Despite this being my website I tend to steer away from writing personal posts. To me my blog is a space for cultural production, where I promote the things I hold dear, support the culture and promote the stories often untold. Yet there is a part of me that sometimes feels the need to share how I authentically feel about myself and the world around me. I guess that comes from my inner need to be transparent with everything that I share.
In recent weeks I've been in low spirits. Partly for personal reasons - which I won't share here - but also because sometimes things don't go the way we want them to. I say this while thinking of my project, follow the halo (Halo for short), which I've put so much love and energy into for a while now. I started Halo to support arts and culture in our region and to create an artistic community of inclusion and representation. The project is completely self-funded and independently published, using whatever resources are readily available. However, I am slowly learning that the system is built to make the sincere difficult. By that, I mean that in our region, for projects to gain momentum they need to be supported by certain people, have a certain "aesthetic" and backed by certain "brands", making growth characteristic of an unhealthy concoction of nepotism and luck.
But I guess that's why I began Halo to start with, right? I wanted a grassroots and DIY project that challenged the status quo; Halo is about putting a message of representation out there and creating a community, so I guess difficulty and challenges are existent by definition. My question is, however, how did we get here? In my low spirits, I find myself wondering what got us to this point? Is it technology? Is it capitalism? Since when was it so easy for the voices of the sincere to be drowned out especially in our region? I miss a time - that time being the region's infancy - when access to opportunity wasn't so unequal.
To console myself, I've been thinking about Riot Grrrl, an alternative, independent DIY publication that took feminism by storm in the late 80s/early 90s with its boldness and punk aesthetic. Made up of homemade newsletters, art, articles, and mini-zines, Riot Grrrl was an anti-status quo movement that became a right of passage for many young women around the world. Today it is remembered as an art form that began the trend of independent publishing as resistance (kind of what Halo is to me) and is revered as a symbol of feminist cultural production. I think about Riot Grrrl and of all the institutions that it pissed off and feel like maybe, just maybe, Halo will be the next Riot Grrrl. To me, that's the dream.
Or, it will never be Riot Grrrl. And that's okay too, but I will have to keep trying until something ends up working right? But until then, I will continue to work hard and make sure Halo is the sincerest form of itself that it can be. Right now I will honor the difficulties that I am facing and recognize that they are part of the journey.