Cover Image: Hard Facts by Mauro Perucchetti. 2006. Pigmented urethane resin, stainless steel & acrylic. 94 x 180 x 30 cm.
As protests continue over the death of George Floyd, I thought it was pertinent to look back to Issue #3, an issue revolving around the topic of man, machine, & power. Featured artist, Mauro Perucchetti has spent much of his time focusing on human rights and the abuses that come along with it. A clear misuse of power can be seen in his rebellious resin sculpture, Hard Facts. Perucchetti also created a poster years ago which was prompted by similar events to those happening today. Read more about Perucchetti’s work in Issue #3 of E-Squared here.
Recently, a video went viral that showed a white police officer exerting excessive force with his knee on the neck of a black man (George Floyd), who later died. Another unrelated video went viral this week, of a white woman in NY’s Central Park who called the police on a black man (Christian Cooper). Cooper was birdwatching and asked the woman politely to leash her dog. She called the police on him, falsely accusing him of threatening her life. I don’t even want to talk about the dog here––these false claims could have cost him his life.
I prefer not to name the names of the people who are in these privileged positions of power, but instead, I want to honor George Floyd, who lost his life, and be thankful that Christian Cooper is lucky enough to still be alive. I also want to callout and be mindful of the imagery that we post of black and brown bodies, which can easily serve as “trauma porn.” While it is necessary to highlight these injustices, we need to be careful, making sure to be respectful of black and brown people while doing so.
For those who are unaware of what trauma porn is, it can be defined as “any type of media – be it written, photographed or filmed – which exploits traumatic moments of adversity to generate buzz, notoriety or social media attention,” and it has been my experience that trauma porn is particularly rampant when it is Black bodies and/or people of color who are the ones being displayed as victims.––Blue Telusma
Let’s stop kidding ourselves with the thought that the police exist to “protect and serve” the population. They may have been established with this thought in mind, but the reality is that police exist as an arm of power for the ruling class, to instill “law and order,” to control the working class and poor people––a clear misuse of power.
Maybe there are a few bad apples, as we like to lay claim, but a few bad apples in any other industry is unacceptable.
I don’t think they pay cops enough. I don’t think they pay police enough. And you get what you pay for. Here’s the thing, man. Whenever the cops gun down an innocent black man, they always say the same thing. “Well, it’s not most cops. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples.” Bad apple? That’s a lovely name for murderer. That almost sounds nice. I’ve had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn’t choke me out. Here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I know being a cop is hard. I know that shit’s dangerous. I know it is, okay? But some jobs can’t have bad apples. Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like … pilots. Ya know, American Airlines can’t be like, “Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains. Please bear with us.––Chris Rock