Resistance Literature: A New Wave of Intellectual Engagement

So I’m walking through a bookstore in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico and I’m reading blurbs.  I’m not going to blast any artists.  That’s not what I’m about.  We all come from a different set of experiences.  But why are mainstream book publisher publishing the same narrative over and over and over and over?  These blurbs seeming lay out different storylines, but when you look at the macro’s macro you start to see a pattern.

Standing Rock ProtestMaybe it’s because I’m Native.  But I want to see resistance.  Marches and protests are great and if they show up in literature then fantastic, but what I’m proposing is literature that deconstructs the system.  I’m talking about a symbolic code that will inform others on how to fight back, on what has worked for them in rearranging the parts in the system.  For me, resistance isn’t about destruction, but instead it’s more about moving parts around.

Standing Rock - Keep It In the GroundThe novel I’m working on now, Uncle Called Him Spider, shows a group of Natives (Kiowa, Cherokee, and Muskogee-Creek) battling with an overbearing boss.  It’s not done in a dismissive comedy routine to release your pressure valve, like those popular movies and television shows.  I’m not trying to make you a complacent slave. I’m trying to show you the underground railroad.  In the novel, you watch as Natives struggle with each other and with values imposed on them by this boss.  You get to see exactly how they resist and you get to see how they discipline each other to teach resistance.  The main character, Dean, takes something from each of his coworkers and empowers himself to stand up against this boss.

How does it all end?  Does he redeem himself and his coworkers?  Well, once the novel has completed it’s final stage of revision I’ll be able to get it out to you.  But for now know this:  Resistance literature is the next wave of intellectual entertainment.

How many artists will help me take up this cause?  If you’re interested in engaging in a diverse didactic calling which shows how fighting back works for you, then click on the social media icons below.  Let’s reach as many artists as we can.

 

(Works Cited:  Images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons)

17 thoughts on “Resistance Literature: A New Wave of Intellectual Engagement

  1. Oscar,
    Thank you for following me. I have been reading your blog entries and have been fascinated with your perspective. SO…I have a few questions…or maybe it all boils down to one…how does a writer/researcher who is and has been fascinated with indigenous folklore, (yet has none of the heritage), become accepted as genuinely interested in changing the perceptions about indigenous peoples and history? I am fascinated by pre- colonial history and early colonial history. I dig for records, oral histories and science to fill in the blanks that westernization and colonization cover or ignore, and often I believe that my research is not taken seriously or disregarded not on a research basis – but that it will contradict, or ” destroy forty years of research” as one detractor put it.
    Wait…now that I wrote it – if my research could destroy 40 years of research…what house of cards did they build their research upon?! How do I get the indigenous scholars & researchers to take me seriously?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s a hard one to answer. It’s a good question. I guess it would depend on how you want to change the perception of Indigenous culture. If you come at your research with a genuine discussion on building up, as opposed to tearing down, Native people then I’m sure you would be welcomed into the community. But if you’re coming into the situation because you feel you are an “Indian Expert” you won’t get very far. We’ve seen so many of these individuals in our circles that it gets a bit tiresome. You’ll have to approach the topic as a student, not an expert, because that’s how we as Native people approach the topic. Many times coming into a new situation in attempt to assert yourself will only receive opposition. We don’t assert ourselves against each other. We have much more gentle approach to the subject of Native history and culture. Too many “Indian Experts” have trampled on our culture and history and we tend to be cautious not to do the same. Come into the field with humility, as a child learning something new. Offer yourself as a student seeking to learn, as opposed to someone who “already knows,” and you’ll get much further.

      I hope my advice helps. It’s a good question. Being an ally is a much stronger position than coming into a situation stating you’re an expert. Thank you for the question. It was fun to think about.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much!
        I do look at a student – the comment about 40 years of research was when I presented what I found to an organization that constantly has stomped on indigenous peoples to the point of alienation. I found it interesting that was their response.
        I don’t want to be an expert. I want to help put the pieces together and give back. Not tear it down. Thank you so much for your insight.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. De-Westernise the system or decolonise it. It can work in Africa due to the demographics. Not sure of the numbers in America? I’ve read articles about this topic on Granta and/or Lithub. The Feminists have done it but it took centuries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Decolonization is a tough thing. One of my peers, Dr. Sexton, describes it as “trying to dry off while you’re still in the shower,” and I find that analogy fitting. It can seem impossible but I’m one to keep trying.

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      1. Nothing else to do but keep trying. Be well. Some of whiteys try as well with no or little effect. That’s let alone the barriers within oneself one still walks away from bruised once in a while! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed!  It’s nearly all the same story!    And I want to support any riders for publishing, since it’s so hard. But I agree. It’s the same story over and over again. Right now it seems to be a little known stories about world war two. Or… Whatever the current in topic is. Senior citizens who had a second chance at life… Whatever. I get it. It’s about making money. But I wonder if the greats could’ve been published today at all. Artist really do need sponsors and I want to support any riders for publishing, since it’s so hard. But I agree. It’s the same story over and over again. Right now it seems to be a little known stories about world war two. Or… Whatever the current in topic is. Senior citizens who had a second chance at life… Whatever. I get it. It’s about making money. But I wonder if some of  greats could’ve been published today at all today.  

    Laura L. Koenig

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting to think about. Would the greats of just a few decades ago be able to publish and be effective in this market? I’m not sure that they would. It’s a different era. While we have so many tools, we still have the competitiveness in a shrinking market. Writers don’t need to be worried about competing with other writers. It’s movies and television we are truly competing against. The writers of the past didn’t have to complete with Hollywood in the way we do today. Hollywood is massive beast and it’s only gotten bigger with each passing decade. Somehow we writers have to give audiences reasons to write. Reasons to actively participate in their own entertainment. Rather than passively sit and be entertained. We need audiences to want intellectual stimulation as a form of entertainment.

      Very good question Laura. Thank you for the insight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point. I didn’t think of YouTube. And I should. I’m one of it’s victims. I watch it quite a bit. But yes, we writers are competing against forms of entertainment the greats of the past didn’t have to contend with. Even just ten years ago we didn’t have to compete with YouTube in the way we do today. The market so radically different that we writers need to figure out how to exist within it. And in a way we can survive financially. I hate to bring it back to dollars, but we produce a great deal of insight into our modern world. We reflective in nature and can offer people a different point of view. But yes it’s an unfortunate element we writers have to compete against. Forget about competing against each other, that shouldn’t even be on our radar, it’s competing against the other forms of media entertainment that we have to have our eye on.

        Thank you, Alan. You got me thinking this morning. I just might have to write a post about this topic of what writers have to deal with and how that contrasts to writers of the not the distant past, but the recent past.

        Liked by 1 person

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