At Coachella, Let Latin-American and Black Artists Own the Spotlight.

By: Jetzel Chavira

Karol G is a Columbian musician. She recently performed at one of the most popular music festivals, Coachella. She covered music from Latin icons such as Selena, Shakira, and Celia Cruz. She chose her outfit to have colors of the Columbian flag, as she wanted to honor Columbia. In 2022, she performed at Coachella, marking a step in the right direction for representation at this historically white festival. Although Coachella has stepped up its game this year, in the past its appropriation of different cultures has made it a toxic environment for minority attendees.

In Teen Vogue, Terri Burn writes about her experience attending Coachella as a black woman. Burns discusses how she witnessed white people scream the n-word during every rap performance, wear black hairstyles, and even encountered people who would ask to touch her hair. Even before she even went to Coachella, she stopped by an African braid shop to get her hair braided and for the first time she saw a handful of white and Asian women at this hair shop. They had just returned from the first Coachella weekend. Burns heard Kendrick Lamar perform “Alright”, and she pointed out how the song was not meant for all the white people in the crowd shouting the n-word. When Lamar starts of the song with “Alls my life I has to fight”, this is only truly meaningful to the victims of discrimination and police brutality. She witnessed appropriation to the highest degree.

In the 2022 Coachella there was much more representation. We saw Karol G, Mexican American artist Becky G and even banda act such as Grupo Firme and Banda MS. Here’s hoping that 2023 does even better.

Artist Salon Spotlight: Meet Joy Zimmerman!

By: Emma Stuart

This segment is a continuation of the segment of blogs highlighting local artists that will be involved in the Artist’s Salon, sponsored by the Women’s Center at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 14th.

This posting is all about  local singer songwriter Joy Zimmerman. She recently debuted a song called “Women Who Walk on Water” with an event at the InterUrban ArtHouse, accompanied by an exhibit. This exhibit is dedicated to important women throughout history, who are highlighted through a portrait gallery in the InterUrban ArtHouse gallery space and are mentioned in Joy’s song. To get to know our featured speakers we asked them some questions about themselves and their work.

Q: What is your preferred medium of creativity?

“I’m a singer/songwriter and presenter.”

Q: What is your interest in participating in the Artist’s Salon?

“I think this panel will be a fascinating discussion, and I look forward to hearing

the perspectives and insights of the other panelists.”

Q: What is a source of inspiration for your work?

“I love writing and sharing songs about the scope of life experience. Reflecting on artists whose songs have been meaningful to me, I dive into the joys and struggles of my own life to spur ideas.”

Q:Are there any projects you are currently working on that you are excited about?

“I’m currently participating in the Artist INC program, working on new collaborations, practicing for upcoming gigs, arranging small tours, writing new songs for a forthcoming album, and looking forward to attending several conferences and a songwriting retreat.”

Q: How do you see the intersection of art and gender in your own work? And how has this empowered you, or others?

“Women are vastly underrepresented in the music industry, so I feel stronglyabout representing the female voice and perspective in songwriting, performing, recording, and producing. It was gratifying to write a song highlighting courageous women past and present and curate a hall of portraits and a concert to celebrate their impact.”

You can find Joy’s music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, YouTube Music and Pandora. To learn more about Joy and her work visit her website, and if you are interested in hearing Joy’s take on the intersection of art and gender join us at the InterUrban ArtHouse on April 14th for our Artist’s discussion.

Taylor Swift’s new single and women’s reclamation of stereotypes in media

By Kara Lewis

After a week of cryptic hints on social media, Taylor Swift dropped a new single last week. The song, titled “Look What You Made Me Do,” inspired a debate on Twitter just minutes after its release.

Though it’s fueled by a dance-y, techno beat, Swift’s newest hit has a dark message. She strikes back at the media and at Kanye West, vowing to get revenge.  It also seems to be a response to those who call Swift a “snake”: her video teasers for the song featured an angry, slithering serpent.

Some labelled the song “victim-playing,” while others applauded Swift for owning her infamous reputation. Either way, with lyrics that mention back-stabbing, karma and even Swift’s own death, one theme of the song is clear: the singer isn’t afraid to call herself crazy, or play along with the stereotype. In fact, the role of the villain helps revamp her career. She used the same tactic three years ago to write her single “Blank Space” from the perspective of a heartless, serial dater.

In fact, many famous women have recently used this career move. In her 2016 stand-up special Baby Cobra, comic Ali Wong jokes about trapping men into relationships and marriage, specifically wealthy men. She plays the crazy, gold-digger stereotype, while also ridiculing it. Ironically, the financial success of Baby Cobra and Wong’s show Fresh off the Boat means that she’s far from a gold-digger.

Writer and actress Rachel Bloom also embraces the stereotype of a crazy ex-girlfriend on her show, aptly called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She plays high-powered New York City lawyer Rebecca Bunch, who spontaneously follows an ex-boyfriend to a small town in California. With over-the-top musical numbers and relatable jokes about social media creeping, Bloom makes us laugh at the crazy ex stereotype, but also approaches it with complexity. She even remarks in the show’s theme song that “crazy ex-girlfriend” is a sexist term.

The recent success of thriller novels like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl shows that people love it when women play the villain. Swift, Wong, Bloom and others are more than happy to oblige, and educate along the way.