Creative Saviour Complex

Creative Saviour Complex

During my last year of college, I had the dream of saving my home, Nigeria, with code — of using my skills to “make a difference.” I found out much later that rather than being the bearer of good things, I was suffering from a condition I dub Creative Savior Complex. After that realization, my attitude towards art and activism changed significantly. In this talk I will firstly catalog the symptoms of Creative Savior Complex in the hopes of those suffering will recognize it in themselves and then go through the silly, satirical and more personal projects I started making after that shift. I want to encourage people to not be reactionary (especially in times like this) and think more critically about their creative activist work. To make small, specific, and even silly critiques of the world around them before espousing solutions.

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Omayeli Arenyeka

September 08, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Yeli @YellzHeard omayeli.com

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  6. Creative savior complex

  7. Creative savior complex ✅ Misunderstanding of the problem

  8. White savior complex a white person helping non-white people and

    ... ❏ The help is self-serving ❏ They believe themselves to be better than the people they’re helping ❏ Don’t believe in consulting the people they want to help or that those people are capable of helping themselves given the right circumstances
  9. The White Man's Burden Take up the White Man's burden

    — Send forth the best ye breed — Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild — Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.
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  11. “If we are going to interfere in the lives of

    others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.” - Teju Cole @tejucole
  12. “The people closest to the pain should be closest to

    the power.” - Ayanna Pressley @AyannaPressley
  13. Creative savior complex ✅ Misunderstanding of the problem ✅ [insert

    creative tool] is the answer
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  16. Creative savior complex ✅ Misunderstanding of the problem ✅ [insert

    creative tool] is the answer ✅ No concern for *actual* impact
  17. Creative savior complex ✅ Misunderstanding of the problem ✅ [insert

    creative tool] is the answer ✅ No concern for *actual* impact ✅ The opportunities to “help” are invariably in line with the creator’s career and learning agenda
  18. ✅ Something I want to learn ✅ Will look good

    in my portfolio ✅ Does good (?)
  19. motherfuckingwebsite.com

  20. Creative savior complex ✅ Misunderstanding of the problem ✅ [insert

    creative tool] is the answer ✅ No concern for *actual* impact ✅ The opportunities to “help” are invariably in line with the creator’s career and learning agenda ✅ More interested in aesthetics of activism
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  25. Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon @StupidHackathon

  26. Unfriend the Poors, JB Rubinovitz Hypochondriapp, Emily Xie Outcognito Mode,

    Harold Cooper Infinite Folders, Aaron Montoya-Moraga Egg Timer, Pam Liou
  27. “When you produce something that has no value on purpose,

    what you're really creating is a critique.” Sam Lavigne, @sam_lavigne
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  31. @MyPresidentIs

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  33. https://github.com/dariusk/corpora

  34. ❏ Botwiki- bot starter template ❏ Tracery - generating text

    ❏ Corpora - data
  35. @ArtConnoisseur_

  36. @Y_Under_YBot

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  38. @MixDiversity

  39. twit-original.glitch.me

  40. face-the-music.glitch.me

  41. ❏ p5.js- drawing on a canvas ❏ clmtrackr - face

    detection ❏ tone.js - sounds
  42. “The function of saying nothing, is that it’s a precursor

    to having something to say. ‘Nothing’ is neither a luxury nor a waste of time, but rather a necessary part of meaningful thought and speech.” Jenny Odell, @the_jennitaur
  43. dweb-data-zone.glitch.me

  44. dweb-data-zone.glitch.me

  45. The Internet can often be a mirror for real life.

    We see the structural problems we face offline reflected in online publications, tweets, and Google searches. If web browsers are our window onto the Internet and thus, the world, browser extensions can be a way of saying This is what I want the world to look like and sharing that vision of the future with others.
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  47. “You can use the power of words to bury meaning

    or to excavate it. If you lack words for a phenomenon, an emotion, a situation, you can't talk about it which means you can't come together to address it let alone change it.” Rebecca Solnit
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  51. http://tinyletter.com/yeli

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  53. “What is important, what corrals you, what bullwhips you, what

    drives you, torments you, is that you must find some way of using [whatever it is that hurt you] to connect you with everyone else alive.” James Baldwin
  54. Yeli @YellzHeard omayeli.com