Black Lives Matter: A TFG statement

Edited by Katie Constantine, Catherine Harlow, and Morgan Moore

Cover image by Obi Onyeador

Like many of you, I have been following the new cycle closely (almost compulsively) over the last week. First and foremost– I’d like to extend my condolences to the family of George Floyd and to the communities affected over the last week of demonstrations. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the David Foster Wallace graduation speech, “This is Water.” Wallace begins with this joke: “Two younger fish pass an older fish who says, ‘Good morning, boys! How’s the water?’ After passing the older fish, the two younger fish look at each other and say, ‘What’s water?’” Using this parable, Wallace reminded us to continue to question the long established systems that we each swim in everyday and to continue to be mindful. Racism in the United States is the water for many of us who are privileged to navigate through our lives without needing to devote every waking moment to thinking about racial inequalities in this country. For many of us, this moment should be a wake-up call, hopefully the last one we’ll need. More than ever, we must stand with our Black communities to protest a fundamentally flawed system and help build a more just one. 

I’ve been taking some time to contemplate how best to mobilize our platform. What can we, a feminist visual arts journal, offer at this time full of so much anger, hurt, and unrest?

First, we will continue to uplift the voices of creators of color and tackle issues of race head-first on this platform. We resolve to showcase the work and words of Black artists and educators. Silence is complicity and problems were never solved because we stopped talking about them. We welcome any and all submissions regarding race, gender, and/or the intersection of the two in the visual arts. We define this broadly to mean visual media, print or digital. 

Second, we will be researching organizations that uplift the voices and creations of people and communities of color and sharing these resources with our readers in the coming days. We hope that you will directly support community-based organizations that are doing amazing work on the frontlines. 

We know that this is a painful and uncertain time, especially given that this is all unfolding against the backdrop of a global pandemic. We hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued support of TFG. We will continue speaking truth to power at every possible instance. 

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