Archive for January, 2017

WomensMarchLA – The Signs and the things I missed, being South African.

January 22, 2017

Going to the women’s march in Los Angeles felt like full circle for me. I marched in South Africa in the early 90s. And here I was again, sticking my finger in the dyke hoping that some action would prevent complete disaster. If you check out my instagram (jeanbarkerza), I have video of (not that but) a Trump Pinata and also the crowd chanting “hey hey, ho ho, please don’t fall /out the window” to a fifth-floor hipster.

Meeting up with friends? Not possible. The cell companies didn’t get their shit together, so it was impossible to connect, but that was fine. I wasn’t there to socialize, I was there to protest and march.

The only thing I really missed was the toyi-toying and the singing. I didn’t miss the teargas. I hope that by the next march, I will be able to teach LA folks the basics of joyous protesting, SA style. Here are some quick tips, with humor. My favorite line: “I am black.”

You see, toyi-toying allows you to to occupy yourself while you’re occupying, because marching, as the newbies surrounding me learned, mostly involves (legally, anyhow) standing around waiting for the cops to get their shit together. Also, you get to sing.

putin_racecar_bed

One of my faves. TRUMP HAS A PICTURE OF PUTIN ABOVE HIS RACECAR BED.

trump-bug

While we waited, LA women of all races discussed their careers, kids, and yoga classes. I never found out what the Bug was about. Trump Bugs Me?

hipster

There’s always a hipster at anything in LA. MEN OF QUALITY DEMAND EQUALITY. And facial hair. And stencils.

have-we-really-evolved-2

HAVE WE REALLY EVOLVED?

latest-tweet

It’s called being there. “TODAY’S TWEET: “LOOK AT ALL THE FAKE PEOPLE AT THAT ‘FAKE NEWS’ EVENT”

we-the-people-veil-plus-others

WE THE PEOPLE. also TOO MANY THINGS TO FIT ON ONE SIGN. But then again, that’s why there were more than 100, 000 of us.

fire-escape

Nobody was arrested, even if they were breaking the law. See: Lady on Fire Escape. I actually literally didn’t see any cops, just a couple of fire engines.

pussy-grabs-back

PUSSY GRABS BACK. A popular topic. I enjoy the idea of all the parents that brought their kids explaining to kids what Kegels are, and why it’s mommy’s choice to do them. I didn’t see a poster that said “Talk to your child about orgasms”.

pussy-hats

PUSSY HATS, everywhere. Downtown was swarmed. None of the cell towers worked anymore.

cutedog

Dogs know. RESPECT THE PUSSY.

strongerthanpower

THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS STRONGER THAN THE PEOPLE IN POWER

tinkle-czar

TINKLE, TINKLE LITTLE CZAR. PUTIN PUT U WHERE U ARE.

too-broke-burn-bra

I’M TOO BROKE TO BURN MY BRA. OR MY US FLAG VEIL.

trumpsmells

LIKE SOMETHING ELSE WE KNOW

tutu

IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICEE YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR – DESMOND TUTU (SOUTH AFRICA)

usmccraycray

This nutjob kinda didn’t get it and kept shouting TRUMP IS A BITCH! TRUMP IS A BITCH!

we_shall_over-comb

WE SHALL OVER COMB. Cute.

Trump supporters, presumably some big company / superpac that wants unions destroyed, flew a plane over the march, with a banner reading CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT TRUMP. I guess when you can’t get boots on the ground, boots that are made for walking, you just pay to play.

file-jan-21-11-44-24-pm

And, in summary… Let’s just forget about the past and MOVE ON, TRUMPIES!

Lost and Found on Washington Blvd.

January 2, 2017

Lost art led me to find new art, when a Christmas gift from my father by my mother via Birmingham in the UK got lost in the post and forced me out to track it down. In the course of looking, I discovered another of my neighborhood’s hidden gems.

badly-addressed

My Ma’s handwriting is legendary – few people can decipher it. I now understand why this letter wound up addressed to Jean Bowen, and had to be forcibly retrieved by hand.

The letter led me south-west on Washington Blvd into West Adams, where I’ve wandered a few times before, but not as far. It seemed to be just a series of shops for used kitchen fittings. But there is more, there. In fact, the post office where my parcel was being held is the only US post office I know of rated more than 2 Stars on Yelp. It’s got a real community feel, and everybody was amazingly friendly.

calendar

Every day, I’m reminded of or discover new art. Thanks Dad.

So I got the calendar, but I also, accidentally, got a whole lot more.

persimmon-sexy

I found this amazing persimmon, which I think you’ll agree as my friend Alicia says: “Manages to look like about four giggly things at once”. Another shopper nearby me saw me laughing and requested a photo of her own to show her husband.

americana-liquor-store

Then was wandering home, and this Liquor Store caught my eye. It would make a great period film location. Notice the sign in the window on the right, advertising “OUT OF TOWN NEWSPAPERS”, which dates it pre-internet, or at least pre-smartphone.

graffitti-sell-your-work

This sign is what led me inside. It made me wonder: Who does own graffiti – and could the owner or tenant of the wall claim they do?

I wandered inside, and found the otherwise unlabeled “UNDERGROUND MUSEUM” on Washington Blvd.

noah-wallpaper-lynching

Pretty, chintzy even, wallpaper, Laura Ashley style… until you look closer, and see that it’s repeated images of a lynching.

noah-hoodie

“In the Hood” by David Hammons (2016), also part of the Non-Fiction exhibit curated by Noah Davis.

noah-back-garden

The surprise back garden, where there’s space to work, and in summer, a film screening series.

The area where I live (Arlington Heights / West Adams) is often dismissed as “The Ghetto” or “The Hood” in yelp reviews of places Jonathan Gold went to first, making them safe for the middle classes to explore and briefly over-run.  Most people I meet in White LA seem worried about me when I say I live here, or say in that quintessentially LA-Snob way “Oh really… I think I’ve heard of it. How IS that?” An ex-boyfriend once referred to it as a “bad area”, (because why? Because poor / immigrant / black people are dangerous?) and refused to walk two blocks to a restaurant at night with me. Poor baby…

But I’ve fallen in love with it, and more and more I find there’s much more to it than I ever imagined. And it’s not like it’s just arrived, either. The Underground has been there since 2012.