Howardena Pindell. Free, white and 21. 1980
“Some people think that discrimination issues are exaggerated or that they don’t exist…”
The “Free, white and 21” video by Howardena Pindell is an excellent example of easy to understand but complex and deep artwork. It shows the massive gap in world perception and the lives of two human beings. They are the same sex, same age, they live in the same place, but the first young woman is black, and the other woman is white. This is where completely different experiences begin.
It feels impossible to explain to a person who has never been discriminated by his/her social status, race, sex or religion preferences what it’s like to be an object of mistrust or hatred. Some people think that discrimination issues are exaggerated or that they don’t exist. Some people believe that people use discrimination to justify all their problems.
“Free, white and 21” video shows both points of view, that intersects in a monologue. Howardena tells all these stories without emotional pressure. She is not trying to impress someone or arouse anger, it feels like she is free of judgment. She wants to tell you a story, and it’s up to you to decide what to feel and think after she completes it.