Reel Artists Film Festival brings artist Kehinde Wiley and his soaring collaboration with Givenchy to Toronto
How did the collaboration with Givenchy come about?
“When I thought about the absolute, like, favourite of favourites, or like what stood for the best of haute couture, it was Givenchy. Part of it is just the legacy of the organization. For this project I wanted to do an absolute glam for these girls.”
Tell us more about the project
“It’s all young black girls from underserved communities within New York and the idea was to do this sort of transformation scene; you’d go into art history and you’d recreate these fabulous one of a kind gowns and then I’d make paintings of those girls who were like randomly cast from the streets. Riccardo [Tisci] was totally up to it. We would meet at the Louvre in Paris and we’d walk through on the days when the museum was closed. Imagine a private audience in the Louvre? So it’s just yours. You’re standing in front of the Mona Lisa, and you’re chatting it up with Riccardo about how we’re going to make a beautiful gown for these paintings. Oh, it was insane. Insane. It was a dream project.”
Racism is not in your intent. Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are. This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist. Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history.
It is crucial to remember, as counsellors, that grief is very individual and unique. However, research shows that there are certain common stages and tasks that are shared by most people who are dealing with a loss. One popular construct that describes this hard experience is J. William Worden’s Task Oriented Model.
Understanding the Model
As the title implies, Worden saw healthy grieving as working through a series of specific, common tasks. These need to be resolved to fully integrate the loss – so the person is able to move on with their life. Worden saw this as empowering and freeing for the client as it helps them to find meaning and new hope again. But the work is often hard – and it is easy to get stuck, or to give up before they have recovered from their loss. This is seen in the following comment by Worden in his book Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy, (2001, p27):
“It is possible for someone to accomplish some of these tasks and not others, and hence have an incomplete adaptation to the loss, just as one might have incomplete healing from a wound”.
Worden also points out that for some individuals, the tasks won’t follow a sequential order. However, the key ingredient for progress is being willing to work – and not being a passive recipient of grief.
1. Know when it is a good time to be sorry. It’s appropriate to say something when someone has received bad news, or you’ve really made life difficult for someone else. However, a lot of the time an apology is not required. Learn to know the difference between the two occasions.
2. Notice who you tend to apologize to. Are there certain people who undermine your confidence, or who leave you feeling as if you’re always wrong? In those situations, you’re allowing someone else to act as if they’re more important than you.
3. Try to notice when you’re starting to apologize. Habits are often hard to recognize. They’re usually automatic, and we’re only semi-conscious of patterns we fall into, and things we tend to say. For example, do you repeatedly find yourself saying sorry for someone else’s mistakes? Do you tend to just say sorry to stop an argument?
4. Try and look for the roots, or the need, you’re covering up. For example, perhaps an authority figure (parent, teacher, older sibling, coach) used to get angry if you didn’t “just shut up” or take the blame. Alternatively, you may feel you can’t really share the way you feel – so you just apologize and repress your true emotions.
5. Related to the above, consider how your drive to apologize to others is likely to affect you much further down the road. For example it is likely that you’re building up a heap of grievances, or you may pull back from get close to those you love.
6. Decide to establish and enforce your boundaries, and to say “no” to others – without also saying “sorry”!