weekend links: RoboCop, Black Cowboy, The Conversational Lexicon

Black Cowboy
Black Cowboy

Deana Lawson, Cowboys (2014). Image courtesy the artist and Rhonda Hoffman Gallery/Hyperallergic.

Raoul Peck, the director of the new James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro, discusses deconstructing the story of Haiti and the American myth and the importance of making a film that won’t be ignored by history. [Guernica]

When you think satire, RoboCop might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But its original dark, dystopian criticism has been lost in the decades since its release. As more of its predictions become reality, it’s worth revisiting as much for its insights as for its explosions. [Vulture]

Vandals caught tagging an historic schoolhouse with racist and anti-Semitic slurs have been handed an unsual punishment: a list of 35 books that they are required to read and report on, as well as a list of museums they must attend. If only we could force every racist Republican to read Ta-Nehisi Coates, Toni Morrison, and Colson Whitehead. [Electric Literature]

The exhibit Black Cowboy in Harlem seeks to reshape the cowboy as a historically and culturally white figure by reminding us of the omission of African-Americans in the iconization of the American cowboy. [Hyperallergic]

Part of a three-year effort to keep the store from closing, an Oslo-based bookstore has released a new edition of The Conversational Lexicon, a subjective encyclopedia “freed from the demand for factual accuracy.” Contributed to by writers and thinkers from around the world, the entries are often playful, if not truthful—the entry for “death” is five pages, while listed under “rock ’n’ roll” is just a picture of Lemmy from Mötorhead. [The Guardian]

MoMA is displaying works in their collection from artists from the seven countries whose citizens are barred from U.S. entry, along with a placard reading “This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States… to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.” It’s small, but it’s something. [The New York Times]

And kudos to Austin’s Margin Walker for standing up against racism by joining the boycott of Houston venue Fitzgerald’s. In our capitalist society, there’s no better way to show disapproval than through economic action. We stand with them. [Austin 360]

—Katie Lauren Bruton and Sean Redmond

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