Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

by Trinh T. Minh-ha

cover of Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

“The story never stops beginning or ending. It appears headless and bottomless for it is built on differences. Its (in)finitude subverts every notion of completeness and its frame remains a non-totalizable one. The differences it brings about are differences not only in structure, in the play of structures and of surfaces, but also in timbre and in silence. We-you and me, she and he, we and they-we differ in the content of the words, in the construction and weaving of sentences but most of all, I feel, in the choice and mixing of utterances, the ethos, the tones, the paces, the cuts, the pauses. The story circulates like a gift; an empty gift which anybody can lay claim to by filling it to taste, yet can never truly possess. A gift built on multiplicity. One that stays inexhaustible within its own limits. Its departures and arrivals. Its quietness.

Its quietness. As our elder Lao Tzu used to say, knowing ignorance is strength, ignoring knowledge is sickness; if one is sick of sickness, then one is no longer sick. For a variation, I would say knowledge for knowledge’s sake is sickness. Let her who is sick with sickness pass on the story, a gift unasked for like a huge bag of moonlight. Now stars shine white on a black on a colored sky.”

– quoted from Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

Trinh T. Minh-ha is a writer, filmaker, and composer. Her works include the books: The Digital Film Event (Routledge 2005); Cinema Interval(Routledge 1999); Drawn from African Dwellings (in coll. with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Indiana University Press 1996); Framer Framed(Routledge 1992); When the Moon Waxes Red. Representation, gender and cultural politics (Routledge 1991); Out There: Marginalisation in Contemporary Culture (Co-editor with Cornel West, R. Ferguson & M. Gever. New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art and M.I.T. Press, 1990); En minuscules (book of poems, Edition Le Meridien 1987); African Spaces – Designs for Living in Upper Volta (in coll. with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Holmes & Meier 1985); En art sans oeuvre, International Book Publishers, Inc.