In a Galaxy far far away, well Canada Water, but it felt like another planet, Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine to be precise, for the geniuses at Secret Cinema have brought Star Wars to life, in this otherwise quiet corner of London.
Canada Water feels like an apt setting for this immersive theatre/cinema experience that is Secret Cinema. The bus station exit of the underground feels like a giant space port, as tribes of Londoners criss cross its hallways to their onward destination. Of course Londoners don’t bat an eye lid as groups of ‘travellers’ start appearing dressed like bedouin nomads, steam punk pilots and martial arts gurus (depending on which group you have been assigned) from the corners of the station.
The first test has been passed - 1. Look the part - and look the part we did! As we channelled our inner Jedi, or Kochanski from red dwarf as did one of our crew, the next challenge awaited us, find the flipping place!! Having accosted several very enthusiastic Star Wars fans thinking they were part of the show we found ourselves in a warehouse loading bay frantically running around while the Secret Cinema team herded us onward to our ‘planetary’ destination.
I won’t say too much about what happened inside, as that would ruin the beauty of the experience, but I urge you to go at least once, its unlike anything you will have seen before. Unfortunately I have few photos from the event, we weren’t allowed to take photos, but devious me managed to sneak a few! All your favourite characters were there, R2D2, C3P0, Chewbacca, Bobafet, I could go on!! Needless to say the night lived up to all my Star Wars fantasies, as scenes from the movie unfolded before us, there were rapturous cheers from the ‘audience’ as the immortal line was uttered - “These are not the droids you are looking for".
It might not have been a strictly secret Cinema, but it was every bit as magical and epic!
Is it ever ok to pretend to be something you’re not?
“We’re all from the African continent.” says Rachel Dolezal when questioned recently by KXYL on her racial identity.
Well I mean hell, if we’re gonna go down that road then, Hitler is Black, so is Bush, Thatcher and Cameron, but no one really gives much of a dam because to all intents and purposes they look white, identify themselves as white and live their lives happily in predominantly white arenas with their all white families. And herein lies the problem with race, no matter where you are from, however much Black, White, Brown and blue you have in you people will make up their own minds based on their perceptions and social constructs, on what race you really are - prompting the question “No where are you really from?” which those who appear racially ambiguous are no doubt, all too familiar with.
Now this lady is the leader the Washington chapter of NAACP, and she’s also a part-time African American Studies professor at Eastern Washington University, teaching a class called “The Black Woman’s Struggle.” - I almost fell over myself reading that last bit, I don’t think irony is the right word here, that suggests a juxtaposition with an opposing idea that often produces humour - I think the juxtaposition comes from the “Hell No!” screaming in my head, alongside the tears of laughter at the sheer ridiculousness of the whole affair. No, I think the right word here (to call upon my Jamaican ancestry) is “Facety” - accompanied by a large ‘kiss of the teeth’ and a comment about babylon and reparations… but seriously, its both embarrassing, insulting as well as highly amusing in equal measure.
This is not the first time that people have attempted to ‘pass’, we only have to look back recent history and there are countless stories of African American’s passing for white, but the difference being they did it to try and acquire some of the white privilege and rights that were not available to Black people during this time, exchanging ones racial identity for social currency and mobility. But this lady for whatever reason felt the need to identify as Black to further her career and ‘special interest’ in Black people? I guess the only redeeming feature is that unlike Iggy Azalea, and other white people who bite Black culture, she at least has engaged with our struggles and tried to understand our oppression - but seriously lady, you just come off like ‘Boss Lady’ from Awkward Black Girl.