sentimental ghosts

"To belong to a diaspora is to feel foreign in the home you know and homesick for places you've only seen in pictures; a condition of sustained rootlessness. To be anything but white in America is to feel erased, sold a lie that making yourself into a palimpsest for whiteness will grant you the visibility you seek. But a body with no roots and no true reflection is a ghost; a doomed simulacrum of what has been. Nostalgia is easily disparaged as sentimentality—at its most insidious, it can romanticize away the worst instincts of our past, conveniently inoculating them from scrutiny—but there's a difference between absconding to an idealized past because you're afraid of how the present is evolving, and relishing the way little-known histories rearrange your perception of the present. 

As diasporic artists pursue meaningful self-expression in their respective fields, they reframe history and mint an antidote to cultural invisibility and marginalization. If art and media have aided and abetted in whitewashing collective memory, they can also be its course correction."

- On Duterte's doppelgänger / on having a hyphenated existence / on Asian American female heroes

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