Victim of American Fear (Inspired by Oscar Grant)

Just wanted to share a painting done by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, of Oscar Grant. This is what Fazlalizadeh had to say about the piece, and about Grant, in general:

“This painting is my reaction to the Johannes Mehrsele, a former BART officer, verdict and sentencing in the case of him fatally shooting Oscar Grant, an unarmed young black man. This incident happened in Oakland, CA almost two years ago. Grant, who was 22 years old, was lying face down on the ground when Mehrsele shot him in the back after supposedly mistaking his gun for his Taser. This event was captured by cell phone camera by many witnesses. It was a shocking killing that infuriated many. And the conviction of Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter, the best he could have gotten outside of aquittal, left even more people angry.

My painting is a portrait of a young black man with a shooting range target painted onto his torso. It is to express the casual and perpetual killing of black men. It is to express the way that black men are profiled as intimidating, criminal beings who are to be feared, and justifiably hurt. The Mehrsele case is an example of this.”

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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12 years ago

Thanks for sharing this!!

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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