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May 25, 2009

carol ralph

Posted by dogpossum on May 25, 2009 3:36 PM in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (1)


As soon as I posted that last post, I thought of Carol Ralph, an Australian singer (who totally PWNS - I thoroughly recommend her CD). I don't know Carol's background, and I feel uncomfortable writing about it. But she doesn't read 'black' or 'white'. I think I need to read a whole lot more about issues of ethnicity in Australia. I know I need to read more about whiteness-as-ethnicity.

That's a photo by my friend Scott, who's photography has improved so dramatically since November I was just stunned as I flipped through his pics looking for this one just now. In fact, his photos are just gorgeous - I like the way his photos of friends and of people he knows reveal the way he feels about them. They're very affectionate and often quite lovely photos.
Here's another of two lovely Melbourne leads:


It's funny, but I feel very strange writing about ethnicity in relation to this photo. These are my friends, and people I do not want to reduce to example of multiculturalism in swing dance. I want to tell you what it's like to dance with them, about how one of them makes films, and how the other is a lovey and one of my favourite stunt buddies. Ethnicity is important and part of who they and I are, but I don't think I have the language tools to talk about it in a way that does what I want. This, of course, was the difficult part of my dissertation. How to write about my own community, my own friends, myself, in a way that's respectful and yet also thoughtful and cognisant of these sorts of issues.

So I think I'll just end this post with another huzzah for Scott's photos (and the fact that he can make me feel all fuzzy inside looking at this lovely photo of my friends), and the recommendation that if you ever get the chance, you must dance with these boys. Or at least buy them a beer.

Posted by dogpossum on May 25, 2009 3:36 PM in the category clicky and lindy hop and other dances and music


Posted by: kait at May 29, 2009 3:00 AM

out of curiosity, how much of a taboo is there on even discussing ethnicity in casual conversation there?

it's been brought home to me lately exactly how awkward it gets here... i never know quite how to respond when friends who know me well but not my boyfriend (who's chinese-american) get curious and ask the oh-so-specific question, "what is he?" um, younger guy, engineer for the navy, dancer, music snob extraordinaire, what are you asking?!? "no, no, where's he from?" uh, california? there's so much dodging actually asking about his ethnicity. and i'm honestly not much likelier to be direct than anybody else... but glad to at least get a chance to notice the awkward.

and your friend's photos ARE gorgeous!

Posted by: kait at May 29, 2009 3:00 AM

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