Fans and activists are alike in that we’re all advocates. We promote characters who’ve empowered us and recruit people to join our causes. Sometimes that effort is one and the same. When a tyrant comes to power by dehumanizing Muslims and Latinx people, telling stories with Muslim and Latinx heroes is essential. While Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan,
Fans and activists are alike in that we’re all advocates. We promote characters who’ve empowered us and recruit people to join our causes. Sometimes that effort is one and the same.
When a tyrant comes to power by dehumanizing Muslims and Latinx people, telling stories with Muslim and Latinx heroes is essential.
While Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, and Ms. America, America Chavez are punching Hitler and stretching the boundaries of whose superpowered stories are told, real life Muslim women, latinas, and other Queer People of Color are leading mass mobilizations in their communities.
What makes this imagery so powerful? How are these stories both real and imagined changing pop culture and politics?
On Wednesday, March 22, we’re inviting twitter users to dive in and discuss, 8:30 EDT to 9:30pm by visiting #PopPoliticsChat on Twitter.
Our first topic is Marvel Comics’ Ms. Marvel series, and the newly released America comic, starring former Young Avenger and leader of The Ultimates, America Chavez. Kamala Khan and America Chavez’s powers make them immune to border walls and bathroom laws. Both characters are explicitly American and heroic in their stories, and useful vehicles for considering what patriotism and heroism means when Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ people are being targeted by the government (and when Captain America Steve Rogers is revealed to be a Nazi Hydra Agent).
We’ll also discuss how to engage in Marvel fandom while remaining critical of problematic issues, including Marvel/Disney’s participation in Trump’s Economic Advisory board, and a lack of support for creators of color and women.
Our goals are to bring together pop culture fans, social movement community members, creatives, and more in a fun and inspiring conversation, and to connect them to new ideas and opportunities to take action. We hope you’ll spread the word about the event and participate with us!
- Desiree Rodriguez (@boricuadesiree) is a columnist and Editorial Assistant for Lion Forge Comics’ Catalyst Prime. Desiree also writes for The Nerds of Color and Women Write About Comics.
- Nelini Stamp (@NelStamp) National Membership Director @WorkingFamilies. Lover of sci-fi & wizards. Troublemaker with @ResistHere, #ResistTrumpTuesdays.
- Ardo Omer (@ArdoOmer) is a senior editor at Women Write About Comics and a contributing writer at Book Riot. She has bylines at Comics Bulletin, Hyperallergic and Slate. Batman goes to her for advice.
And I, @elana_brooklyn will be moderating the conversation, coming to this from the perspective of someone who is a comics fan and critic, but also works for an immigrant-lead community organization whose members and leaders are leading the resistance against immigration raids, over-policing, and other forms of systemic oppression (and have been since long before Trump).
See you then! And if you are Tumblr share it there!
Cultural Pulse (an initiative of the Culture Lab) connects social justice movements to pop culture stories, trends and fan organizing efforts to help them more deeply engage with the stories and people that are changing hearts and minds.1 comment