People of Color in European Art History


  1. Hopeless Hyperbole: The Internet Debate Over Disney’s Frozen

    [snip]

    msnitpick:

    medievalpoc:

    msnitpick:

    If all discussions about Frozen (and to a larger extent, Disney as a whole) were as mature and rational as this one I don’t think I would be nearly as annoyed by the entire thing. 

    That’s what I want, I don’t want emotional blindness on either side. I’d much rather have an objective, mature discussion on the topic about various cultural influences and race representation. This task seems to be absolutely above and beyond the majority of the internet. We can’t even GET to the point of “is this a problem or not?” because of all the blind emotional mudslinging and irrationality.

    This was absolutely lovely and wonderfully informative, bravo!

    Actually, you totally missed the point.

    The entire point of the article I wrote is that people are framing the debate as if it must be argued on the grounds of “historical facts”, when actually, it has NOTHING to do with historical facts and everything to do with racism in modern society, and how it affects our media and discussions of media.

    It’s honestly a cultural fallacy that “emotion” and “reason” are opposites, as is the concept that being emotionally and personally detached to the degree that anyone could be described as “objective” is ridiculous.

    In other words, it’s a false dichotomy invented by European and Eurocentric schools of philosophy.

    This makes you sound like someone who will refuse to look at or acknowledge a blatant injustice/inequality that exists unless it’s presented in a way that doesn’t make them feel accused or uncomfortable. Complimenting me for not making you uncomfortable is not a compliment I value.

    You see, on the one hand, it seems as though you’re complimenting me, but on the other, what you’re really doing is insulting anyone who might be understandably upset by a really obvious form of systematic racism. Exclusion is a form of racism. You can SAY you don’t want “emotional blindness on either side”, but all this does is reinforce the notion that anger at being subjected to racism and emotional investment in white supremacy are morally equivalent, and they are NOT.

    Framing anger at being subjected to racism as “irrational” is a form of racism.

    In the OP, I talk about emotional investment in white supremacy, versus understandable rage by people who are disenfranchised by white supremacy.

    It is NOT an excuse to bash people who are subjected to racism and angry about it.

    This post isn’t a call for “maturity and objectivity”. It is literally the opposite of that: a call for the acknowledgement that this has more to do with human emotional attachment to stories and how we internalize messages in the media we see, that either does or does not represent us, and the quality of that representation.

    I think you misunderstood? Or maybe I wasn’t clear enough?

    I’m not saying “being mad about racism is irrational” that’s entirely justified.

    I’m saying that we can’t even get to the question of “is Disney racist or not?” because whenever that question gets brought up all I get met with is trolling and insults from pretty much all sides of the equation. On one hand it seems to be “If you don’t think Disney is racist THEN YOU’RE A HORRIBLE PERSON” and the other hand of the debate is “if you think Disney is racist THEN YOU’RE A HORRIBLE PERSON!”

    I can’t win. I’m talking about a non-objective emotional response where the general mood is pure anger and irrationality.

    I understand people being angry about systematic racism, I hate that too. However channeling your anger into a well worded response is much more reasonable then just jumping down people’s throats YELLING CURSE WORDS IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS which is pretty much 99% of what I’ve read about the entire Frozen debate. Except for your post which I appreciated because it was a drop of sanity in an ocean of insults and keyboard rage. (No seriously, it’s literally the first well-worded, rational post I’ve read on the subject.)

    Maybe I should have said if the Frozen debate was as maturely worded as your response was? 

    For the record I am complementing you, I actually really love your blog and re-blog you almost every day. I completely agree with you that our media seriously under represents POC and that’s a huge problem.

    And it’s when you think we agree that I feel like I’ve made an enormous mistake.

    I’d also appreciate it if you stopped using disability as an insult. Racist people aren’t “blind” and angry people aren’t “insane”.

    The only reason you elevate what I’m saying is because I’m using words and phrasing you’ve been conditioned to respect because learning to use them is expensive. My education was expensive, therefore, you respect the money I paid for it. Not me. Every single idea I’ve expressed above can also be just as accurately expressed with all caps and screaming.

    You want the content and the value I provide, with a tone you find acceptable. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You’re complimenting me for making you feel comfortable with what I have to say, without making you feel accountable or examining yourself.

    I don’t accept.

    Medievalpoc is not a paper tiger for you to hide behind and accuse people who can’t afford a six figure education of being “irrational”.

    This blog is about accessibility. For people with disabilities, people who can’t afford college or received a subpar public education, for people who don’t want to go to college, and for people who dropped out of high school. This blog is about puncturing the inflated importance of academic jargon, creating a relatively supportive or safe environment to discuss experiences, creativity, inspiration, and a love of history.

    Denying access to knowledge that could significantly change perceptions of history that, in turn, shape our expectation of the media produced by the culture we belong to is a grave injustice.

    Pretending that the history of Denmark is more relevant to Disney’s Frozen than children of color receiving the unspoken message that their stories are not worth telling is a grave injustice.

    Pretending that me not using cusses and hurting your feelings makes what I say more “legitimate” or “respectable” is frankly, bullshit. People who consider themselves “moderates” and casually dismiss “both sides” do far more to perpetuate injustice, because they make themselves seem so reasonable. After all, they’re not hurting anyone, right?

    They’re just allowing it to pass by unchecked, and leave their role in society unexamined, and continue to believe that their “default” position is neutral. I had hoped that followers of this blog might have guessed by now that neutrality isn’t really an option; “going with the flow” in a systemically racist society is to BE racist.

    I’ve spoken at length about dominant narratives and creating COUNTERnarratives; the resistance and backlash to this blog’s mere existence should demonstrate that a counternarrative is, by its creation, an act of defiance and confrontation.

    All your compliments on how reasonable and mature I supposedly am do nothing but undermine people who do not have the luxury of seeming dispassionate about these things, and don’t have a sack full of million-dollar words at their disposal. You’re trying to invalidate people’s voices, to ignore them until they seem more palatable to you. Until they make you feel comfortable.

    If you are comfortable, I AM DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

    Frequently, running this blog is uncomfortable for me, and I am always trying to analyze what I say from as many possible perspectives as I can. I try to think about how what I say can be used against other people, in exactly this way.

    My hope is that everyone who reads my writing and follows this project will analyze how they are affected by this content, and how this content affects or does not affect them. We are ALL a part of this story. We are ALL shaped by our history.

    And you know what? Everything that I just explained to you, others have faced institutional repercussions for.

    Teaching what people would rather not learn is especially tough if you are a woman or a minority professor. Research shows that our customers rate Asian-American, Hispanic, black, and women professors lower than white male professors across all subjects. Most disturbingly, student evaluations of women of color are harshest when customers are told that the results will be “communicated to a third party for the purposes of evaluation.” Our customers are not only disinclined to like tough subjects; they’re also inclined to take their discomfort out on minority professors, who are the least likely to have the protection of tenure or support from university administration.

    Learning is—should often be—uncomfortable for individuals. When universities have a mission to serve the public good, they balance the needs of individuals with benefits to society and the power of the majority against the humanity of the minority.
    And that’s where this sentiment, that you only want to hear these things in a certain “tone”, becomes sinister.
    Invoking stereotypes like “too angry”, “irrational” or “overly emotional”, does nothing but disenfranchise the same people it always does. Emotion and anger does not invalidate people’s voices, and pretending like one “side” of the debate is no better or worse than the other is a false equivalency that perpetuates injustice against the side that is already disenfranchised. Adding six pounds to each side of a scale that is already loaded on one side does not fix the imbalance.
    I do not accept your compliment, nor do I take it as anything but the attempt to use your acceptance of my “tone” as anything but a tool of silencing against others.

    (via msnitpick-deactivated20140227)

  2. Since I know a lot of people aren’t going to read my post on The Disney Debate regarding race and representation for many different (and frequently understandable) reasons, if there’s anything you take away from it, let it be this:

    You can SAY you don’t want “emotional blindness on either side”, but all this does is reinforce the notion that anger at being subjected to racism and emotional investment in white supremacy are morally equivalent, and they are NOT.

    Framing justified anger at being subjected to racism as “irrational” is a form of racism.

    This blog is not objective, and neither are you, and neither is your professor. Waving your hands around and yelling “History!!!” is not objective; it’s invoking cultural beliefs and assumptions that often have nothing to do with facts that can be proved or disproved. Most positions can be argued for and supported in academic disciplines that have anything to do with the study of humanity.

    Why we choose to believe some ideas and reject others has less to do with facts than it does our own emotional investment in ourselves and our relationship to/in our society.

    Why do we know what we know? Where do these ideas come from? That is the heart of knowledge. Because if you want to get close to the truth, you have to give a crap in the first place.

  3. Hopeless Hyperbole: The Internet Debate Over Disney’s Frozen

    msnitpick:

    medievalpoc:

    Sooooo, I don’t know if you knew this but Disney made a movie a while back based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Here’s a link to the original 1845 text. This tale was written in Denmark, but does not necessarily take place there.

    Because, you know. It’s a fairy tale. Fiction.

    Frozen is a film written and produced in the US for presumably American audiences, but Disney is loved by many all over the world, and shown/seen by people in a measurably global scale. Disney created a fictional story based on a work of fiction. They used The Snow Queen as source material, but the created films bears little resemblance to Anderson’s original tale, as is par for the course with most Disney productions.

    They chose to depict all characters who speak and have names as what Americans would immediately recognize and categorize as white people. This was disappointing to many Disney fans of color-yet another film made in which no ones looks like them. A few fans made some artwork depicting some of these characters with brown skin.

    And the internet exploded in outrage.

    "But it’s a story from Denmark!" "That’s not historically accurate!!!" "You already have enough movies!!" "How DARE you!" Even worse, a group of indigenous Scandinavian people called the Saami were also dragged into this debate, and photographs of them were slung all over the internet by people NOT Saami, and their appearance and their race picked over with a fine-toothed comb, being lobbed as "proof" their race on either side, all because Disney chose character costume designs and certain other elements of Saami culture to show in their film, without any mention of their origin. Words from actual Saami people were drowned out in the uproar, for the most part.

    The outrage over anyone suggesting the cast of the film could have been more diverse reached shockingly violent levels. Before anyone could blink, death threats were being lobbed at artists and just about anyone making cultural commentary involving the film.

    In fact, there’s an entire page at knowyourmeme.com dedicated to discrediting anyone criticizing the film, it’s casting, character creation, or depictions of race therein. Almost every pop culture blog remotely related to any of the topics have covered this “debate”.

    And I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Once again: I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Asks for commentary, requests that I “become involved” in some thread or another, messages begging me to “prove to my mom Elsa could have been a person of color!”, asks for my opinion on specific bloggers or their Facebook friends’ statement.

    But the problem is, I know that no matter what I write, the “debate” will rage on. No “proof” can possibly compete with emotional investment in keeping these films white, and besides, in history, “proof” doesn’t work that way.

    This is an Art History and Historiography blog, and while in factual reality, the debate over Frozen has almost nothing to do with the topics covered by this blog, in people’s perceptions, it has everything to do with it.

    Because the response to people who would like to just make art of a Disney character with their skin color, is literally, “you aren’t allowed. It’s not historically accurate.”

    This claim has nothing to do with the actual history of Denmark. People of color in Denmark have about the same amount of history as most Scandinavian nations do. There were some people of color of varying origin in most walks of life at any given time in Denmark.  People of Color arrived in Denmark the same way white people did-with boats. But what on earth does that have to do with a Fantasy Film made in the United States, in the 21st Century? A film loosely based on a Danish story that is pure fantasy-it doesn’t even take place in Denmark?

    Nothing.

    But too many people think it does. The perception becomes reality. And the assumption of completely homogenous whiteness is so strong and so pervasive, it completely overrides any factual evidence to the contrary.

    The fact is, there were people of all races in Denmark throughout history. Denmark is one of the oldest nations that still exist, and part of how it got that way was via trade, travel, immigration, intermarriage, alliances, and existing as a part of a global political environment.

    But the bottom line is, historical documents cannot compete with a false idea that so many people are this emotionally invested in. The history of Denmark has nothing to do with Frozen, but the near-ubiquitous whiteness of children’s media is one of the most polarizing issues in American/U.S. culture today.

    Too many have looked to this blog to somehow “settle” this debate once and for all, or “fix” it, to prove to the people who say mean and often racist things that it’s okay to draw a version of a brown-skinned character from Frozen.

    That’s not how History works. There is evidence, and there are interpretations. One might imagine that “absolutely every single last person in the entire nation of Denmark for a thousand years was white with no exceptions whatsoever” seems like a very extreme position to take, and yet MY position, which is merely that there are some exceptions and they are notable, is still framed by many people as “extreme”, apparently to a laughable degree.

    I’m sorry, but for people who are emotionally invested in the whiteness of Frozen, there is no proof because there can’t be proof. No evidence is strong enough. Nothing they see or read will change their minds. A cultural promise was made to them that they are the owners and arbiters of history, of fantasy, of imagination. You only have to look at the demographics of children’s literature to see how that promise has been fulfilled.

    For those who still believe that somehow that emotional investment in white supremacy can be “fixed” by education, or that those who shriek death threats at bloggers who post their fan art online are “just ignorant” and need to be “educated”, here are some resources documenting the presence of people of color, mostly Black people because that is where the most research has so far been done, in the visual arts of Europe and Denmark itself. I, however, am pretty sure that this post will not change anything at all for most of the people who have a huge problem with even asking, “why was everyone in Frozen white?”

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    Girolamo Romani Romanini, Visit of King Christian of Denmark to Bartolomeo Colleoni at Malpaga; Return of Bartolomeo Colleoni and King Christian to Malpaga after the hunting party. 1474. Fresco in Colleoni Collection, Castello di Malpaga, Bergamo (near), Italy. 

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    The fresco is enormous and in several parts, documenting arrival, departure, and many activities in between. There are plenty of Black and Arab soldiers, pages, attednants, minor gentry and others in attendance to both the Danish King and the Italian nobleman hosting his visit.

    The depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man came to Scandinavia and Denmark specifically, via Germany. The importance of Saint Maurice to the Holy Roman Empire has already been documented at length here. Many claim that the depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man is meaningless, because Saint Maurice wasn’t Danish. Almost all depictions of biblical figures and saints from the European middle ages are shown as anachronisms…they are dressed in the fashions of when the images were created, not in the time they “belong” to.

    I honestly have no clue how the hundreds of depictions of Saint Maurice as a white man (there are plenty, trust me!) fits into this paradigm, but the following two depictions of the Roman Soldier Saint and commander of the Theban Legion are wearing 15th century Danish armor and carrying Danish arms.

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    Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Full-length figure of St. Maurice with a halo in full armor carrying a lance and a shield. Denmark, 1462. Jean Devisse, The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. II, From the Early Christian Era to the “Age of Discovery” (Cambridge, MA and London, 1979), pt. 1, From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood, pp. 175—76, fig. 136.

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    Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Standing figure of St. Maurice with a tortil around his head, holding a lance. Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen. Gude SUCKALE-REDLEFSEN and Robert SUCKALE. Mauritius: Der heilige Mohr / The Black Saint Maurice (Houston, Munich, and Zurich, 1986).

    A lot of people seem to think that unless a surviving record with drawings, dates, and times of enclaves of peasants with features or words we would recognize as racial can be produced, this means that everyone who ever lived in Denmark was white, historically, forever. I suppose anything in life is possible, but these depiction of Saint Maurice are more meaningful that some would give them credit for, considering most artists in this time belonged to Guilds that required using live models for artistic depictions in their method bylaws. Also, there was relatively little artwork depicting “average” people, and religious images are the most likely to have survived.

    For those who wonder about depictions of average Black Danish people in service, whether military, in a household’s service, or those subjected to the depredations of colonialism, all exist. There are many, many paintings of various important Danish nobility with Black servants.

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    Portrait of a man and his page, Anonymous Danish Artist. Painting. Portrait of a naval officer in a garden with his pet dog and a turbaned black page holding the reins of his rearing horse. Old Master Paintings, Sale catalogue, New York, Sotheby’s, 10 October 1991 (New York, 1991), no. 164A (color reprod.) and cover illus. (color detail). Image of the Black in Western Art database, Harvard University.

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    Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Roerbye. Portrait of a smiling black man, seated at the edge of a pool, wearing a sort of fez and shorts and smoking a cigarette. Denmark, 1839. Dyveke HELSTED et al., Martinus Rørbye 1803—1848, Exhibition catalogue, Copenhagen, Thorvaldens Museum, 18 June—30 September 1981 (Copenhagen, 1981), p. 120, no. 82.

    So, something about Denmark that parallels British History is the “there a giant ocean right there” factor. Sailors from all over the world found homes in Denmark though many circumstances. Sailors from Asia, Africa, and eventually the Americas were common in the oceans of the world for centuries before global air travel became possible.

    Shipwrecks were quite common on the rocky shores in Northern Europe, and the following painting is a depiction of the aftermath of a shipwreck, with the sailors being cared for by the Danish (and a man from the Danish company the ship belonged to).

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    Niels Simonson, After a Shipwreck on the West Coast of Jutland (detail). Denmark, 1864. (Black sailor seated at left.) Inscriptions: Signed and inscribed lower left: “Niels Simonsen / Kjöbenhavn 1864.”Nineteenth Century European Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours, Sale catalogue, London, Sotheby’s, 25 March 1987 (London, 1987), no. 144 (color reprod.).

    In fact, the history of shipping companies in Denmark document seafaring and trade for centuries. What did these average Danish sailors look like? Just like many sailors in the British navy, they were often East and South Asian, Middle Eastern or Arab, and often Black or of African descent.

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    (from 1924)

    Unfortunately, not all people of color reached Denmark through their own volition. African people were kidnapped and shipped all over the world during the transatlantic slave trade. The following is a scene in which an English slaving ship is under attack from a (possibly) Danish ship, and a Danish fort is visible in the background. The fort is still there.

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    After George Webster. Painting. English slave ships off the shore of the Gold Coast with a view of the Danish fort Christiansborg in the background. Denmark, c. 1800. HELSINGØR, Handels- og Søfartsmuseet på Kronborg.Christian DEGN, Die Schimmelmanns im atlantischen Dreieckshandel: Gewinn und Gewissen (Neumünster, 1974), color reprod. facing p. 128.

    But there were also servants of the Danish royal family who were people of African descent. Portraits of these people survive today. It is also unlikely they were enslaved, because they lived in Denmark, and most of the wealth Denmark made from enslaving African people was chattel slavery in the West Indies. Even enslaved people on Danish soil would not have been without certain rights. But a royal household servant would have been a wealthy and respected member of society.

    imageKarel Van Mander III. Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708) son of Frederick III. Denmark, 1667. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

    imageKarel van Mander III.  Queen Anne of Denmark (?-1611), wife of Christian IV (1577-1648), king of Denmark and Norway. Denmark, 1672. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

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    Queen Anne of Denmark. Paul van Somer, c. 1600-17. [link to Bridgeman info]

    As an additional consideration, Karel Van Mander III, The court painter responsible for some of the portraits of royalty above, did a series of ten paintings from a tale known as The Aethiopica, which used models living in Denmark at that time. Here are some figures from the paintings:

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    Sheldon Creek, writing for TheRoot.com:

    He brings this ancient tale to life through a vigorous, unrestrained treatment of action and facial expression, and a lively portrayal of the black protagonists. In fact, there is evidence that at least some of the figures were based on actual models — that is, black people living in northern Europe, most likely Denmark, where Van Mander was serving as court painter when the series was created.

    Is there more evidence? Yes, I am sure there is. But how much evidence does it take? Where is the limit?

    And more importantly, why are hours of research necessary to even consider making films with people of color in them for a diverse audience of children? Why are the overwhelming majority of Disney films based on European Fairy Tales? Why are people of color excluded from representation in these films? Why should hours of meticulous research be necessary to say “this film COULD be more representative of its audience”?

    And if this post gets anyone at all thinking about those things, then I suppose it might have been worth it after all.

    If all discussions about Frozen (and to a larger extent, Disney as a whole) were as mature and rational as this one I don’t think I would be nearly as annoyed by the entire thing. 

    That’s what I want, I don’t want emotional blindness on either side. I’d much rather have an objective, mature discussion on the topic about various cultural influences and race representation. This task seems to be absolutely above and beyond the majority of the internet. We can’t even GET to the point of “is this a problem or not?” because of all the blind emotional mudslinging and irrationality.

    This was absolutely lovely and wonderfully informative, bravo!

    Actually, you totally missed the point.

    The entire point of the article I wrote is that people are framing the debate as if it must be argued on the grounds of “historical facts”, when actually, it has NOTHING to do with historical facts and everything to do with racism in modern society, and how it affects our media and discussions of media.

    It’s honestly a cultural fallacy that “emotion” and “reason” are opposites, as is the concept that being emotionally and personally detached to the degree that anyone could be described as “objective” is ridiculous.

    In other words, it’s a false dichotomy invented by European and Eurocentric schools of philosophy.

    This makes you sound like someone who will refuse to look at or acknowledge a blatant injustice/inequality that exists unless it’s presented in a way that doesn’t make them feel accused or uncomfortable. Complimenting me for not making you uncomfortable is not a compliment I value.

    You see, on the one hand, it seems as though you’re complimenting me, but on the other, what you’re really doing is insulting anyone who might be understandably upset by a really obvious form of systematic racism. Exclusion is a form of racism. You can SAY you don’t want “emotional blindness on either side”, but all this does is reinforce the notion that anger at being subjected to racism and emotional investment in white supremacy are morally equivalent, and they are NOT.

    Framing anger at being subjected to racism as “irrational” is a form of racism.

    In the OP, I talk about emotional investment in white supremacy, versus understandable rage by people who are disenfranchised by white supremacy.

    It is NOT an excuse to bash people who are subjected to racism and angry about it.

    This post isn’t a call for “maturity and objectivity”. It is literally the opposite of that: a call for the acknowledgement that this has more to do with human emotional attachment to stories and how we internalize messages in the media we see, that either does or does not represent us, and the quality of that representation.

    (via msnitpick-deactivated20140227)

  4. Hopeless Hyperbole: The Internet Debate Over Disney’s Frozen

    Sooooo, I don’t know if you knew this but Disney made a movie a while back based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Here’s a link to the original 1845 text. This tale was written in Denmark, but does not necessarily take place there.

    Because, you know. It’s a fairy tale. Fiction.

    Frozen is a film written and produced in the US for presumably American audiences, but Disney is loved by many all over the world, and shown/seen by people in a measurably global scale. Disney created a fictional story based on a work of fiction. They used The Snow Queen as source material, but the created films bears little resemblance to Anderson’s original tale, as is par for the course with most Disney productions.

    They chose to depict all characters who speak and have names as what Americans would immediately recognize and categorize as white people. This was disappointing to many Disney fans of color-yet another film made in which no ones looks like them. A few fans made some artwork depicting some of these characters with brown skin.

    And the internet exploded in outrage.

    "But it’s a story from Denmark!" "That’s not historically accurate!!!" "You already have enough movies!!" "How DARE you!" Even worse, a group of indigenous Scandinavian people called the Saami were also dragged into this debate, and photographs of them were slung all over the internet by people NOT Saami, and their appearance and their race picked over with a fine-toothed comb, being lobbed as "proof" their race on either side, all because Disney chose character costume designs and certain other elements of Saami culture to show in their film, without any mention of their origin. Words from actual Saami people were drowned out in the uproar, for the most part.

    The outrage over anyone suggesting the cast of the film could have been more diverse reached shockingly violent levels. Before anyone could blink, death threats were being lobbed at artists and just about anyone making cultural commentary involving the film.

    In fact, there’s an entire page at knowyourmeme.com dedicated to discrediting anyone criticizing the film, it’s casting, character creation, or depictions of race therein. Almost every pop culture blog remotely related to any of the topics have covered this “debate”.

    And I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Once again: I have received over 200 asks on this topic. Asks for commentary, requests that I “become involved” in some thread or another, messages begging me to “prove to my mom Elsa could have been a person of color!”, asks for my opinion on specific bloggers or their Facebook friends’ statement.

    But the problem is, I know that no matter what I write, the “debate” will rage on. No “proof” can possibly compete with emotional investment in keeping these films white, and besides, in history, “proof” doesn’t work that way.

    This is an Art History and Historiography blog, and while in factual reality, the debate over Frozen has almost nothing to do with the topics covered by this blog, in people’s perceptions, it has everything to do with it.

    Because the response to people who would like to just make art of a Disney character with their skin color, is literally, “you aren’t allowed. It’s not historically accurate.”

    This claim has nothing to do with the actual history of Denmark. People of color in Denmark have about the same amount of history as most Scandinavian nations do. There were some people of color of varying origin in most walks of life at any given time in Denmark.  People of Color arrived in Denmark the same way white people did-with boats. But what on earth does that have to do with a Fantasy Film made in the United States, in the 21st Century? A film loosely based on a Danish story that is pure fantasy-it doesn’t even take place in Denmark?

    Nothing.

    But too many people think it does. The perception becomes reality. And the assumption of completely homogenous whiteness is so strong and so pervasive, it completely overrides any factual evidence to the contrary.

    The fact is, there were people of all races in Denmark throughout history. Denmark is one of the oldest nations that still exist, and part of how it got that way was via trade, travel, immigration, intermarriage, alliances, and existing as a part of a global political environment.

    But the bottom line is, historical documents cannot compete with a false idea that so many people are this emotionally invested in. The history of Denmark has nothing to do with Frozen, but the near-ubiquitous whiteness of children’s media is one of the most polarizing issues in American/U.S. culture today.

    Too many have looked to this blog to somehow “settle” this debate once and for all, or “fix” it, to prove to the people who say mean and often racist things that it’s okay to draw a version of a brown-skinned character from Frozen.

    That’s not how History works. There is evidence, and there are interpretations. One might imagine that “absolutely every single last person in the entire nation of Denmark for a thousand years was white with no exceptions whatsoever” seems like a very extreme position to take, and yet MY position, which is merely that there are some exceptions and they are notable, is still framed by many people as “extreme”, apparently to a laughable degree.

    I’m sorry, but for people who are emotionally invested in the whiteness of Frozen, there is no proof because there can’t be proof. No evidence is strong enough. Nothing they see or read will change their minds. A cultural promise was made to them that they are the owners and arbiters of history, of fantasy, of imagination. You only have to look at the demographics of children’s literature to see how that promise has been fulfilled.

    For those who still believe that somehow that emotional investment in white supremacy can be “fixed” by education, or that those who shriek death threats at bloggers who post their fan art online are “just ignorant” and need to be “educated”, here are some resources documenting the presence of people of color, mostly Black people because that is where the most research has so far been done, in the visual arts of Europe and Denmark itself. I, however, am pretty sure that this post will not change anything at all for most of the people who have a huge problem with even asking, “why was everyone in Frozen white?”

    image

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    Girolamo Romani Romanini, Visit of King Christian of Denmark to Bartolomeo Colleoni at Malpaga; Return of Bartolomeo Colleoni and King Christian to Malpaga after the hunting party. 1474. Fresco in Colleoni Collection, Castello di Malpaga, Bergamo (near), Italy. 

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    The fresco is enormous and in several parts, documenting arrival, departure, and many activities in between. There are plenty of Black and Arab soldiers, pages, attednants, minor gentry and others in attendance to both the Danish King and the Italian nobleman hosting his visit.

    The depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man came to Scandinavia and Denmark specifically, via Germany. The importance of Saint Maurice to the Holy Roman Empire has already been documented at length here. Many claim that the depiction of Saint Maurice as a Black man is meaningless, because Saint Maurice wasn’t Danish. Almost all depictions of biblical figures and saints from the European middle ages are shown as anachronisms…they are dressed in the fashions of when the images were created, not in the time they “belong” to.

    I honestly have no clue how the hundreds of depictions of Saint Maurice as a white man (there are plenty, trust me!) fits into this paradigm, but the following two depictions of the Roman Soldier Saint and commander of the Theban Legion are wearing 15th century Danish armor and carrying Danish arms.

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    Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Full-length figure of St. Maurice with a halo in full armor carrying a lance and a shield. Denmark, 1462. Jean Devisse, The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. II, From the Early Christian Era to the “Age of Discovery” (Cambridge, MA and London, 1979), pt. 1, From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood, pp. 175—76, fig. 136.

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    Saint Maurice, Anonymous Danish Artist. Mural painting. Standing figure of St. Maurice with a tortil around his head, holding a lance. Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen. Gude SUCKALE-REDLEFSEN and Robert SUCKALE. Mauritius: Der heilige Mohr / The Black Saint Maurice (Houston, Munich, and Zurich, 1986).

    A lot of people seem to think that unless a surviving record with drawings, dates, and times of enclaves of peasants with features or words we would recognize as racial can be produced, this means that everyone who ever lived in Denmark was white, historically, forever. I suppose anything in life is possible, but these depiction of Saint Maurice are more meaningful that some would give them credit for, considering most artists in this time belonged to Guilds that required using live models for artistic depictions in their method bylaws. Also, there was relatively little artwork depicting “average” people, and religious images are the most likely to have survived.

    For those who wonder about depictions of average Black Danish people in service, whether military, in a household’s service, or those subjected to the depredations of colonialism, all exist. There are many, many paintings of various important Danish nobility with Black servants.

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    Portrait of a man and his page, Anonymous Danish Artist. Painting. Portrait of a naval officer in a garden with his pet dog and a turbaned black page holding the reins of his rearing horse. Old Master Paintings, Sale catalogue, New York, Sotheby’s, 10 October 1991 (New York, 1991), no. 164A (color reprod.) and cover illus. (color detail). Image of the Black in Western Art database, Harvard University.

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    Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Roerbye. Portrait of a smiling black man, seated at the edge of a pool, wearing a sort of fez and shorts and smoking a cigarette. Denmark, 1839. Dyveke HELSTED et al., Martinus Rørbye 1803—1848, Exhibition catalogue, Copenhagen, Thorvaldens Museum, 18 June—30 September 1981 (Copenhagen, 1981), p. 120, no. 82.

    So, something about Denmark that parallels British History is the “there a giant ocean right there” factor. Sailors from all over the world found homes in Denmark though many circumstances. Sailors from Asia, Africa, and eventually the Americas were common in the oceans of the world for centuries before global air travel became possible.

    Shipwrecks were quite common on the rocky shores in Northern Europe, and the following painting is a depiction of the aftermath of a shipwreck, with the sailors being cared for by the Danish (and a man from the Danish company the ship belonged to).

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    Niels Simonson, After a Shipwreck on the West Coast of Jutland (detail). Denmark, 1864. (Black sailor seated at left.) Inscriptions: Signed and inscribed lower left: “Niels Simonsen / Kjöbenhavn 1864.”Nineteenth Century European Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours, Sale catalogue, London, Sotheby’s, 25 March 1987 (London, 1987), no. 144 (color reprod.).

    In fact, the history of shipping companies in Denmark document seafaring and trade for centuries. What did these average Danish sailors look like? Just like many sailors in the British navy, they were often East and South Asian, Middle Eastern or Arab, and often Black or of African descent.

    image

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    (from 1924)

    Unfortunately, not all people of color reached Denmark through their own volition. African people were kidnapped and shipped all over the world during the transatlantic slave trade. The following is a scene in which an English slaving ship is under attack from a (possibly) Danish ship, and a Danish fort is visible in the background. The fort is still there.

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    After George Webster. Painting. English slave ships off the shore of the Gold Coast with a view of the Danish fort Christiansborg in the background. Denmark, c. 1800. HELSINGØR, Handels- og Søfartsmuseet på Kronborg.Christian DEGN, Die Schimmelmanns im atlantischen Dreieckshandel: Gewinn und Gewissen (Neumünster, 1974), color reprod. facing p. 128.

    But there were also servants of the Danish royal family who were people of African descent. Portraits of these people survive today. It is also unlikely they were enslaved, because they lived in Denmark, and most of the wealth Denmark made from enslaving African people was chattel slavery in the West Indies. Even enslaved people on Danish soil would not have been without certain rights. But a royal household servant would have been a wealthy and respected member of society.

    imageKarel Van Mander III. Prince George of Denmark (1653-1708) son of Frederick III. Denmark, 1667. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

    imageKarel van Mander III.  Queen Anne of Denmark (?-1611), wife of Christian IV (1577-1648), king of Denmark and Norway. Denmark, 1672. Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University).

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    Queen Anne of Denmark. Paul van Somer, c. 1600-17. [link to Bridgeman info]

    As an additional consideration, Karel Van Mander III, The court painter responsible for some of the portraits of royalty above, did a series of ten paintings from a tale known as The Aethiopica, which used models living in Denmark at that time. Here are some figures from the paintings:

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    Sheldon Creek, writing for TheRoot.com:

    He brings this ancient tale to life through a vigorous, unrestrained treatment of action and facial expression, and a lively portrayal of the black protagonists. In fact, there is evidence that at least some of the figures were based on actual models — that is, black people living in northern Europe, most likely Denmark, where Van Mander was serving as court painter when the series was created.

    Is there more evidence? Yes, I am sure there is. But how much evidence does it take? Where is the limit?

    And more importantly, why are hours of research necessary to even consider making films with people of color in them for a diverse audience of children? Why are the overwhelming majority of Disney films based on European Fairy Tales? Why are people of color excluded from representation in these films? Why should hours of meticulous research be necessary to say “this film COULD be more representative of its audience”?

    And if this post gets anyone at all thinking about those things, then I suppose it might have been worth it after all.

  5. Thoughts on ‘Frozen’

    oreides:

    selchieproductions:

    I decided to ignore anything pertaining to the film ‘Frozen’ a long time ago - the misrepresentation of the Saami in it, or rather the combination of misinformation and problematic myth-making in it did not appeal to me at all, I had already explained why I disapproved of the bastardisation of our traditional clothes at length and with far more pressing issues at hand, such as the revival of my maternal language or the fight against fierce colonialism on our ancestral lands, I neither felt compelled to nor had the time to waste more time on a Disney film which contributes virtually nothing to the cultural wealth and knowledge of my people.

    But then someone submitted a post to the blog “Unpopular Opinions” here on Tumblr, and ever since, my inbox has been filled with angry, anonymous messages about how I have no right to be dismissive of the film as this unnamed person presented themselves as Saami and claimed that the film was loved by most Saami, and any critique of it was hurting the Saami.

    I heavily disagree, critical discussions about representations are always needed, especially when we’re talking about members of indigenous peoples and other minorities and everything I have said about the film with regards to its false claims to Saami-ness stands, but to perhaps stop my inbox from being filled with more trite from people I don’t know, I’ll spend the rest of this post talking about ‘Frozen’ one single, last time, rather than rolling my eyes at inane messages on a daily basis.

    I do not pretend to be speaking for anyone but myself, nor do I hide my identity behind a veil of anonymity. I am for better and worse fairly well-known within my own community, so I’ll say this for the last time, when I state that I find the film problematic because of how it deals with the Saami, I am expressing my own opinions.

    I do not speak for the entirety of my people, nor do I actually see a problem with some Saami liking the film or disliking it as I do. 

    But as for the film.

    In short there are three main things that particularly bug me; the first concerns the opening song, the second deals with the way our traditional clothes have been re-imagined by Disney and the last beef I have with Disney has to do with the director’s claim that Kristoff is Saami without showing any non-fictional proof whatsoever of this throughout the entire film.

    But let’s start with the opening song, seeing as comments made by the President of the Norwegian Saami Parliament with regards to it has been interpreted as her loving the film. 

    In her New Year’s Speech, the president stated that ‘

    ‘the yoik “Eatnamen Vuelie” and Fjellheim’s musical talent is now making a whole world listen - to yoik. We are seeing the same in other cultural expressions: the Saami culture is expanding to ever new audiences’

    It may come as a surprise, but I do agree with Aili Keskitalo as far as her statement goes - it is a great thing that we’re seeing our culture gaining new grounds - but only insofar as it’s being read in connection with the following paragraphs of her speech which have conveniently been left out of the quote by the majority of people on Tumblr. 

    In her speech, Aili Keskitalo goes on to say that “but often we experience that stories about us are being told by others than ourselves”. In other words, while not criticising the film per se, she’s not endorsing it either as some people have been claiming - she’s merely applauding the fact that Saami music is getting world-wide attention, followed by a paragraph where she high-lights the problematic aspects of having outsiders tell our stories without our involvement in them.

    Now, ‘Vuelie’, has indeed been written by a South Saami composer, this is something I personally like, especially as I as a yoiker admire Frode Fjellheim’s work as far as the revitalisation of South Saami yoiking goes, but the choir performing it is not Saami, and as such I do not see Vuelie as an inclusion of a Saami voice in the film, but rather as a way to include something which is evocative and exotic, in the same way as the opening song of Pocahontas.

    My opinions with regards to Vuelie would have been completely different, had Disney employed e.g. the Saami youth choir Vaajmoe to record the song, but seeing as they chose to employ a non-Saami choir, despite having asked Frode Fjellheim to rewrite his tune Eatnemen Vuelie to better suit the magical atmosphere of the film, my opinions remain unaltered.

    Furthermore, in an interview which has been circulated widely on Tumblr in the last couple of weeks the composer Frode Fjellheim clearly states that the tune itself is only inspired by yoiking, calling it ‘en jojke-inspirert ting’, i.e. a tune inspired by yoiking, rather than being an actual yoik per se. This is hardly surprising, as the tune was originally written as a choral piece, but as it is called Vuelie, which is the South Saami word for a yoik, people have automatically coded it as a yoik, despite what Frode is actually calling it.

    I maintain that a tokenist use of a cultural practice that was punishable by death until the late 18th century does not in fact count as inclusion, no matter how many times people tell me to be happy about the tune, and as much as I’m indeed happy for Frode to be earning a shit-load of money from his song, I do find the way in which it has been recorded to be deeply problematic nonetheless.

    I mean, if they wanted something exotic without employing a Saami choir, they could have just gone full-on with the use of Scandinavian herding calls, which can be heard more or less whenever when some magic shit is going down in the film.

    Now.

    Over to the clothes; I have already explained why and how the clothes have been inspired by our traditional clothes in another post which can be found here, so I won’t spend too much time examining every part of Kristoff’s clothes, but I will mention a couple of things, the first thing being his shoes.

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    Kristoff is seen wearing a type of reindeer hide boots called goelke-gaamegh, or novhtegh in South Saami, but despite the fact that the shape is authentic, the lack of either shoelaces or woven shoebands and shoelaces mean that they would be highly impractical as snow would get into the shoes as they’re worn without a way to keep them tied closely to the leg.

    Sure, shoes and odd clothes are hardly things that warrant any longer discussions, but the way in which all of Kristoff’s clothes seem to be almost Saami and then they’re not, well it really does not sit well with me at all. 

    I was brought up in an area of Saepmie where donning a gapta (traditional dress) was seen as something bad by the majority, something which warranted fierce discrimination, and to this day there are a gazillion unspoken rules, generational traumas and basic tiny details surrounding the wearing of our traditional dresses that I find it annoying to see the dress being bastardised in the way it’s been by Disney. As much as I don’t think of Kristoff as a Saami, I’d much preferred that they had at least made his clothes authentic, or not bothered with the so-called Saami influence at all.

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    Because what we now get to deal with are cosplayers who do not understand the deep, cultural codes behind our traditional clothes donning a fake version of our clothes and being applauded for it, while Saami children especially in my part of Saepmie struggle with the very idea of daring to put on a gapta in public because it’ll earn them snide, racists comments from the majority for daring to be publicly Saami.

    To mention just one story of what wearing a gapta can result in, here’s one example. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine who uses his gapta regularly, and he told me how he’d worn it at a council meeting a couple of years ago when a right-wing politician had walked up to him, casually telling him that they were discussing plans on putting up new signs in a village close to Liksjoe, only they weren’t sure if the hanged Saami they wanted to put on it should be North or South Saami and seeing as my friend was being Saami in public, maybe he could wage in.

    But let’s all cosplay Kristoff, why don’t we.

    Finally, I would like to address the extensive myth-making in the film. On one hand Disney has done a great job at creating something fairly vapid, light-hearted and full of singable musical numbers, with an annoying yet somehow endearing talking snowman, but on the other hand they’ve made the Saami seem even more exotic and fairy-tale like by making Kristoff an orphan raised by trolls.

    I mean, nice touch on writing ‘trolls’ in runes on the map at the beginning of the film, but the fact that the only supposed Saami in the entire movie is orphaned, thus stripped of a community which is essential to a Saami identity as our indigeneity is primarily communal rather than individual, and then have him being raised by fucking trolls just contributes to the idea that we’re either mythical creatures or not even real in the first place.

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    But it’s a film aimed at children, the trolls were so cute.

    Or something.

    I actually enjoyed the song Let it Go, I liked that Kristoff was asking for consent before kissing Anna, I particularly liked the true-love twist at the end - but felt it would have been much better if the entire romantic subplot between Kristoff and Anna had been scrapped entirely, but there were so many parts of the film that I disliked that I couldn’t fully enjoy it and just sit back and “relax because it’s a children’s movie”.

    The misrepresentation and myth-making surrounding Kristoff, i.e. the so-called Saami boy continues throughout the entire film and regardless of how minor it seems, it does feed into an ongoing discourse about us in Saepmie where we’re either seen as exotic or considered to be worth less than dirt depending on where you enter it. The fact that Kristoff is somehow Saami because he has a reindeer is another thing which grinds me the wrong way as this type of misinformation is already running wild over here and has been doing so for decades, i.e. that real Saami have reindeer, and it is making life complicated for actual reindeer and non-reindeer herding Saami alike in Saepmie.

    Finally, for a company which claims to have done extensive research on the Saami, they’re clearly not knowing enough about us or even reindeer to know that 

    • Sven has the antlers of a female reindeer.

    • A full-grown man would not be able to ride a reindeer bull. Like ever. The belief that Saami used to ride their reindeer goes all the way back to 1540, when Olaus Magni, who had never actually seen a real-life Saami, claimed that we used reindeer as horses and published this picture in one of his books:

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      In other words, Disney is contributing to keeping yet another prejudice about my people alive and kicking.

    • Reindeer are wild animals, and even vuejeme-råantjoeh, i.e. bulls used to lead a herd of reindeer during reindeer migrations wouldn’t ever behave like a dog.

    • Kristoff’s sleigh is distinctly Norwegian, and it’s way too heavy to be pulled by a reindeer.
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      If Kristoff actually was Saami, his sleigh would probably look a lot more like this, and he’d have been using skis instead of walking.

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    So.

    In conclusion.

    Ad finitem.

    Is Frozen the worst thing that has ever happened to us as a people? Well no, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t problematic anyway. 

    SIGNAL BOOST THIS. thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts. 

    This is the kind of thing i mean when I said “listening” in this post.

    (via shwetanarayan)

  6. For your wrath:

    http://imgur.com/gallery/JDhMnr2

    Eh, the only thing that really makes me angry is that you felt the need to link me to it in apparent hope that I would become angry? As if I can’t just look at my blog tracker and keyword traffic to know that the whole “destroy anyone who criticizes Disney” mill is coming to life again to spew its venom. Reddit, as usual, appears to be especially upset, because how dare anything ever.

    As I’ve said repeatedly on this blog (and elsewhere), there’s nothing stopping anyone from believing everyone everywhere was always white forever. This blog exists not to argue pointlessly with people who have no intention of ever even thinking about their assumptions.

    The only reason things like that are perceived as “comebacks” is because social media has finally amplified the voices of people of color and other marginalized groups that it’s much more likely that your average racist white person is going to see or hear someone criticizing them or something they like.

    Notice once again that “everyone in Europe was white then” is really all that’s needed to shut down any nuanced discussion of history and race in regard to modern media being produced for a diverse audience. A person of color in any movie *perceived* to be in any way historical, even an animated children’s movie, need a “reason” or an “explanation”. Whiteness never needs a reason, never needs an explanation, because it’s viewed as a cultural default.

    I recommend checking out the discussion from yesterday on how this perception (no people of color in European history ever) affects us today.

    And I will once again just decline *that* particular discussion because honestly I’m just so tired of the same way it always goes:

    Step 1: “Not Historically Accurate”

    Step 2: “It’s Fantasy And Make Believe Anyway so Make Everyone White”

    Step 3: “Why Do You Even Care It’s Just a Movie Why Don’t You Care About Real ThingsTM”

    Step 4: Death Threats

    If anyone else wants to go in, here’s my latest roundup on why representation matters.

    Here’s a link to a study that analyzed some 500 films from the last 2 or so years, the rate of any sort of representation (WELL below the actual population according to the US Census), as well as the quality of representation (whether or not characters reinforce stereotypes).

    If you want some accurate info on the Saami from someone who would know WAYYYY better than I would because they’re Saami, here you go.

    Thus armed, ye white people, go forth and do battle with your white people if that is what you choose! I choose to attempt to read through more manuscripts with my cat headbutting my face.

  7. painkitty wrote...

    So I've been looking up alternative Snow Queen adaptations to see instead of Frozen but all of the ones I found (including one that was apparently just released?) still have a blue-eyed blond-haired white protagonist. Do you or any followers know of any adaptation that shows the native people instead?

    seetobe:

    medievalpoc:

    Actually, it’s not necessarily based on the Snow Queen, but a lot of people have been making a bit of noise about Frozen Land, based off of an Inuit legend:

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    You can read a post about it and watch a trailer here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsYnlk5VpIo - here is a nice versionof Snow Queen with an Inuit cast from the Happily Ever After collection, it’s a short version but highly enjoyable.

    I’ve bought the Frozen Land DVD, quite looking forward to it, especially after that trailer. 

    ^ Oh hey, that’s pretty cool. I could do with a little less singing, but that’s just a personal preference.

  8. painkitty wrote...

    So I've been looking up alternative Snow Queen adaptations to see instead of Frozen but all of the ones I found (including one that was apparently just released?) still have a blue-eyed blond-haired white protagonist. Do you or any followers know of any adaptation that shows the native people instead?

    Actually, it’s not necessarily based on the Snow Queen, but a lot of people have been making a bit of noise about Frozen Land, based off of an Inuit legend:

    image

    You can read a post about it and watch a trailer here.

  9. peopleareaproblem wrote...

    Hey so I'm just gonna go ahead and admit that I was one of the people who defended Disney about the no-POC-in-Frozen thing because I legitimately did not think there were any black people in Scandinavia when it takes place. Not only has your blog made it abundantly clear that there were, you've also helped me understand that that isn't even the point, especially considering the willing suspension of disbelief a fantasy film requires in the first place. So, you know. Thank you for that.

    I’m happier about the second half of that, to be honest. I think it’s the tangible, visible evidence that really makes people stop for a second and actually THINK, and then once thinking happens, the rest follows: i.e., “Wait, WHY do I think this in the first place? Why do I feel invested in defending something that harms people?”

    Or even “Why do I think a multi-billion-dollar corporation and media machine needs me to defend it?”

    Another thing that racists like to say in the whole “keeping our white media white” neverending debacle is, “If you don’t like it, make your own instead of criticizing ours”. Not only does this completely ignore the power differential between freaking Disney, and a person of color trying to break into any sort of business endeavor, you get stuff like this:

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    Gee, wonder what upset them…

    Could it be….

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    (The first shot is of a random woman at the party; the second and third are a pivotal character in a flashback scene-both are Black women in late 1700s period gowns.)

    While Sleepy Hollow as a show is generally where historical accuracy goes to die (and openly admits it!) It’s the “diversity” i.e., casting Black actors and actresses, that people seem to have a huge problem with.

  10. floressas wrote...

    Hi, I read the whole Frozen thing, and I noticed that you point out historical accuracy a lot, but in terms of culture, do you think it would've been alright to add POC to an European fairytale? For example, if in the rumoured Pixar Dia de Muertos movie, the main character was to look like a white person (even tho a lot of people in Latin America are/look white), I am sure a lot of us would be upset. I am not sure if I am being understandable, but what do you think about that? Love your blog btw

    all-hail-to-the-thief:

    bankedonamyth:

    medievalpoc:

    image

    1.) The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that Frozen is based upon—The Snow Queen—features many non-white native people of Scandinavia and even more female characters than the movie will feature. 

    2.) It is a FAIRY TALE. Are you OK with a talking snow man, but as soon as a brown person comes along it’s not historically accurate?

    3.) Can this stop being an issue, please?

    1.) I am legitimately upset about the lack of female characters that were originally on The Snow Queen as well, but I don’t really see how that’s relevant to this?? (Even tho it does suck, the whole changes to the original story look super lame.)  Scandinavia is still part of Europe, where the native people are white. Sami are also native Europeans, why wouldn’t they count as white? (Even tho, of course, there is a lot of mix.)

    2.) I never really cared about historic accuracy, it’d be pretty accurate historically to add POC of course, and you are right, it is fairy tale where everything is possible. What I mean is that it’s white folklore. I think it’s pretty unfair to add POC to white folklore. 

    3.) I think that the issue is people forcing POC into white cultures, just as much as the other way around. How is that not an issue? White people forcing themselves into POC culture sucks, but it also sucks the other way around. But that is my opinion and it is irrelevant right now, thus that was not the point of my ask either, I was asking the blog owner their opinion on that taking the point of folklore & culture in account, not only historic accuracy, I was not asking them so I could force my opinion or make an issue out of it.

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwww.

    Just thought I’d mention that I’ve gotten hate mail with this same exact wording from actual Neo-Nazis. Usually with the addition of “get the [expletive] out of OUR history and stick to your own primitive culture and history, [racial slur]!!!”

    Good to know you never cared about historical accuracy, and you’re being open about the fact that you’re very invested in keeping your “white culture white”.

    Gee, that doesn’t sound virulently racist at alllll.

    *flies into the sun*