About all this...
This post is about feelings, politics silly humour all in a broken english. You'll probably have to stop your reading now if you're not in the mood, not open minded or just if you don't care...
Are you still there?
Yay let's talk!
Soooo....I'm really sad to see how people write aggressive and violent comments on the social medias lately.
Something wrong happened in Toulouse a few weeks ago, and from there i have the feeling that it had evolved in an extreme that i can't follow anymore...
See, i understand that a blackface is not acceptable, of course. I think that as a performer, you're responsible to inform yourself about a subject you'll bring on stage, and that whatever the subject is, do it with respect, knowledge and passion... I wasn't there in Toulouse, i didn't see the act in question, but if some performers i know and trust for years were there and left the venue, i know it was for a good reason, and i support their brave decision. A blackface is not acceptable
But then, i got confused....I saw more and more people commenting and arguing with each other about their acts and cultural appropriation... Ok...
Over sensible subject, a bomb! Woops sorry not sorry! I thought first that if i talked about it it would be not professional, that i'll better shut my mouth... and just observe in silence...But i guess after a while i can't just stay passive with something that is touching me.
There's a lot to say about it, and to be clear i'm not trying to minimize anything here but i'm going to stay on a personal level first.
Lovely people, i'm half japanese and half iraqi born in Switzerland. I can speak french, english, a little bit of japanese and lately a tiny bit of italian....
I was very lucky to travel a lot since i was a child, as my mum was a touring musician and my dad had art exhibitions all over the globe as well. I grew up with 3 cultures, which was very interesting in the good and the bad, it always showed me that we have to stay open minded...
So.... honnestly when i see a good performer doing an asian inspired act, i'm actually happy!
I'm happy to see that part of my culture inspired an artist, as long as it's respectful and that i can feel some kind of celebration on it... Like when Van Gogh had his "japonism" influences, it gave a beautiful mix and vision of it. I love it! I never really liked to keep things in boxes, i love when we mix boxes together to create something new, otherwise isn't it always the same thing? I'm a "mixed box" myself haha!
I think that there's a big diffrence between giving a tribute to a culture as a loving celebration or a subject that you love from all your heart... and an act with an unacceptable blackface...
And then i mean, sorry but as a half japanese and half iraqi born in Switzerland, what does it mean? What am i "allowed" to perform to stay "correct". Ok so i shoud do belly dancing (iraqi) in a geisha costume (japanese) on a folkloric swiss music like Heidi? Because that is my culture??? Haha you see my point?
And going in that logic, am i allowed to do classic burlesque? I'm not caucasian, is it culural appropriation? Honnest question...!
I have a huge respect for all the cultures i bring with me on stage. I always inform myself about all the contexts and also talk to a concerned person or community about it, as i'm very passionate about it. For me it's so logical that i never really mention it...
Can you imagine that all this social medias comments took me to these questions to myself disturbing me on focusing on work on my costumes and acts? Isn't it a bit too extreme my dear burly mates? Again is it the social medias that make everything bigger than it is, as it's so easy to attack and write something from a smartphone or a computer? I don't really know but i felt sad, and angry to see some comments lately...Because we don't have the same opinion doesn't mean we should agress each other, really... Can we please stay polite and civilised and not take such things as an excuse to insult others and masturbate our virtual ego...? Please...?
You know what? Call me a damn hippie i don't care but:
The burlesque i love is open minded
The burlesque i love is clever
The burlesque i love is happy
The burlesque i love is provocative
The burlesque i love is innovative
The burlesque i love is human
The burlesque i love is tolerant
The burlesque i love is strong
The burlesque i love is inspiration
The burlesque i love is free
The burlesque i love is me and you
The burlesque i love is soooo many beautiful things... and most of all it is big celebration!
So let's not forget this and focus on the good! Go back at looking forward to the next show you will go to see!
Performer, go back to that act rehearsal or costume you have to finish or adjust, do it with all your heart, and i can't wait to see you rock the stage next time!
With all my love ❤
Lou on the Rocks