Carte Blanche: Noor Afshan Mirza
As an artist of biracial heritage, I have been on a long journey of decolonising myself, my education, my body, and my intimate relationships. These days, I self-identify as a ›white passing‹ brown woman. In the words of Tamela J. Gordon »We can’t all be black feminists. It’s something you’re born into, it isn’t acquired. However, we can all and should all adopt a black feminist agenda. When black women win, mankind wins.« My alignment with this statement comes from an ongoing engagement with the theory of intersectional feminism. As a non-black woman of color I grew up in a completely white rural society, exposed to second wave (white) British feminism only as an art student (London) in the early 90’s. Which I naturally felt didn’t speak to any of my experiences growing up, of being racialised and experiencing institutional structural racism. As a young person I was personally politicised both socially and musically, through the subcultures of punk, and hip hop. To then ending up as a student in ›white (art) school‹, where I was re-introduced to the practices of forced assimilation and ›passing‹. I did not have access to any black or brown women’s voices, in any part of my education. So now as a woman in my sage/wisdom years I am back to the place I was as an ›angry‹ rebellious teenager, self-educating myself, and undoing the unconscious bias of white (supremacy) colonial power.
I am thrilled to be invited as a guest curator at the Dortmund | Cologne IWFF and hope that my artistic choices will inspire the festival audience as much as they did me.
_Noor Afshan Mirza