Discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but is the thing for which and by which there is struggle, discourse is the power which is to be seized.
The empire struck with discourse and it is possible to discourse directly back. Discourse sugarcoats violence.
–Zeina B. Ghandour
One could argue that I live in an echo chamber of my own creation. The news sources, online resources, writers and activists from which I get my news are chosen for a simple specific reason: I like what they say and how they say it. When I read something that is particularly offensive or reactionary from whichever politician or mainstream news source that may have said it, I usually read it by way of progressive, critical, thoughtful writers and advocates who package the offending quote with cogent criticism. As such, I am largely unable (or perhaps unwilling) to gauge the mainstream reaction to events such as the brutal murder of a 16 year old girl in Palestine because of the suspicion that she was attempting to stab a settler. I, however, do not see this as limiting my intellectual analysis or ability to critically engage with opinions with which I do not agree. Rather, I see this community of journalists, activists and writers engaging in a vital process of producing and honing, in conversation with one another, alternative discourses that challenge the dominant narratives produced by those in power. The producers of these alternative discourses worry not about balance or objectivity. They rightly recognize that in order to be perceived as balanced, they would have to shed all frameworks, histories or narratives that the dominant discourse deems unacceptable. In doing so, they would sacrifice the very crux of the issue they were trying to discuss. Continue reading “By Way of Introduction”