Okay, now that you’re rocking out, let’s talk about the word of the day: normalization. The word is being used a lot right now, and for good reason.
In the SF/F community, the word has been out there for a couple of years as we’ve pushed for normalizing diversity in the field, both diversity among the authors published as well as diversity of the characters and cultures portrayed in the genre.
There’s been some blowback, of course, as Sad and Angry Puppies piss and moan about this push toward diversity, but the fact of the matter is that it requires a conscious effort to normalize diversity. Without that purposeful push for normalizing it, the status quo would remain, and the status quo is one that is highly biased towards white patriarchy.
Flashing forward to this year now, people of the same ilk as the Angry Puppies have put a Republican administration in power. That means instead of the blowback against diversity being limited to whining on the internet, it’s now becoming public policy. Perhaps worse, it’s emboldened racists, misogynists, and prejudice assholes in general to come out of the word work, thinking they can openly spread their hate.
Again, that’s where normalization comes into play. The Republican administration is trying to normalize irrational fear of refugees, immigrants, and Muslims in particular. They’re trying to normalize alternate facts. If they lie enough times, if they tell us over and over again that we need to be afraid of immigrants and refugees, we’ll start to believe it, or so the thinking goes.
There are two ways to combat the normalization of hate and lies.
1. Keep on doing what we’ve been doing and strive to normalize diversity and acceptance in our art and daily lives. I’ve already pledged to keep on doing this, as have countless other authors in the SF/F field. We’re also starting to see it in film and television, as well as in advertisements.
2. Normalize calling out lies for what they are. Normalize calling out fearmongering for what is, hateful manipulation. Now is no time to be quiet and take it. What the Republican administration is doing is not okay. It is not normal. Say it out loud. If you make art, make it the art of resistance.
In this spirit, here’s some of the fantastic resistance art that I’ve come across so far (including the music playlist above, of course). Please share it on social media and spread the resistance, and if you’ve found other great protest or resistance art, please share it in the comments below.
Slate has started a great ongoing series of speculative fiction against Trump. Here are the two I’ve read and enjoyed so far.
Clay and Smokeless Fire
by Saladin Ahmed
by Jeff VanderMeer
|"No, you move!"|
I’m not a huge superhero fanatic, but this Captain America art from Tom Hodges seems to embody the spirit of resistance and inclusiveness pretty well. On top of that, the art has been scorned by ex KKK dipshit David Duke in his quest of white nationalism, so that mean the art has struck the right nerve.
| “The Trumpus: Winter is Coming”|
The next bit of art comes from Jim Agpalza and is more in the vein of Bizarro or transgressive than sci-fi or fantasy. Also, it's probably NSFW. The image I've shared here is one of the tamer ones. Head to this page for an interview with Agpalza and a full portfolio of his visceral art.
That's all I've got for now. Share your favorite protest art in the comments below and keep normalizing diversity and compassion!