Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snap and Power

Dear Haters,

"Don't mess with a snap diva." How does the use of the visual enhance the message of Marlon Riggs' video? Is the power of the snap diva in the visibility that the video gives or is it in the actual act of the snap?

From what I gather, the snap is the power tool used in this video and not the video itself. The snap harnesses a power that was taken away from the black queer community and gives it back to them (they shift from becoming the viewed). More importantly, the visual act of snapping itself, is where the power is located. The individual power, that comes from designing or honing your own snap that makes you, the viewed powerful. The snap, reverses the objective gaze. It shocks the viewer back into reality and into the position of the viewed and not the viewer.

Is the power of the snap an act of performance within the black queer community? Do these men use snaps like "The Medusa snap" to disidentify? Power is obvious in this video. The power that one gets from snapping allows them to fight back against cultural and/or racial norms. More specifically, the snap is the actual act of disidentifaction, because it invokes a performance that allows you to play with the power spectrum of identity, race, class or gender and re-invent it for your own identification and to define how you WANT to be seen. The individual snap, forces the viewer to see you for what YOU define yourself as and not how they SEE you.

"Don't mess with a snap diva!" but I say "Don't mess with the snap." The diva is an add on, an act, that heightens the power you have in the actual act of snapping. The snap gives you, the objectified, the power of the viewer because the "snap" shocks the viewer's gaze and forces them to actually see the process happening before them. The snap, more importantly, thrusts reality upon the viewer and forces them to understand that they are no longer watching but being watched and the power they THOUGHT they had is now GONE!