I really enjoyed this article, and the fact that it followed two very personal, individual subversive activist actions. It felt like a combo of the anonymity of the Golce & Gabbana postering tactic article we read and the Guerrilla Girls tactics/documentary. Like both of these projects, 'The Princess and the Prankster' took aspects of what they wished to subvert by twisting them. Unlike the posterers, though, both Wong and Hirano's projects are characterized as "in your face," or "bait and switch." The message they send are a little sharper, sting a little bit more because they make their audience think a little bit harder about what they're really feeling when they view their projects.
I really connected to Hirano's project and point of view, especially her question, "What culture do I belong to, really, and which is fictitious?" And her answer, "They're all fictitious." She asserts that both culture and sexuality are constructed. I loved that she shared so many aspects to her personal struggle with her Asian-American female identity. I think that even though her activist project is about putting on characters and putting on a show, her discussion of it is very stripped down, very frank.
I also think that by making her audience question how they feel in the moment of experiencing the project (really digging at that discomfort that the author mentions toward the end of the piece) is really where the activism begins. Her performance is essential to this consciousness-raising conversation, but without the conversation/engagement the project isn't fully realized. But because I was really hooked by her staging and her ideas, I was also really hooked into exploring further what her performance raised for the people mentioned in the article and what it raised for me. Eng calls this a 'bait and switch' tactic, which I think is really accurate and also pretty effective. Whereas the posters and the Guerrilla Girls ultimately rely on an overarching sense of a higher consciousness, or a higher something that is holding people accountable, Hirano and Wong both have interactions (in person and on the internet) with people. Their projects do have reciprocity, and even if the engagement is negative--racist rantings, etc.--there is still an equally visible response.