terrible picture but yay I got a tattoo I’ve been wanting for a while yesterday. thank you Nayyirah Waheed for some of the lost important words in my life.
Peace :) I just saw the picture of your tattoo of my poem ‘tourist.’ I was wondering why you chose this piece/ that phrase ?
hello, basically it just describes my situation perfectly. I have been travelling through Europe alone for the last two months with another month before I go back home, before the next two years when I’ll be moving to live in toe new countries. I just feel the phrase encapsulates everything I think; have fun, see new places and when the beauty/enjoyment of the place begins to wear thin, find somewhere new.
I’m just so thankful that I found your words, and the way they allow me to understand my current life philosophy in such a direct, uninhibited way.
tourist, nayyirah waheed (via nayyirahwaheed)
this is my original piece, clearly addressing the ills of tourism, so, this person changing the original sentiment/essence to glorify tourism, to use my work to express their life philosophy of getting to”see new places and when the beauty/enjoyment of the place begins to wear thin, find somewhere new,” is incredibly disrespectful, smacking of white privilege, and the essence of the very colonizing thoughts/behaviors i am speaking out against in the poem.
it is incredibly distressing that you would change my words to fit your philosophy, and then thank me for writing ‘some of the most important words in your life.’
as a woc, i am not here to educate you. i am not here to edify and feed you. changing your life is not my purpose on this earth, not when there are black and brown people losing life/ have been losing lives everyday. if you knew about me, you would know that i write first and foremost for poc. in fact, this very poem was speaking of what happens to our lands as poc.
this whole thing is white privilege and an presumption of accessibility to me and my work that you think you have, but in fact, do not have. from choosing my poem/ this poem without any thought to who i am as a woc artist who is vocal about the integrity of her work, to changing the meaning/and picking pieces of my poem to fit your ‘life philosophy,’ to posting it under my tag with my name, it is all wrong. every part of it. so what you got tattooed on your arm is in fact not my work, but something you appropriated, a mangled version of something very painful, beautiful, and honest.
How can you be angry at someone for loving words that you have created? You say her perception of your words are wrong and in turn, she is disrespecting you. But that is what those words mean to her. This is why writing is so beautiful, because it can mean different things to different individuals. Surely, if she was a black woman, you would not be so offended.
Wow you aren’t seriously defending this are? Her being white has nothing to do with it nay aha come at both white and black folk for disrespecting her and her work! This woman took an artist words and emotions and twisted them for her own, THIS IS NOT HER SHOWING RESPECT and you have the nerve to defend such blatant disrespect and disregard of Nay and her work. Fuck you because obviously you know nothing about Nay and her work! “She were black it would be different” pssshh bitch get real!!
I know enough about her AND her work. But it’s not a reader’s fault for interpreting her work in a way of their own. Go. Enjoy. Leave. Sounds like go somewhere, enjoy yourself and then leave. So the words are meant for tourists that visit new places enjoy new cultures and leave. THATS EXACTLY WHAT THE GIRL WAS DOING. Shes a white girl, hence why it is so offensive.
It’s a critique of the ethos of tourism, to use those words and twist them into a
celebration of tourism shows not respecting an artist enough to listen to her words
I understand that. That makes perfect sense. But Nay could have just explained to the girl the true meaning of her poem, since she was mistaken. And not taken it any further. Poetry has a lot to do with a person’s perception whether the poet likes it or not. And since she said this girl was showing “white privilege” is why I said that if it was a black person, maybe it would not have been such a huge deal.
white privilege is feeling the need to minimize this occurrence so deeply that you are referring to me as nay. white privilege is seeking to give me a nickname (establishing some sort of intimacy/ boundary crossing/ presumed accessibility) at the same time you are seeking to invalidate my experience. no need to keep sending messages to my inbox, or commenting on this post, everything you are asserting is a moot point, as you clearly are confused on the very issues this post is addressing. i leave the conversation here.
Normally, I’m of the opinion that once an artist publishes their work, it becomes the world’s to chew and digest as it chooses, however, this is a perfect example of how the artist/consumer relationship is much more nuanced than that. There has to be responsibility on the part of the consumer, or, in this case, the reader, to read closely. It’s far too easy to project yourself onto art and forget that an artist is the one pulling the canvas tight. And all of this doesn’t mention the fact that this is not a case of misinterpretation, but blatant disregard of intention and tone. It would be like someone reading a poem about rape and saying ‘oh, yeah, I like rough sex too.’ It’s ignorance to the point of harmfulness. Sorry to drag this out even further.