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« Silverfish Stream, relational sound spheres. | Main | So truly real »

Is being un-PC that necessary for the message?

Is being un-PC that necessary for the message?

This image is taken from the Fabrica front page, an online identity that represents Fabrica as a whole:


"The Chinese all look the same" ?? "and ABOVE ALL where do the Chinese go when they die" ??

(above all what? like it's the most important to know if there are chinese people in heaven and if you have to be friends them? ok, i'll understand the fact that it isn't written very well and probably isn't written by an english writer? whatever, still doesn't make it any better)

OK, Sure, we understand the intention after you read the whole thing repeatedly, but is it really necessary to put in a context that pits the West against the East? Us vs. Them? Let's have Them come teach Us?

It is insulting and embarrassing to say the least. One because it is the kind of sentiments that are expressed in our local environment but it doesn't necessarily mean WE have anything to do with the conservative minds that make up Treviso. and two, because it is just plain uncool to try to be "cool and down with 'those' people" from such a pretentious view points (oh we fly in Chinese people to make us more worldly!).

Yeah, maybe it's just the quirky writing, but it's on the front page!!!

for more about the workshop: http://2005to2007.fabrica.it/project.php?id=305

Originally from
ReBlogged by ann p on Jan 18, 2006 at 06:42 PM Posted by ann p on Jan 18, 2006 at 06:42 PM


Isn't the point of this writing to highlight these issues in a critical sense, not to support them? And I don't agree it's insulting - nor is it anything like the sentiments articulated by the right wing in Treviso - they are much much more dangerous. It's really important to distinguish between fascism and well meaning liberalism. The 'above all where do the chinese go when they die' line may seem trite to you or me, but to Catholics it probably has a lot of meaning. Remember, it's not about the Chinese, it's about perceptions of the Chinese. The text is critical only of the west and names the west's perception of the Chinese as xenophobic. Maybe we read different texts - I simply don't recognize your characterisation of what it's saying.The worst you can accuse this poster of is that it has good intentions but is misguided. I think that when you accuse somebody of insulting you you should try and understand who they are and what their intentions and actions might be. Otherwise you risk grandstanding - basically trying to make yourself look more righteous than anyone else.

Posted by: andy at 19.01.2006 11:20 AM

I think it is just written for people with an average q.i. (so maake a test: but of course if you take it out of the contyext it could be more difficult) The sense is clear to me. Fabrica is organizing lectures of Chinese artist to help to know better their contemporary culture so to go away from prejudice and fake belief (by the way: do you ever saw a chinese funeral?...)

Posted by: peter at 19.01.2006 11:39 AM

i've attended chinese funerals when my family members passed away, so i'm not sure what your point is.

yes, i understand that it's using the statements to talk about xenophobia, but the writing presume that we are somehow surrounded by these prejudice and fake beliefs AT Fabrica (and thus the need for the workshops) -- which I'd rather beg to differ. i'd like to believe that we're better than that.

my ancestors migrated from China by way of Catholic missionaries (millions maybe billions of Chinese around the world are of christian faith), so perhaps this struck a personal chord and resulted in strong reaction, but I will happily take my grandstanding position in as much as I have my given Chinese name tattooed on my arm.

That said, I think the Chinese will probably never actually find this offensive, they'd just think we're being so endearing in our curiousities.

Posted by: ann at 19.01.2006 12:13 PM

I think that puts it into perspective, Andy.. I agree, I think it is well meant liberalism ... I guess, I am used to overly politically correct/sensitive dialogue and maybe this is just another style of stirring up debate.

I have to say my initial reaction to the text was frustration, anger and irritation.. The reason I reacted strongly to the text was the same as Ann's.. ..I was thinking to myself: "What's up with these intensely offensive statements? Are they a necessary way to kick off the year's theme? ".. and "These statements do NOT represent my opinions!"...

Basically, I was thinking that I don't want to feel represented by an institution that starts a rich dialogue with the premise that we are all xenophobic.. ?

To be positive.. the fact that thet text triggered a strong reaction and instigated discussion of race and eurocentricism, means that we were debating + talking. + arguing.. which is always good! ..

And yes, the intentions are very cleary good, I agree. I still feel lucky to be at Fabrica where these interesting workshops are hosted.

Still, to me it seems kind of 'old school' (for lack of a better way of articulating this).. I think this is the way my grandfather (bless him) would approach racial dialogue.. by laying the racial slurs on the table first. .

I think this is the kind of discussion that Bill Maher would happily host!

Posted by: selwa at 19.01.2006 01:00 PM

well, I guess I could be your Grandfather, technically... Who is Bill Maher? I think Ann's point about the assumption behind the text is really interesting - however I'm not sure it assumes we have these prejudices in Fabrica, but that maybe Fabrica is a beacon of non prejudiced thinking and that we are surrounded by nasty racist people. Which is a self aggrandizing fantasy.... and also pretty much the truth. Headline in today's local paper about how the party in local government here - Lega - considers the Catholic Church to be 'red', ie communist.

Posted by: andy at 19.01.2006 04:27 PM

uh.. oh dear, I meant the description of the workshop (starting to talk about race) reminded me of my grandfather's way.. err not yours!!

Bill Maher is the host of a tv show in the States (which I haven't seen in a long time). He always invites a mixed bunch of politicians/actors/activists etc. who have opposing views to debate about the show's chosen topic.. I don't always agree with his slant.. but he always gets the debaters stirred-up!

Posted by: selwa at 20.01.2006 10:13 AM

hey, i made that poster! hmm, i suppose i'll take 'cutesy' as a compliment.

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