CHECK THIS OUT! I have huge respect for the brilliant mind of Jin Haritaworn, and now he’s written a book about us. ASK FOR THIS BOOK IN YOUR CLASSES! Get it into your syllabus!
Here are the hot sexy contents: Haunted origins; Where are you from?; From monster to fashion model: regenerating racialized bodies; Is it better to be mixed race?; Hybrid nations, mixed feelings: from marginal man to Obama; Exceptional cities, exceptional citizens: metronormativity and mimeticism; Reckoning with prostitutes: performing Thai femininity; Conclusion: where do we want to go?;
Yay! Hay mixies, we are going public. This project, portraits and text, is going into the vitrines of the A-Space Gallery in downtown Toronto on January 20, 2012. Hooplah hooplah! If you’re around, come on down. There will be four portraits up: Syrus, Kenji, Nadijah and this one, which was commissioned for Jin Haritaworn’s marvellous new book “The Biopolitics of Mixing.”
i definitely identify with being a person of colour (poc) but not necessarily with being chinese. growing up i always felt like taiwan was more my home than canada ever would be, but since i was 6 i have been raised by a basically all white family. in that way, i have/have access to some forms of white privilege, but i don’t identify with being white. i identify with being a poc because that is how the world sees me but also because i’m damn proud.
What is the best/worst part of being mixed for you – do you think of it in those terms?
i can’t say that i have ever thought of the best/worst parts of being mixed. i mean people say that mixed kids are soooooo beautiful… which usually makes me feel exoticized and sexualized as a poc. i used to think it would be easier to just be one or the other… but everyone has very complex intersectionalities and i really can’t really speak to the experiences of either.
What would you like to see this project do? Do you think it is necessary?
i love that this project exists. i live in guelph, where it feels pretty isolating to be a poc/mixed person. a friend of mine who is mixed showed me this and i loved it. i’ve shared it with lots of other friends. i guess i would love to see this project continue to grow, reach more people, have more stories, make more connections!
But I understand that other people see her as a symbol of the way our culture idealises some kinds of beauty and flays others, the way it remembers and celebrates light-skinned women, and the way it buries and ignores dark-skinned women. The little firestorm of controversy that MC stirs up every time she is mentioned on this site is clear evidence that the fluidity of her race — which to me appears as a joyful overcoming — appears reprehensible to others. I realise now, after reading the comments from all the Mariah posts on Racialicious, that people despise her for the very reason I love her: the fact that she’s been packaged both as white and black. I see it as the fact that its never too late to be the person you wanted to be; others view it as an obscene kind of inconsistency, as someone who will use people and cultures to their own end, and then throw them away.
For me, Mariah will always be a reminder that you don’t have to be half of anything. She’s still my secret ally in the battle to maintain my sense of self, a figure who tells me to eff all those other people who don’t respect who I am, and just go my own way: things will work out in the end.
Nikkei. I just learned this word from Japanese Canadian elders in BC, and then of course, my grandmother was surprised that I didn’t know what it meant when I told her about just learning it. It is to describe Japanese migrants and their descendants, worldwide.
Hi guys! Thea and I have been seriously AWOL but I’m back on the project and looking for more folks to draw.
I’m trying a new style - no more digital colour. Now it’s all analog - pastels and lots of colourful backgrounds. I’d like to do a series of these and show them at a Montréal gallery in the spring. The questionnaire answers would be typed up in their own frame.
If you like the style and would like to submit your questionnaire answers and a photo for me to draw for the show, please do! If you already have, let me know that you’re in again for the pastel show. Don’t be shy! I’ll take it as a compliment.
“I almost couldn’t read the comments that insinuated Mariah was the worst kind of race traitor, a person who played up her blackness, her whiteness and her mixedness whenever she liked, in order to make millions to finance her Hello Kitty Castle.
Reading these threads, the feeling I had was similar to reading criticism of myself; it was as if I had written a post that was really badly received. But this is some high level cognitive mash-up: my beloved Racialicious community was talking about Mariah, not me.
Yet I have never felt that Mariah plays up any part of her ethnic heritage, except to patiently attempt to explain, again and again, who her people are, and to mention in a very low-drama way, that her experience of biraciality has been a painful one.
Sometimes, the reason why we are smitten with celebrities is because we see facets of our own struggles in their lives. Or perhaps more accurately, we project our own troubles onto the vague details of celebrity lives, and then imagine that just the two of us are secret allies in the war of life.”
I define myself as bi-racial. Usually I’ll add that my father’s black and my mother’s white, and if people insist on knowing more, I’ll tell them where they’re from and where their parents are from.
6. What is the best/worst part of being mixed for you – do you think of it in those terms?
There are issues of identity that I struggle with, not really knowing where I belong so to speak. I think the worst part is wishing I could speak on issues relating to the black community more forcefully. I don’t share the same sense of being “the other,” the only black guy in the room. I’ve never had a cop harass me or been followed around a store or turned down for a job, never been discriminated against ever really, so I don’t feel I can strongly identify with black people the way I’d like to. As for the white part of me, I get so annoyed by the racist or ignorant comments I hear from white folks, that I wish I could just be black. So I guess the worst part is trying to pick a side, even though that’s a silly thing to think one should do.
Best part: having a mixed background is a great conversation starter. It’s fun to talk about your background with people.
One Hundred Percent is an illustrated documentary about what it means to be mixed. Are you a mixed race person of colour? Answer our questionnaire!
1. How do you describe your ethnic identity?
2. Do you identify more with one side of your ethnic identity over others? Why?
3. How do you define mixed?
4. Do you experience discrimination based on your race?
4a. Do you experience discrimination based on being mixed?
5. If you could choose, would you want to be mixed?
And some optional questions…
6. What is the best/worst part of being mixed for you – do you think of it in those terms?
7. What would you like to see this project do? Do you think it is necessary?
8. Is there a famous mixed race person that you would like to see in our book?
9. Do you experience discrimination based on other parts of your identity, apart from your race? (for e.g. Are you also a woman and experience sexism? Are you Trans/Queer and experience transphobia or homophobia? Do you have a disability and experience ableism?…) How do these other parts of your identity intersect with your mixedness?
10. How do you think we should define mixed?
Thea Lim and Elisha Lim are working on an illustrated documentary about what it’s like to come from mixed backgrounds. We’re doing it because that's what we are, and if you are too, we’re curious to hear about, write about and draw about you.
Fill up our questionnaire and email it to: email@example.com
Thea online: read her posts at Racialicious.com and follow her poorly updated Twitter.
Elisha online: check out Elisha's art and queer propaganda, etsy.
If you are wondering whether or not you should fill out our questionnaire, and are not sure if you fit our definition of mixed race person of colour: we want to write about and draw about any POC who self-identifies as mixed race.
So you can fill up the questionnaire if you fit the widely used definition of mixed race, i.e. if your parents are of two (or more) different races/ethnicities. But you can also fill up the questionnaire if that description doesn’t quite fit you, but you still think about yourself as mixed race, i.e. if you are mixed cultural, if you are a transracial adoptee, if you are the parent of a mixed race family, if you are in an interracial relationship, or if mixed bloodlines are a huge part of your ethnic and family history and deeply inform how you think about yourself.
Our number one criteria is simply this: fill up the questionnaire if being mixed race is a regular part of the way you think about yourself and shapes how you see the world, or has been at some point in your life. Just be honest: if you hardly ever think about being mixed race except for when someone else mentions it, you probably don’t self-identify as mixed race.
If you have any questions, suggestions, demands, complaints or love, get in touch! We would love to hear from you.
The Lim Sisters