Hamilton and Our Lady of Guadalupe

Decolonial aesthetic

But this is the antithesis of Hollywood’s racebending, race lifting, or of the typical high school “White Side Story,” where a bunch of suburban kids represent oppressed cultures they know nothing about. Something else is happening.

Kehinde Wiley, Prelude (Babacar Mané), 2021

Double Agents

“Program or be programmed,” as media theorist Douglas Rushkoff puts it, and I want to consider that this metaphor of file sharing permissions could be useful when looking at Hamilton and race-swapping. Nonwhite people repurpose and remix the dominant culture’s materials in order to read/write them, rewrite them, and resist them. A counter-intuitive Aikido move using the power of the opponent against them; a way to exercise some degree of agency and autonomy–to experience something other than “read-only.”

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