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Beyoncé’s Soft Power

dc.contributor.author McLarney, Ellen
dc.date.accessioned 2019-10-10T15:24:56Z
dc.date.available 2019-10-10T15:24:56Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09-01
dc.identifier.issn 0270-5346
dc.identifier.issn 1529-1510
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19412
dc.description.abstract <jats:p>This article charts Beyoncé’s multimedia intervention into the politics of the Trump presidency as she draws on the work of black Muslim and Latinx artists to challenge white monopolies on representation in the Breitbart era. It specifically looks at the political interventions Beyoncé staged through collaborations with Warsan Shire, a British poet born in Kenya to Somali parents; Awol Erizku, an Ethiopian-born American artist raised in the Bronx; and Daniela Vesco, a Costa Rican photographer. This collective of artists forge a black aesthetics at a heightened level of visibility, using new performative technologies to intervene in the politics of #BlackLivesMatter, crackdowns on Muslim and Latinx refugees and immigrants, the proposed wall with Mexico, and neo-Nazi mobilization. Focusing on Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement, the article explores the politics of representation of black bodies and black lives, as she transforms the trope of suffering black mothers and their martyred black youth into a celebration of black motherhood and the pregnant body. These images are consciously rooted in a genealogy of black women’s representations of black women’s bodies. Despite the political power of these interventions, accusations were leveled at Beyoncé of cultural appropriation and exploitation of suffering by the neoliberal entertainment machine. By mentoring these artists, Beyoncé sought to convey the fertility of creative foment across borders and power hierarchies, even if her star power ultimately eclipsed the message as well as the marginalized artist that she sought to highlight.</jats:p>
dc.language en
dc.publisher Duke University Press
dc.relation.ispartof Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1215/02705346-7584892
dc.title Beyoncé’s Soft Power
dc.type Journal article
duke.contributor.id McLarney, Ellen|0312245
dc.date.updated 2019-10-10T15:24:55Z
pubs.begin-page 1
pubs.end-page 39
pubs.issue 2
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 34


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