Rachel Gutin Profile picture
Jul 17, 2019 23 tweets 8 min read Read on X
The fifth panel I attended at #Readercon was "Latinx Authors Tear Down the Wall," with @LabyrinthRat, @omgjulia, and @WriteTeachPlay, moderated by @cafenowhere. I learned a lot, and not just about writing.
As with previous threads, I'm not sure which of my notes are word for word quotes and which are paraphrases. I'll also note that I am not Latinx myself, and this increases the chances that I will misrepresent something/get something wrong. Feel free to correct me if I do!
First, @cafenowhere asked @WriteTeachPlay to give us some background on Cuban immigration. He told us about the wet foot, dry foot policy that used to exist.
From @WriteTeachPlay: Before Castro, Cubans were sen in an exorcized way. Under Castro, they were perceived as freedom fighters.
Also from @WriteTeachPlay: Cubans were privileged among immigrant groups, but still faced racism.
From @LabyrinthRat: Earlier waves of Cuban immigrants looked down on later waves. (He also gave us more info on that, but I don't want to get the information wrong, so I'm not going to go into more detail here.)
From @omgjulia: If people code you as Latinx, where they think you're from will vary by which region of the United States you're in.
From @cafenowhere: Where we settle affects the experience. Not just where we're from.
From @omgjulia: In rural areas, you can find large Latinx populations who are mostly farm workers - working for white farm owners. Urban communities have a greater chance of having cultural movements, events, etc.
From @WriteTeachPlay: We set up micro-walls within the Latinx community.
From @LabyrinthRat: In Miami, there were micro-walls between Cubans and other Latinx; in Clemson, SC, people see all Latinx as the same. So why do we separate ourselves?
From @cafenowhere: Some towns have large minority populations that they rely on for industries such as meatpacking. And the town changes around them.
From @LabyrinthRat: Children of immigrants have the pressure of being stuck between two cultures.
From @LabyrinthRat: It's strange to have a pull/obligation to a land I've never been to, and weird that if I did go, I'd be a tourist there.
From @WriteTeachPlay: You can't just say, "Cubans are." You get more variety the deeper you dig - and that's how you fight walls.
And @omgjulia discussed what it's like to grow up with parents from two different cultures, figuring out where you fit.
From @omgjulia: When you feel powerless, you take what power you can. (For example, lashing out at people who don't speak Spanish.)
From @WriteTeachPlay: The capitalist agenda is two-faced: We want you here, but at the most exploited level.
From @cafenowhere: Physical walls are predicated on psychological walls. How can writers tear those down?
From @omgjulia: You need a variety of voices, showing people as human, and works that engage with current political actions. You need a chorus effect.
From @LabyrinthRat: There's a value to non marginalized readers seeing and identifying with marginalized characters.
From @WriteTeachPlay: Fiction plays the long game. It will stay around, keep talking, reverberate, and inspire more writing. The rewriting of the myth that governs us.
From @omgjulia: Latinx communities have a problem with seeing being like the colonizer as ideal.

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More from @Rachel_Gutin

Dec 25, 2020
For those of us who aren’t celebrating Christmas, I would like to share a story:
In a small Jewish community on an outlying planet sits a museum. At its center, a narrow plinth. Upon the plinth, a boxy container, folded from heavy white paper, its edges charred. A wire handle across its top.

The label reads: In Commemoration of the Great Christmas Alliance
There is no further explanation posted, but ask any museum staff member, and they will tell you the tale of the time when Chinese food saved the Jews from boredom and despair, on the occasion of yet another Christmas.
Read 26 tweets
Sep 22, 2020
This Rosh Hashanah, my thoughts kept returning to a single story. It’s the story of a soul, newly arrived at the gates of Heaven And while I’m not sure I believe in a literal heaven, with an actual gate where angels stand guard, a story doesn’t have to be factual to be true.
So a woman arrives at the gates of Heaven. She is small of stature, but she stands tall before the imposing gates. A simple black robe hangs from her shoulders, and a lacy white collar adorns her neck. In her eyes, there is a gleam of steely determination.
In most stories, this is when the angels would stop her. They would ask her to prove she deserves a place in Heaven. But in this story, the angels step aside.
Read 15 tweets
Aug 23, 2020
After nearly five months at my parents’ house, I am finally back in my own apartment.

The first thing I unpacked: stuff that needed refrigeration.

Next: my laptop.

After that, books.

Here are all the books that spent time at my parents’ house. 39 books in three stacks, s...
And here are the books that I read while I was at my parents’ house: 26 books in two stacks, spi...
I also purchased a total of 18 books, 17 of which were shipped to my parents' house, and one of which I picked up while traveling.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 21, 2020
The eighth panel I attended at #ConZealand this year wasn’t technically a panel. It was a dialogue between @doctorow and @Ada_Palmer entitled “Corey Doctorow and Ada Palmer Discuss Censorship and Information Control”

I learned a lot from their conversation.
This thread will include some of the things the two of them said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
From @Ada_Palmer: Every time there’s new media technology, people worry about the new one and forget to censor older ones. Censorship focuses on the newest saturate media - and on where people get political information from.
Read 31 tweets
Aug 14, 2020
The seventh panel I attended at #ConZealand this year was “Justice in Science Fiction and Fantasy”, with @BrentCLambert, @AdriJjy, @MMSnodgrass, and Fred Lerner, moderated by @jennlyonsauthor.

This panel gave me a lot to think about.
This thread will include some of the things the panelists said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
The panelists began by listing pet peeves about how justice is handled in science fiction and fantasy:

@AdriJjy: I want more about societal institutions and systemic things rather than an individual. And I hate the bad guy getting redeemed by dying.
Read 32 tweets
Aug 13, 2020
The sixth panel I attended at #ConZealand this year was “Infinite Entangled Futures - Indigenous Voices in Conversation,” with @ShiningComic, @RoanhorseBex, @understatesmen and @toniwaiaroha, moderated by @sloanesloane.

This was a fascinating and enjoyable panel.
This thread will include some of the things the panelists said. I’m copying this over from my handwritten notes, so assume I’ve paraphrased unless I put something in quotes.
First, the panelists introduced themselves. Among other things, each shared which indigenous tribe they are a part of. Because most of these tribal names were unfamiliar to me, I didn’t know how to spell them, so I looked them up afterward on author websites and twitter.
Read 49 tweets

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