"The occupation draws attention to the fact that people are being forced out of London due to a ‘shortage’ of affordable housing while around 600 perfectly good social housing units sit empty on the Carpenters estate. This is because Newham Council has decided to capitalise on rising land values in the vicinity of the Olympic Park and try to sell off the estate to private developers. The flats are in perfectly liveable condition, and one even has a brand new kitchen and power shower, but the Council would rather they sit empty than use them to house some of the thousands of households in need of homes in Newham."
sharpened edges is a blog about seven people, two houses, a motorcycle, and a locked treatment facility for adolescent boys.
*******, white cis queer man, 21, uk
"The point is never to apologize or accept, neither to reconcile nor to compromise, only to take up whatever obstacles we can find and sharpen their edges." – Evan Calder Williams
i don’t want to be that guy but i get really weirdly offended and upset when people’s harry potter universe headcanons don’t take into account that the british/european use of magic would be this super colonialist fucked up thing? the assumption that every culture would have their own schools where they’re doing flippendo and wingardium leviosa and being all happy and harmonic and shit is just bonkers to me
like, let’s take the example of the united states alone:
european wizards arriving in america, assuming the native population doesn’t even know magic, what savages! they don’t know what a wand is? they are like children! only to learn otherwise, and to immediately view these populations as a threat, to use their powers on eradicating this strange new magic they do not understand. if they cannot teach them, they will destroy them
american wizards focusing their magic on new kinds of spells, spells of war and violence, trying to prove their european counterparts less worthy. they will rise as a power or they will fall. the threads of older european spells being woven into new blunter magic, bolder and simpler, more brutally effective
indian boarding schools where european wizard missionaries are cutting off the sacred hair of the sons and daughters of shamans and telling them they have to use a wand, forcing them to say the spells of latin origins, punishing them for practicing magic in the way they learned from their grandmothers and their people, saying there is only one way to do magic and any other way is dirty, undesirable, invalid
an immense and frighteningly more efficient magical slave trade, targeting the magic of africa. building plantations on black bodies, slaveowners using magic in unspeakable ways, cutting out tongues for the speaking of the name oya, burning flesh when offerings to damballah are discovered. voodoo evolving in the darkness, condemned by white wizards as unworthy magic, demonized as lowly and dangerous just as the white wizards will come to demonize the brujas, the curanderos, to commit massacres during candomble ceremonies
eradicating entire languages of magic, separating children from families so that there is no lineage to pass down their ways, destroying magical histories and cultures and kinships
and these magics surviving in spite of it
so no, i don’t think that all wizards and witches born in the united states will attend the salem institute of magic. i think there is all kinds of magic in this country and some will never attend an institute to learn magic, because it is not their way. some will learn from grandmothers and aunts and fathers and community leaders. some will be the children of immigrants, pressured into the american wizarding dream, feeling like they’ve disappointed their parents when they go with their friends to buy wands. schools of magic will recruit heavily for wizards of color, wizenkin from impoverished areas, but they will not be able to deny their roots as for and about powerful white wizarding families. schools built on the grounds of plantations will fight to keep their magic classes from being integrated. old new england schools will still cultivate their image as enclaves for the pastel-wearing descendants of european pure blood families. schools founded by radical wizarding folk, by magical people of color or magic folks in poor areas will get little funding, be seen as less legitimate than the old standards. rural wizards and appalachian wizards barely acknowledging schooling as an option at all. it will be messy and classist and racist as fuck
this ain’t hogwarts, folks
‘You are not asleep, I assure you,’ said Gregory. ‘You are, on the contrary, close to the most actual and rousing moment of your existence. Ah, here comes your champagne! I admit that there may be a slight disproportion, let us say, between the inner arrangements of this excellent hotel and its simple and unpretentious exterior. But that is all our modesty. We are the most modest men that ever lived on earth.’
‘And who are we?’ asked Syme, emptying his champagne glass.
‘It is quite simple,’ replied Gregory. ‘We are the serious anarchists, in whom you do not believe.’
‘Oh!’ said Syme shortly. ‘You do yourselves well in drinks.’
‘Yes, we are serious about everything,’ answered Gregory.
— G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (1908/2011, p. 12)
sooooo joe biel is gonna be at the sf zinefest. what should we do about it? message me if you have any ideas. they did an interview with him and are treating him like a guest of honor. can’t just go to the zinefest without doing something…
my friend got a weird response from someone named tom that compared banning joe biel from sf zinefest to book burning! LOL thanks for nothing.
omg they’re crying CENSORSHIP???
i got a response on monday that said:
Just today I’ve gotten several emails from people bringing Joe’s history to our attention. None of our organizers were aware of these events. We’re going to discuss our options and responsibilities at this late juncture. Thanks for your email.
SF Zine Fest Crew
this is what they said to my friend. so fucking weird!
We just learned about this today and we’re deciding what to do about it. De-inviting Joe is certainly a likely choice, but I must say I’m (my opinion, not zinefest’s) not entirely comfortable with banning Joe and Microcosm from zinefest. It’s incredibly unlucky that he’s our FEATURED GUEST and it’s hard to shake the image that we’re celebrating not only his art (which we still are) but him as a person. But there’s the problem. What number or degree of actions goes into defining the person. What level of sin is the cutoff point for banning someone from the show. Every exhibitor has some dark past (or at least grey past) and should zinefest as a public event discriminate against all people we deem below this line or only people who actually pose a threat to the show and its participants. Would we ban Pablo Picasso - another abusive person? Should we ban people who have anal sex (formally illegal), or don’t pay sales tax on their zine sales (currently illegal), or anyone who’s cheated on a partner (socially deemed illegal). Or does any of this matter when it comes to appreciating art. Could we have Joe’s art if he wasn’t personally present? Now that’s a really slippery slope there…just steps away from book burning. I don’t have answers to most of these questions, and the final decision will be made by our volunteer organizers as a group, but I thank you for your email - it will influence our discussion.
got the above response from someone named “tom,” you know, the perfect person to understand why i am not down with JB at SFZ, especially while healing from experiences of sexual abuse myself.
i love how joe biel is likened to pablo picasso. or hate it? no one’s burning books here buddy, we just want a radical, accountable and safe space to trade zines!
As a zine fest organizer we have set up a Safer Space Policy and we have trained in conflict mediation so that when issues like this come up we have a policy in place to refer to and we have been trained in how to deal with such situations. It’s not a matter of adding up the sins, transgressions, or legal infractions. It is about creating a space that makes our tablers and attendees feel comfortable and welcome and to foster an atmosphere that is amiable to people bringing us their concerns.
I can see that if SFZF has no Safer Space policy they are not really beholden to anyone to uphold those values. This is why after my experience I have chosen not to attend their event. This is actually the first time I’ve been publicly vocal about it, but that’s how I feel. Also, it’s really really hard to believe that organizers of a zine fest were not aware of the issues involved.
“It’s incredibly unlucky that he’s our FEATURED GUEST " unlucky, yes. not like, a thing you chose to do.
observation one: “oh my god my hand slipped and I accidentally made joe biel a featured guest!!!! how unlucky”
observation two: the only reason abuse is wrong apparently is that in some cases it might be illegal. this makes it morally equivalent to other illegal things, like not paying your taxes or having anal sex! that is how morality works. yes.