Tavia Nyong’o

  • diary April 14, 2015

    Whisper Campaign

    TOURISTS AMBLING through Time Square on Monday between 12 and 2 PM encountered something different from the usual melee of naked cowboys and competing Elmos: a tight cluster of people gathered around a soapbox upon which speaker after speaker took a stand for the freedom of speech.

    As they spoke, a man held an unusually cooperative white dove upon their right shoulder. The lack of amplification meant the crowd had to lean in to hear the likes of artist Hans Haacke, art historian Claire Bishop, and curator RoseLee Goldberg protest the continued detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, whose

  • passages March 14, 2014

    José Esteban Muñoz (1967–2013)

    THE WORK of José Esteban Muñoz—as a student, a teacher, a writer, and a friend—was electrified by his desire to tip the world toward something joyous in the face of intense opposition to that joy, toward a place that is more just and generous, but also more ferocious.

    José’s lifelong passion was to express the utopian gesture that responds to the awfulness of things as they are. The work of balancing hope against despair ran through his writings from the earliest to the most recent, and it was a work he associated with the queer, the minoritarian, and the brown. Under his attention, those terms