the pigments

Our Words

Lost Cause

My eyes
They burn
Like flames.
And ashes
Spell out
My name.
Composed
Of broken
Fragments.
Spitfire tongue,
A pupil
Of the madness.
A puzzle
Pointless
To assemble.
Not sure
If I could start
to resemble..
The mirror
Refuses to
Even show, 
A face that I
Had begun
to know.
That girl
That was
Is never more.. 
This thing
I am is sick
At it's core. 
No there isn't
Time for
healing.
A lost cause
Isn't worth
Relieving.
I'd change  
Everything
Just to be free.

But this thing
Called hope
Doesn't
believe
In
me. 

C.Martin

Expedition

Under ominous skies
We’re cast out to sea.
To undergo trial
is our destiny. 
Our inferior vessel
Carries us through. 
Knowing our fate, 
We bravely pursue. 
The waters ahead
are not very forgiving...
Ultimately that’s the beauty in living. 


C.Martin

 

Aesthetic

I have a questionnaire, 
for the women on the screen. 
When you devised this plan,
was your goal to torture me? 

I long to have it too,  
your breathtaking appeal. 
I'll ache until I have it,
until then I won't heal.

My efforts here are useless,
I find this to be true. 
No makeup, or strict diet,  
makes me look the way you do. 

I watch their eyes watch you, 
and they can't help but glance. 
Compared to all of you, 
I don't even stand a chance. 
 
"How could this be fair?" 
I now shout at the sky.  
"All I want is beauty!" 
But I get no reply.  

They don't have the answers, 
the women on the screen...
When all is said and done, 
MY PROBLEM IS WITH ME.

C.Martin
 

Aflame

She
chased
a
spark
Into
the
dark

they'd love to watch her burn...

But her hands were steady
And they weren't ready

for
the
fire
that
would

Emerge.


C.Martin

Reminiscent 

The chilling veil of night has come;
its not the cold that's made me numb.
I'm sinking further down tonight.
I've lost all hope, I see no light.

And now the thought that comes to mind,
what better way to use my time?
To think of what all I have lost,
mistakes I've made, the pain I've caused.

I've severed ties not meant to break,
demolished things not meant to shake;
I've burned to ashes bridges too,
and long forgotten quite a few.

And though the clocks not on my side,
when darkness falls I will not hide.
For in the end I played my role...
I've lost it all, but not my soul.


C.Martin

Hanging Tree
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
They strung up a man
They say who murdered three
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where dead man called out
For his love to flee
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run
So we'd both be free
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of hope
Side by side with me
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree

I've had a few surgeries and broken some bones, and you know what? I never cried. Not. One. Time. I watched Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, heard Hanging Tree, and couldn't stop crying. I am a modern day dystopian character. I have always been drawn to science fiction novels and movies because I can relate to them. They are based on people of African descent...past, present, and future. Dystopian plots feature oppressed people that constantly fight to be treated as equal members of society. My people avoided capture by organizing look-out parties and staying in groups for protection. If we were caught we plotted ways to over through ships and return to our homeland. If we became slaves we met secretly and planned revolts. 
While in captivity we sang songs with embedded messages, hid our ability to read, and concealed martial arts in the form of dance. Sharecropping and Jim Crow replaced slavery and we escaped from plantations headed north & west. We built businesses and communities only to have others invade them, destroy our property and kill us. We never stopped excelling in science, math, art, history, and philosophy. The world profits from our stolen culture and imitates our greatness without recognizing us as human beings. We maintain our sanity by distracting ourselves with survival. I continue the fight of my ancestors by upholding the standards that preceded me. 
I exist in a country that tries to destroy me through institutional racism and pure fuckery. I read, write, speak, and live with the fact that I do not descend from mediocrity. I speak with like minded people and we wake up the world while thinking of creative ways to avoid surveillance. My countrymen would rather watch The Matrix, than dialogue with the people those movies are based upon. You want excitement and horror? Experiments have been done on my people, black babies have been fed to animals, and we've been placed on display in American zoos. And we're still here. Everyday is a challenge. Everyday is a struggle. Everyday I am a Dystopian-American.

Nina Hamilton

 

Farra Winters, Artist

Farra Winters

Farra Winters

Farra's development and artistic expression began at the age of 2 years old. Her parents always noticed that she had an affinity for drawing and other forms of artistic expression; dancing and singing. Farra's artistic endeavors resurged 2 years ago when she decided to make it a full time pursuit. Attending music and art festivals around the country aided her journey to provide audiences with thought-provoking creations and to that end, she is eternal grateful for festival culture.

Much of Farra's work is inspired by her many years of study within the fields of biology and psychology. Her fascination with microbial life, atomic structures, and introspective conscious thoughts have become quite apparent within her art work. The main goal of Farra's art is to "tickle your sensory mechanisms and provide you with something that can be perceived in multiple ways."


Musical Acts and Festivals Farra has painted:

Imagine Music Festival 2016, 2017

Pass The Good Music and Arts Festival 2017

Nebulocity Music and Arts Festivals 2017

Zen Awakening Music and Arts Festival 2017

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Spring2017

Bogtrotter

Backup Planet

Permagroove

Dopethrown

Ives

Warlok

Stolenfaces

Oppositebox

Of the Trees

Zeke Beats

CBDB

Permagroove

Free Candy

Polish Ambassador

Beats Antique

Break Science

Micheal Menert & the Pretty Fantastics

Ott

Gramatik

Papadosio

G Jones

Minnesota

Dynamo

Translee

Socials

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buttacupcreationz/

Instagram: @buttacupcreationz

Website: buttacupcreations.com

Reconciling with My-Selves

This is our first submitted article from the wonderful Yasmina. Written content is her own.


 Can we agree that self-conceptualisation nowadays is becoming more and more mystifying? I think this is partly because we as individuals occupy multiple states, enact multiple roles and negotiate several identities. In W.E.B du Bois’ originally undervalued work, we find a term called double consciousness (W.E.B, 1994 ). Implicit in this term is the rationale that individuals see themselves through both their own eyes and that of the society which oppresses them. For Du Bois, this double consciousness becomes most problematic when disparate views of oneself prevent one from forming a holistic sense of self resulting in a false sense of identity and therefore, a compromised freedom. Du Bois was inevitably referring to the African American identity, or lack thereof, when he developed this analysis, but the theory of double consciousness is applicable to the experience of many of us. Particularly those who to this day feel secondary.       

In 2017, I find myself, a young female Christian, living under a terrible triple consciousness that seems to be affecting the core of my identity. Not only am I aware of the identities and insecurities I experience through the lens of the secular world, which has greatly influenced and shaped my choices, but concurrently I am aware that within my Christian world, the very same exists. I find myself navigating through my perceived identity guided by visions that emancipate me yet leave me feeling shackled to their pressures and expectations. I’m, at once, ignited by their truths yet dispirited by certain reasoning and ideologies. While searching for my self, I find, I’m actually losing myself - a severe anxiety-inducing endeavour. It must be noted that the secular world is referred here not as something negative or to be avoided, but as defining life outside of a Christian space.

To move away from an abstract explanation to a more concrete one, let me share a practical example of this internal anxiety. At age 28 with a Master’s degree, a decent teaching career and some degree of financial freedom, I and the secular world would refer to me as a successful independent woman. At age 28 with a career and no husband, I and the religious world would refer to me as a “work in progress”. An incomplete individual in need of her better half. As much as I do not reject marriage and the church, my tormented self is angered by both the secondary role the bible assigns to the woman and the way men have monopolised the church and the private space. Women are to submit or be marginalised. Aside from feeling secondary, my distrust of such subordinate roles arises not solely from historical accounts of tyrannical and selfish male behaviours but also through first-hand experiences. Feeling insignificant at the hand of poor male leadership is at best suppressive and at worst, destructive. Amid such dilemma of conflicting worlds, I find myself lost. Lost in worlds that both reflect and misrepresent me. At times when the anxiety mounts to its peak, I catch myself echoing Soren Kierkegaard’s sentiments: “marry, you will regret it…do not marry, you will also regret it” and deeply wonder if my fate is to resemble his (Soren, 1992).

How does one unite conflicting identities? How does one reconcile disparate self-concepts? A big part of trying to resolve such a conundrum took me to the root of my identities. How did these worlds become my world views? When I first came across Simone de Beauvoir’s quote “one is not born, but rather becomes a woman” a quote that has helped clarify and shape my identity, I remember thinking the very same about my Christian self. One is not born, but rather becomes a Christian (Beauvoir, 1953). For activist bell hooks, “being oppressed means the absence of choices” (hooks, 1984). Had I ever really chosen Christianity, I deeply wondered?  Or had I simply been taught, from birth, how to best become Christian? So, the accouchement of my personal Christian journey began, an endeavour to personally choose or reject Christianity. 

I will not bore you with my personal findings. What I will share, however, is my surprise at the discovery that my life had been lived under an illusion! Throughout my 28 years, I had in fact been following Christendom and not Christ. Notions of identity, love, forgiveness and grace took up new meanings once I read and made sense of the bible for myself. All my life I carried so much pride at the idea that I was a born and bred Christian without truly acknowledging the great danger that lies therein. One can know about the truth without truly knowing the truth. 

As I read the bible to better make sense of my role as a female Christian, I came across many passages emphasizing my inferiority (I Cor. 14:34-36, I Timothy 2:8-15, I Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18-19). These verses have and are still granting many men justifications for much sexual, mental and physical abuse simply to perpetuate their supremacy. At this I am outraged, enraged and simply made deranged. The bible also has many passages about equality, the equality of man and woman before God (Ephesians 5:21, Genesis 1:27, Hebrews 12:14, Mark 12:24-17, Proverbs 22:2). To quote my dearest brother, “the bible can be used to justify almost any behaviour, good or bad”. As much as I choose to believe in the latter biblical view of women, the truth is that as I live out my life, particularly within the Christian world, I will inevitably occupy spaces, be exposed to literature and encounter people who view me as secondary. And as du Bois reminds us, our identities are reinforced and rejected through validation.

Social Psychology proposes a strategy called ‘blending’ when dealing with conflicting identities (TURNER, 2002). The idea behind blending is that one redefines and recreates an identity that transcends and merges both conflicting self-views. So, here goes my version of blending: 

She is one who believes in her equality and that of all others. Equally, she is one who forgives, loves and extends grace to all others (especially to those who oppress her) just as Christ extends his love, forgiveness and grace to all. Finally, she is one who hopes and has faith in humanity, just as Christ hopes and has faith in us. Faith that there are people out there who see her as Christ sees her. And while many can love, forgive and hope, only a female Christian can navigate through gender discrimination with a love, grace and hope that only she can extend to others. As G.K. Chesterton reminds us; “hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless… exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful” (Chesterton, 2009).  

Blending occurs over time, across many interactions, negotiations and validations. For this very reason, I believe the female Christian must often surround herself with like-minded Christians who will validate her identity. Only then can she be strongly rooted in Christ and herself. I write this to remind myself, not only, of the beauty of freedom found in Christianity but also of the fact that, being a follower of Christ is to aspire to live a courageous life of truth, humility and love. To do this, one must seek the truth, assimilate it and be responsible for living it out. 

 

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. – Jean Paul Sartre

 

 

Works Cited

(n.d.).

Beauvoir, S. d. (1953). The Second Sex. Great Britain: Jonathan Cape Ltd.

Chesterton, G. K. (2009). Heretics. Rockville: MD: Serenity Publishers.

hooks, b. ( 1984). Feminist Theory: From Margin To Center. United States: South : End Press.

Soren, K. (1992). Either/ Or: A Fragment of Life. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

TURNER, G. F. (2002). The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the. Mind's Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.

W.E.B, D. B. (1994 ). The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Avenel, NJ: Gramercy Books.

 

Yasmina is a teacher, linguist and writer. She holds a BA in Humanities from the UK and earned a Master’s degree at The Catholic University of Paris in Text Analysis and Translation. She currently resides in China where she teaches and studies Mandarin—another tongue to add to her expansive list of spoken languages. She has special interest in cultural anthropology, religion, and gender politics. Connect with her through yasminaherinirina@gmail.com or yazzyfizz (IG)