Or, Feeling Seen
Earlier this week, Don and I led a workshop that was full of brilliant people who asked great questions. It reminded me of something I have mentioned here before: the fear of being the Negative Nancy in the face of little coverage about work from one’s part of the world. The focus here was on visual art, seeing as we were there as Corpus, but this is a recurring theme and I always wonder how we can speak about all the things art is. It has become apparent to me over time that this fear leads to certain work getting no coverage at all — afraid to say “this didn’t bang”, we’d rather say nothing at all. I feel like this beggars us all; a lack of plurality of voices can’t be a good thing, can it?
On the other hand, I easily lapse into hater mode as a friend gently reminded me this week. And the way the internet is set up - an outrage machine ready to go - doesn’t help in the slightest because it fuels this mode. I’m not about to turn into a Pollyanna but I’m trying to stay alert to the ways in which I contribute to the air of *waves hands* all this. So I’m curbing my urge to talk about the latest Twitter drama haha even though I promised Disc Horse when this began.
Keeping today’s entry short as I listen to Amyn’s latest podcast episode and thinking about something that happened in relation to a recent read: True Biz by Sara Nović (narrated by Lisa Flanagan, Kaleo Griffith) which I both read and listened to. Like a lot of people, I listen to YouTube videos that are light on visual content (or which I don’t need subtitles to understand) and essentially use it as a place to play bookish content (maybe this is why I have scaled back on my bookish podcast listening!). Because True Biz focuses on Deaf characters, I have been looking out for reviews by Deaf people, whose world it is set in. YouTube led me to Rogan Shannon, a Deaf BookTuber whose review of True Biz, as with all his reviews, is in American Sign Language (ASL). I know I came for this but somehow I wasn’t wholly prepared for the silence of the video. It made me pay close attention to what was being said and highlighted how verbal and Anglo my BookTube consumption still is. Definitely a new subscriber, me.
Speaking of BookTube: I put out a new video! You can watch it here before my special guest comes on to talk about the Caine Prize shortlist. Some time this week I found myself considering making 2 videos a week so I wouldn’t need to have such long Recent Reads videos but we’re going to play it by ear. Once a week is going well enough and it’s been fun building relationships with folks whose videos I’ve enjoyed for a long time.
I finally started on my BookTube Prize translated books reading and I’m trying to do as many blended reads (audio + text) as I can after the brilliance of True Biz. One of them I’ve read before and it says something about it that I’m looking forward to re-reading it (me, famously not a re-reader!). This weekend promises to be fairly quiet so I hope to get a lot of reading in and I’ll try to take notes (or fill a spreadsheet) for my Prize judging.
Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!