December 3, 2012

Raising Consciousness

I feel that Up the Yangtze as a film is doing that same thing that Gate's article did just a week back. Raise Consciousness.  By filming Up the Yangtze, the director gave the people of the film a voice while showing the "otherizing" not just from the American tourists but within the Chinese society and families as well. In Gate's article  "Race and the Difference It Makes", he proposed the idea that there is a problem with identification. He brings up the idea of why does a black poet have to have the word "black" in front of it? Why can't he just be a poet?  He wants to raise consciousness of the problem posed here. Is race a plurality? How can we define all these pluralities? How does this work into our idea of identification? 

One thing that Gates posed was the idea of "privilege".  We talked briefly about the idea that privilege could be bought, sold, or transferred. I'm hoping I get this right in assuming that privilege is based off of socio-economic backgrounds. In Up The Yangtze  I couldn't help thinking of Gates theory and how it tied in with the economic situation of not only Cindy and Jerry but of all the people affected by the Dam. They are forced to work on the cruise ship to survive while some are even forced to move because the Dam is flooding where they live. This is just one way to look it. What I keep questioning here is if privilege is helping to create the idea of "others"? In the movie, is Jerry's privileged background shaping the way he sees "others" and even in the way that he identifies by wanting to be called Jerry instead of "Bo Yu" ? 

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