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bell hooks

From watching one video on bell hooks I can now view her as one of the most accessible public intellectuals I've ever heard speak. When doing some research about her I found a quote by her stating " The issue is not freeing ourselves from representions. It's really about being enlightened witnesses when we watch representations." And watching her video "Cultural Criticism and Transformation," she taught me just last. She teaches us to
watch films critically by thinking critically, being open minded, look at all perspectives and looking out for stereotypes, something as small as violence and the roles people are playing. An example is watching the role of a women in a film. Watch the angles of the camera and what they are focusing on for the majority of the time when i female is on set, something a lot of people don't even think twice about. The biggest thing i learned from bell hooks is to watch things critically and not how society wants us to view it. The strategies she uses to employ in order to analyze was having first focused on the foundations and positions of her work and then moving towards the value of cultural studies in concrete analysis through showing clips of films and videos and then discusses and argue about the certain issue. She used the word "enlightened witness" a lot, which is referred to as becoming critically vigilant about the world we live in. This can be achieved through critical thinking and greater literacy, not censorship. After watching this video I feel like my goal in life should being able to consider myself a enlightened witness and be able to think crucially about most situations and I will start trying but know i will never come as close to bell hook when it comes to her analyzing and critical thinking.


I agree that censorship is not the answer. I also think it's ironic that censorship is often called for by white supremacist capitalist patriarchs when in fact, they are usually the ones perpetuating whatever misogyny or violence or racism is in question. I think that becoming an enlightened witness must take a lot of training yourself to think outside of the box and to think critically, which are not easy. When we watch The Piano I will definitely be reminding myself to look for stereotypes and think critically about what the writer/director portrays to her audience.