weekend links: Morrison & Berman tributes, Japanese art censorship, grayscale ocean

A portrait of dolphins swimming off the coast of Ixtapa in Mexico. Photograph by Christian Vizl.

A portrait of dolphins swimming off the coast of Ixtapa in Mexico. Photograph by Christian Vizl.

Author Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88. Her legacy of writing the Black experience will be a lasting one. In this piece, New Yorker staff writer Doreen St. Félix writes about her own personal experience with Morrison's work. [The New Yorker]

We also say goodbye to David Berman, the poet and musician behind the Silver Jews. Berman’s intelligent lyrics and warm, folky music were a touchstone for many—as Rich Smith puts it in this loving tribute, “there are entire groups of mostly sad people who speak to one another only in Berman lyrics.” I don’t doubt it. May he rest in peace. [The Stranger]

The 2019 Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan, is making news for all the wrong reasons. The show, titled After Freedom of Expression? was meant to showcase the history of art censorship in Japan. Unfortunately, we may never know the answer to that question, because the show itself has been censored. A portion of the show was closed that features a work from artists Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung’s called Statue of a Girl of Peace. The piece represents a Korean “comfort woman,” symbolizing the women brutalized by Japanese soldiers during World War II. This is a touchy subject for Japan, and the government’s response demonstrates the never-ending struggle for human rights that we all must fight. [ArtNews]

The ocean is a pretty noisy place, but when you look out from the beach it rarely feels that way. In his new book, Silent Kingdom: A World Beneath the Waves, Christian Vizl takes to photographing ocean life in black and white, showcasing the texture and form of ocean life rather than the color. [Hyperallergic]

There is an exciting new trend in the young adult speculative fiction genre: more Black female authors and, consequently, more Black female protagonists. Stephanie Toliver explores Black girl power and representation in this history of the YA genre. [Lit Hub]

Dan Perkins is a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in creating fluid, geometric paintings of shapes that play with lighting and color. You can read about his work and see some of his mesmerizing paintings here. [It's Nice That]

Women writers have historically been cast to the margins, their opinions and criticisms never taken seriously. Kiley Bense talks about this fact, and how it has subconsciously informed her writing, as well as the writing of authors such as Virginia Woolf. [Longreads]

—Nicolas Perez and Sean Redmond

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