2016 got me like Luke: sobbing into a bloody stump, dreams of revolution crushed by cowardice, treachery, and pragmatism. But I’ll be Goddamned if 2017 gonna find me on Gandhi mode. And not just because Mohandas was a classist, anti-black, sexual predator, but because violence is the motherfucking truth.
But hey hey hey, I hear you “ain’t this some art thing?” So I’ll make it clear before pushing on. I am not trying to conflate the citizen and the artisan. I recognize the many points of intersections, but I am not gonna sit here and say that your agenda as a concerned citizen is indistinguishable from your aesthetic concerns. Baby, I ain’t trying to flatten you into some caricature. Multitudes, yeah?
That said, I am a little worried about the artists out here in these streets talking about nonviolence like that’s a thing. Talking about Love and Hate like they ain’t the same thing. Violence is getting this bad reputation like it always means shower shankings. Violence is how things happen. It’s juice becoming hooch. It’s the combustion engine. It’s Baldwin reading a motherfucker on national TV. It’s waking up and realizing one’s own contribution to the patriarchy. It’s how a French colony became Haiti. Violence is also, often, shower shankings. It’s not a force for good, but it is the force of change. You want change, you gotta fuck with violence.
Look at what these women are doing. That shit is cold. That shit is violent. Every piece of art that I’ve seen come out of the King Cheeto freak out, the speeches, songs, sculptures, cartoons, sketches, everything pales in comparison. Baby food bullshit. It’s all running on the same engine: the sad need to make public some people’s distaste for King Cheeto. None of it screams for change. You see those mirrors, that’s fucking judo, twisting state violence back towards the individuals that wanted to lose themselves in the uniform. I have to imagine that this lead at least a few baby cops to consider eating their guns that very night. A change of heart, a change in consciousness is not a peaceful thing. If anyone out there wants to go all in in creating art that argues for a better world, you gotta get right with violence.
Photo by Kostyantyn Chernichkin
Sebastien Boncy is from Haiti lives in Texas makes photographs, eats too much, and loves most of you. Follow Sebastien at