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May 17, 2007

darkmatter Journal-Issue: 1 May 2007


Celebrity Big Brother

"The banality of the UK Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) reality television show prepared no one for the global media spectacle of the fracas between the b-list Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and the d(?)-list British super-ignoramus Jade Goody.1 To debate whether the exchanges between an Indian Actress and a white working-class ex-Big Brother participant (and her co-conspirators) wasn’t a racist confrontation simply denies the multiplicity of racisms of British life. Contrary to Germaine Greer’s2 insistence that Shetty vs. Goody exposed class rather than racial antagonisms, the aftermath of CBB raises more complex issues: What does the CBB media stampede say about the discourse of local-global race, gender and class relations? Is Reality TV the political unconscious of everyday repressed racisms? Does the ‘victory’ for Shetty indicate the triumph of anti-racism and/or multicultural neo-liberalism? These are some of many of the issues which have motivated the production of the first Journal Issue of darkmatter in the form of a series of dialogues interrogating CBB...

...darkmatter is an experiment in creating a collective ‘prosthetic race memory’ that reconfigures the circuits of knowledge and power, in a situation where at present the blinding whiteness of network culture continues to make most of the people on the planet invisible. It seems appropriate for darkmatter to emerge at a time where a eurocentric media culture is reproducing itself as the champion of anti-racism, while simultaneously denying the central role of racism in the terrain of contemporary geo-politics. CBB was a minor symptom of the new digital politics of race to come." From Editorial: Celebrity Big Brother dialogues - the global pantomime of race.

Posted by jo at May 17, 2007 06:28 PM