I won’t be able to make it to class tomorrow. Please let me know what is going on with the project! Thank you
I am the quality editor so I just want to make sure that everyone is on track! Let me know if you have questions and I can try to help. The sooner we post everything, the sooner I can put it all together and turn it in. Also, are we all trying to meet on Thursday at 10:30? That’s what the document says and I’m just trying to figure it out. Let me know
After watching the performance and speaking of black mama I have seen a display of many different characteristics that we have learned throughout class. During her performance I gained a better understanding culture in which, she lives in within Ecuador as well as similarities within the US. As a woman of color she faces so many indifferences and oppression that has been seen and talked about not only in the music/entertainment realm but throughout society. Within her art she speaks of these everyday issues and explains the amount of mental strength it takes to overpass these adversities. Overall her performance was very empowering that loved her unique style and amazing talent.
Everything she talked about was really prevalent to what we’ve discussed in class regarding sexual assault, the unwanted sexualization of women’s bodies, the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of minority communities in music (women, transgender people, people of color, queer communities, etc.), and the political backlash of producing music that brings such topics to light. I think the kind of topics she discusses in her music are actually pretty rare to come across in lots of the popular music of today, although I mostly listen to rap music (which we’ve discussed is a genre that tends to focus on the derogatory representations of women and asserting the masculinity of the rapper through less inclusive language). We’ve also learned of many artists who discuss similar information in their music, but sadly, this is a very small group of musicians.
Without listening to this sort of music (the music produced by Black Mama and similar musicians), many people would remain ignorant of the conditions in Ecuador and other similar locations around the globe. Concurrently, I think many people were surprised to hear of the sex trade and current slavery within the United States. Thus, songs that address these little-known subjects are absolutely necessary to spread, document, and archive. There are probably many, many artists like Black Mama; these artists need to be heard. Building the archive is one way of achieving this feat and broadening the reach of this message.
From watching Black Mama perform I learned so much. I learned about the oppression and the struggles women are going through not necessarily only in Ecuador, but all around the world as well. It is almost like we are on a different planet because we don’t know all the things that are going on in separate countries. I didn’t know prostitution in Ecuador was as big as it is so it was really crazy hearing it. While prostitution is a problem in the states, it isn’t as big as it is in other countries. She goes through oppression in her country because of the color of her skin. She struggles identifying with whites because she is seen as black. She struggles fitting in with blacks because she is too light. And most importantly she has a problem identifying with both groups because they claim she is too indigenous for both groups. What I did find intriguing though is that even while facing all the political backlashes she stands strong behind what she believes and she doesn’t give into the problems that she sees. She does what other women are too afraid to do; she speaks up for what she believes in. She is trying to be heard and she is trying to make a difference in her community for the women she is around. She is a powerful women who is very inspiring and very talented. Even though, I couldn’t understand all that she was singing about, I knew she was very passionate and felt every word she was saying in the songs she sang. I gained better knowledge about the situations she is facing, and while doing that, I enjoyed a little music as well. I think going on in the future, things like these are very helpful in gaining knowledge.
One of the readings that I am going to talk about first is called, “Finally, Filmmakers Tell The Forgotten History Of Seattle DIY Self-Defense Group Home Alive” by Laina Dawes. This article explained a lot about Home Alive, what it’s about, and how it got started. But what really caught my eye was when they were talking about how it wasn’t well known by really anyone in the community. That was interesting to me, because it seems like an organization that everybody would know about, considering what it stands for. Additionally, I think it was a good idea for these UW woman to want to make the organization well known by publishing their documentary. Some key quotes of this article that caught my eye were, “ We found that it was really weird, like there was this lack of history talked about that no one of our generation knew about,” and “ The story actually found us.” These two caught my eye because the first one is what intrigued me into wondering how no one knew about such an alarming topic, and the second one is because I got really engaged in how their story caught someone’s attention. This is an article that women and men should both read because it is a recurring issue in society and everyone should learn what Home Alive is all about and what they stand for.
The second article that I read was called, “Mia Zapata, Cinderella’s Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground” (PDF) by Maria Raha. This PDF was really similar to the first article I read. I seemed to be interested by the same topics. I was interested in learning more about the history behind Home Alive and this PDF was able to clear it up for me, and also I was interested in how sharing this documentary helped Home Alive become seen by so many more people.
Overall, with reading both these pieces, it was really cool to see how a genre of music led people to form an organization that stands for such a powerful and important topic. This goes to show that music has a lasting impact on the world, whether it’s the comfort of listening to a song, or starting a life changing organization, it is a powerful aspect of our world.
The two songs I chose were “Til’ It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga and “Stolen Innocence” by Courtney Parker. The reason I chose these two songs, is because they are two songs that talk about sexual abuse/sexual violence. They explain through their lyrics the struggle women go through in this generation with sexual abuse. The article and PDF I read above are about an organization that stand up for the women who are sexually abused, and they are here to help and support women who have experienced it and to help women protect themselves from it.
I read both Mia Zapata’s Biography from thesestreets.org and “The Git’s Mia Zapata Resurrected in Film” on NPR. Due to the extreme similarity of their content, I found the slight discrepancies in storyline between the two articles very interesting. The Mia Zapata Bio pictured Zapata as someone who helped originally form the band, as it specifically said: “she, Steve, Matt and Andy formed the punk rock band the Gits.” However, the NPR podcast (Zapata Resurrected in Film), Zapata was not explicitly depicted as someone who helped to form the band, but as someone who simply helped revolutionize the band by “[adding] her voice to the mix.” I considered this to be a discrete example of accrediting foundational success of the band to the men of the group and not to Mia herself, a phenomenon affecting women musicians that we’ve studied many times over. Similarly, in relation to other articles we’ve read, the NPR podcast described Zapata as having “the ability to command attention without ever seeming to see it,” a quality that the NPR article/podcast considered a defining feature of a “bona fide star.” This is something we’ve seen before as a class when talking about the stereotypes associated with blues musicians. Artists like Alice Bag serve as examples of breaking this norm through showing both a self-recognition and self-appreciation of her stardom; however, throughout history, this self-awareness in musicians from minority backgrounds (black men and women in blues, Latina women in rock, Zapata in an all-male band save for herself, etc.) has been frowned upon.
Mia Zapata herself seemed like she could have become a powerful, game-changing figure in the music industry. Her strength in performance reminded me a lot of other strong women musicians, including Aretha Franklin and the group Sister Sledge. Thus, I included their songs in my DJ selection below.
The first article I read was “Mia Zapata.” What I found interesting about this article was how music can help so much with grief. Whem Mia was found dead many of her friends, and fan were “pouring out with grief.” Not only was her death tragic, but it was scary and unsettling. It took alost 10 years to find the murderer. Through this grief, members of the band created “a self-defense group called Home Alive, which disbanded in 2010. Home Alive has organized benefit concerts and CDs with the participation of many of Seattle’s music elite, such as Nirvana (one of Kurt Cobain’s final public appearances), Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart, and the Presidents of the United States of America.” Her band, The Gits, also came out with a new album. I think this goes to show that when people are going through a hard time, they often go to music to help them. This is very powerful and possibly life saving. For this I chose the song Wish You Were Here by NEck Deep. I chose this song becausse it is about a member of the bands friend dying and him missing his friend. I have used this song to gete over grief in my life.
The second article I read was, The Gits’ Mia Zapata Resurrected In Film. What stood out to me in this piece was how important it is to share history. Personally, I had never heard of Mia Zapata before this class. I have lived around Seattle my whole life and never once heard about this. It is so important that a film was made about this. Her death was the start of a lot of the grunge scene in Seattle. This documentry shows a little bit about this event and the band The Gits. Thankfully, people get to learn about this now. Even though her death was a long time ago, “thanks in no small part to this documentary, it seems that the legacy of Mia Zapata and the Gits will indeed live on.” I think that is extramely inspiring and crucial for people to learn about the history of music. For this article I chose the song, Insecurities, by The Gits. I chose this song to honor Mia Zapata. I had never heard of this tragedy and after learning this I decided to listen to The Gits first album, Frnching The Bully. My favorite song was Insecurities. Viva Zapata.