so I have something to hold me to my promise but I don’t want to share just yet.
Of the many things I am grateful for, I am thrilled that just before my new year, I was shortlisted as one of the lucky 22 for the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop and for 10 days in August, I met the most amazing participants and the awesomest of facilitators. Even now, almost a month after it ended, I still have that euphoric yet surreal feeling (more on that later). Good thing I have pictures to prove it all happened. You can see some here.
*shameless self promotion*
As a fall out from my writing workshop, I want to
obviously write more. And being someone who isn’t lacking in opinions about everything, especially stuff I have no business having an opinion on, that shouldn’t be so difficult (if I can only find the time). Maybe I’ll post some of the things I wrote at the workshop. Hmmm…we’ll see.
Happy New Year lovelies.
Peace, Love and Militant Feminism.