Settler colonialism is being unable to fill in the blanks. It is the history of a family welded together by natives and settlers. It is the logic of superiority, of primacy, of genocide. It is the colonization of memory and of events that come to be known as “History.” It is visiting a reservation or a refugee camp and wondering how this could have been your life. It is being thankful that this is not your life, that this is only a visit or a passion, a choice to be here. It is realizing that this confidence in one’s place has been bought with the logic and practice of settler colonialism. It is wanting answers to inquiries you cannot yet, and probably will never, articulate. It is seeking epiphany through writing and finding only the proliferation of questions, of doubts, and of histories. Like these questions, and more than anything, settler colonialism is ongoing.
The difference between socialist China and capitalist China in these posters is so very striking.
We have armed and fully dressed women. The camera is looking either straight at them, or up towards them. They are active, performing work. Looking off into the distance, in the socialist visionary style.
They are people to look up to, people unto themselves. Heroes and role models for women and men alike.
Then we have unarmed, semi-undressed women. The camera looks down upon them, or straight at them. They look at the camera or at objects. The viewer acts more upon them than they act upon the world themselves.
The one woman we do see in uniform is disarmed, guitar in place of rifle.