Posts tagged identity
podcast episode 2: the wa and japanese identity

in this episode we continue our conversation with @darthmitsuru who runs an english-school/coffee-roaster assemblage in west tokyo (@tokyocoffeejp). we talk about how identity in japanese society is centered around the concept of the 'wa', and how it leads to unintended and terrible consequences– like karoshi– which we discussed in the previous episode. following from our discussion on identity, davy shares what it was like growing up mixed in japan.

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like fine silk w/ sandra manzanares

Sandra Manzanares is a filmmaker from the Greater Boston area and just recently completed her Master’s at New York University.  Her short film, Like Fine Silk, has completed its festival circuit and is now available online.  Sandra’s film “centers on the point of view of a young Afro-Latina as she’s confronted with culture clashes in the intimate setting of a black hair care store. It illuminates experiences that are not widely familiar to the mainstream population and gives voice to often unspoken, uncomfortable misunderstandings in order to promote empathy and dialogue”.  We sat down with Sandra to discuss her film as well as her mixed feelings about being Afro-Latina in the U.S.

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roguture, part 3: hustle and flow

on the face of it, roguture is ‘just’ a humble business venture that happens to teach english and roast coffee. but as i see it, roguture is so much more, and provides an example of what living free, mixed, and non-binary is like– free in spite of the pressures to conform that come from identity politics, mixed in understanding that who they are is a composite of multiple influences, and non-binary in that their actions are ethical and fluid, not moral and determined. roguture is an expression of life that thrives in spite of the negative affects of binary forces.

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roguture, part 1: the wa

“there’s a japanese word called ‘wa’. no one wants to disrupt this wa regardless of if it’s in the family, in a community, at work, or anywhere else in japan. it means harmony, not status quo…wa technically is good thing, it has a positive connotation, but the way that it works is so bad. this concept of wa is inherent to japanese people because they’re raised in this culture. and they can’t function without it. it’s so against their nature to break that wa. if you break the wa then you’re probably worse than a foreigner, you become something other than japanese.”

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glossary entry: binary

this post attempts to explain how we understand ‘binary’. through the course of this explanation we complexify and challenge preconceived notions of concepts like language and identity.

when we refer to ‘binary’ here on mxdflz, we use it pejoratively. it’s a concept we lament and resist. we lament the binary because it induces– and is simultaneously amplified by– identity politics, which expresses the default state of human relations today. binary influence is found wherever there exists territorial divisions– oppositions and competition– based on dominant identity categories. these have their origin in the fundamentally structural distinction between self and other, which is a consequence of man’s disjunction from and displacement within nature.

beware, this post gets a bit academic, and is very much philosophical and psychoanalytic.

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lone wolf pt.2

"To describe my background, I choose to use a word that is traditionally associated with mutt breeds, sterile mules, hybrid plants, or the unnatural.  Mixed.  I choose to use this word because it flies in the face of what I consider to be a celebration of inbreeding, religious homogeneity, and the hive-mind. Honestly though, being ‘mixed’ only has a negative connotation if you think certain things should remain separate."

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"fucking magic"

" think of 'mixed' as just another label that can be slapped onto a character description is to misunderstand it entirely, not to mention perpetuating a monoracial worldview. representation is disembodying, it's abstraction, it plays into identity politics. rather, what we're about is expression. and an expression is always embodied..."

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