Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hear from Lex: Why Blogging

Another response to a series of questions that should not be hidden. From Lex:

Fab's comments really resonate with me. I think there are many reasons that people end up blogging. I started blogging about two years ago (wow doesn't feel like it has been that long) for two reasons.
1. I was preparing for my qualifying exams for grad school and I needed a way to process a whole lot of reading and for accountabilities sake I was turned on about processing with a (mostly imaginary) online audience instead of just with the innards of my own laptop.
2. I was participating in a transformative women of color led healing movement locally and it was really important to us that our work be accessible and accountable to people outside of our local community as well.

3. And then...because of learning about the amazing blogs of my sistren Jasmine Cabot and Kriti I realized that we could put pdfs on blogs and BrokenBeautiful Press which had been much more like a mail order distro became an online space of sharing and production.

So my relationship to blogging is slightly odd. It might not even be called blogging. It might be doing something else through the technological user friendly web sharing templates that the blogging movement has made available.

I am much more likely to post my personal bidness...and my growing plots and plans and my statements of love and support in emails to comrades, sisters, friends...many of which I met through the blogosphere. So that's still a very web-based love that I find fulfilling. It has been particularly sustaining for me during a period in my local community when trust has been broken and stuff has been tentative and difficult.

Anyway all that is to Fab pointed out... my blog is nothing like a journal. When I update a blog it is because I have something specific to share to a broad audience. I also maintain about 50 no one blog is my home (don't call it an empire!)

I don't think anyone (at least among the radical women of color and allied media makers that I read) is blogging just to blog. I think we're doing it for reasons acknowledged or make space for an issue that everyone is ignoring, to process something that we really want think through, to bring together voices that we think belong together, to be part of a conversation about some particular possibility.

I think the "Why blogging?" question is really important and it is important for us to be loud with our multiple answers to it because our blogging is directly connected to radical theoretical production and community transformation. I think it is the opposite of elitist. I think it is us doing what oppressed folks have always had to do...use tools designed for someone else to make space for ourselves and our loved ones to breathe, celebrate, scream, strategize...

And for those same reasons I don't think it has to be a once a blogger forever a blogger thing. Maybe you'll grow past that particular issue or conversation or project that made you start that particular blog. Maybe the way for us to be accountable has to do with working in a community garden, or doing west african dance, or cooking a lot more at a certain point.
There have been phases in my healing and growing when I haven't wanted to use words at all.
So yeah...let's be intentional about what we do and support each other on and offline. Our individual and collective purposes are bigger than the blogosphere and the atmosphere.

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