weekend links: women in opera, Josef Albers, female resistance fighters

Tomashi Jackson
Tomashi Jackson

Tomashi Jackson, The Essence of Innocence: McKinney Upside Down (2016). Image courtesy Hyperallergic.

Ta-Nehisi Coates released another brilliant essay this week, reflecting on Obama’s presidency and the era that shaped it, just before history rewrites it. We’ll miss you, Barry. [The Atlantic]

For the first time in 113 years the Metropolitan Opera is putting on an opera written by a woman. Let’s hope it won’t take another lifetime for the next one. Take a look at all the other badass female composers out there. [The New York Times]

Josef Albers is remembered for his remarkable color studies, but artist Tomashi Jackson has given us a new context in which to enjoy his work. By tying Albers’s Interaction of Color to the legal battle to end segregation, Jackson reminds us that art is always, consciously or subconsciously, political. [Hyperallergic]

In the first of a new series of essays that pairs female writers with female resistance fighters, Valeria Luiselli translates her mother’s conversation with Sandra, an ex-combatant of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Sandra sheds light on the dissipation, as she sees it, of the Latin American Left in this insightful look back at the struggles of the previous generation. [Guernica]

Hunter S. Thompson is known more for his drug use than for his political insight, but it’s the latter that cemented his place in history. His book Hell’s Angels proves just how adept Thompson was at identifying people’s motives, cataloguing the Trump mindset 50 years before our current nightmare. [The Nation]

Get to know some of the newest stars of the poetry world, including fields favorites Solmaz Sharif and Ocean Vuong, with this inside look at their inspirations, their influences, and even their day jobs. [Poets & Writers]

In a touching essay, Patti Smith speaks about her anxiety and embarrassment at performing at Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize ceremony and what it means to struggle and endure. [The New Yorker]

And because absurdity seems best understood this year, analyzing Bob Dylan’s Christmas gives us a new look at 2016’s pre- and post-election events. [VICE]

—Katie Lauren Bruton and Sean Redmond

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