I make New Year's resolutions. And then I try to keep them. Sometimes they fizzle. Sometimes they don't. Fifteen years ago I made a New Year's resolution to write every day and I've kept it almost every day since. For what to resolve in 2015 I've thought long and carefully. I'm not sure why it feels more momentous somehow than other years...maybe just the number. Fifteen years into the century, already.
What I resolve to do in 2015 is only watch movies & TV shows made by & featuring non-white Americans, non-westerners, or non-men. In other words, I will only watch media made by (and starring) women, people of color, transgendered folk, gay folk, folk from non-western countries, etc. In other other words, I will engage (only) with the stories and imaginations of people whose voices are usually silenced or swept off to the sidelines. The same goes for books & articles that I read.
I wholeheartedly believe that the voices and stories and imaginations of white people, men, privileged people, and Americans are important and deserve to be heard. I just think they've been heard disproportionately; they've been heard so much more than other voices. And I believe that what we hear, what we listen to, deeply affects (maybe even determines) who we are and are becoming. I want to feel what happens inside me when I make an effort, for one year, to change who I'm listening to.
As a sub-resolution, I'm considering also giving up Google for this year. At least as a search engine. Google, after all, is owned and operated by wealthy, white, American men who have massive control all over the world. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that (?) but I am curious to know what would happen if I looked for things (places, books, people, information, maps) without ever using Google. What would I discover? Who would I become?
I'd love it if some of you joined me.