Ganesha is a beautiful soul I had the luck of meeting back in Nashville, and has since supported Standing Rock on-site, been on the front lines of the protests and civil disobedience no one else wanted to participate in, and has been willing not only to do the hard work of social justice, but to educate as well. And sometimes, when Ganesha goes off, they send me receipts.
Today, I read a beautifully worded response they wrote to some bullshit in one of these said receipts and said to them, "You should copy+paste that into an article and get it published." Then I thought of one better. If the numerous publications with audiences won't publish Ganesha's generous words of education, why don't I? Sure, I don't have a large audience, but since I'm photographing activists and loved ones on the daily, why not share their words, as well?
With that, I am adding guest bloggers to this blog. They are people I love, whom I have photographed, and who have a fucking lot to say.
I want everyone to know that I DO NOT EXPECT THEM TO PARTICIPATE, THEY ONLY DO IT OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL.
This is some hardcore emotional labor that they're giving. Emotional labor is where people exert their time and mental energy to explain difficult topics about oppression, which is both mentally taxing and sometimes triggering of trauma. This is a particularly important concept within social justice, as oppressed folks already exert a lot of energy into just adapting to an oppressive society, fighting it, trying to survive, but generally all three. Educating and writing about these issues is further exhausting. It's common and only right that we pay reparations to these folks for their unpaid labor. Reparations are ways in which we try to offset the harm that systemic oppression causes these folks for just existing. We (white folks, or any majority class) unknowingly get access to a lot more resources and benefits than they do due to this system. In order to facilitate paying these authors reparations, they will be adding their paypals or cashtags to their posts. If you're touched by a piece or if it helped educate you and you have a few extra dollars, please give it to them in payment for their work.
Without further ado, my first new blog contributor, Ganesha Deva Kriya.