Monday, November 4, 2013
Twisted Color Challenge: Week 42 - Peruvian Way
I'm so far behind on the Twisted Color Challenge that it isn't even funny, but Peruvian Way was a real joy to set up, and a chance to revisit items I'd picked up long ago in a new way. I wanted a sense of warmth and comfort; something sweet and pure and gentle. I ended up revisiting Happy Mood, a lovely store sim which is a reminder of the positive effects of stores on the Second Life geography - many store owners have impeccable taste and place their stores in sims full of their own creations, as if they manifested a dream.
I had originally looked for something from Peru, some windswept heights of Machu Pichu where I can pose like the uncaring invader, using unfamiliar cultures as a backdrop. I've been thinking a lot about colonizations and the scars it leaves on cultures and societies. One of the blind spots inherent to being white is a perception of every culture being within range - both an individual being able to join those cultures without incident, and being able to take aspects of that culture to use them as decoration and augmentation.
I feel that same impulse.
I own a Dreamcatcher I bought in a roadside store full of kitch which sold "Authentic Indian Bread". For a long time I coveted the long headdresses covered in Eagle Feathers which are reserved for the most revered within a culture. I gathered up bits and baubles of the hearts of other cultures, and to a certain extent I still do - cosmetics and kimono from Japan, learning recipes from Indonesia and Mexico, wondering about the lines between appreciation and appropriation. I don't buy in to the idea that we can, as adults, divorce ourselves from our roots, or how we were raised. I believe we can grow beyond it; I believe we can expand it with new cultures we enter as members; I think we carry our past with us and that it's woven into our bones.
This can be viewed in many ways. We often want to escape who we are, but I've experience multiple times that recreating me in a new place, where no one knows me, I still recreate me - with all my flaws and foibles, with all my pettiness and nobility. I'm still painfully earnest and well meaning. I'm still desperately wishing I could be sweet and bouncy all the time. I still have deep veins of darkness and the ability to read and manipulate people. I still spend a lot of my time protecting myself from being hurt in my personal life, and laying my heart on the line professionally - and I still struggle with that balance. I draw lines, and cross them, and think I know everything and am frequently wrong. I can leave who I am behind in the short term, in small space and within narrow lines, but not with any length or breadth or depth - and I think this is a fairly universal thing with humans. Who we are is rarely a conscious choice; it is usually a series of subconscious reactions and assumptions which require concerted effort to change.
( More pictures here. )
Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Rene
Flowers: Wishbox, Rose Headdress
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Lipstick: Mock, Fruitilicious Gloss
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe Wings
Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands and Feet
Nails: Orc Inc, Glitterslash
Hand Fade: Orc Inc, Blend Hands
Dress: G Field, Winter Coat "Natalie" with Fur Cuffs and Tippet
Stockings: Stellar, In Bloom
Shoes: Whatever, Wing Sneakerheel
Location: Happy Mood
Light Settings: Jessica Light 02
Water Settings: Glassy
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only