Veruska Bellestri – WAR

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Veruska Bellestri Veruska Bellestri
Veruska Bellestri Veruska Bellestri

Veruska Bellestri

Coal addresses my identity as a biracial queer feminist.  Caught in the crossfire of two different cultures.  My images of black women resist invisibility, exoticism, sexism and racism.  I push my images to the viewers’ face and ask them to question their own prejudices.  My works are political as I portray the damage caused by racism and sexism. Coal heals me, sets me free.


is the black, being spoken
from the earth’s inside.
there are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a word, colored
by who pays for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the passing crash of sun.
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book, —buy and sign and tear apart—
and come whatever wills all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
breeding like adders. Others know sun
seeking like gypsies over my tongue
to explode through my lips
like young sparrows bursting from shell
Some words
bedevil me.

Love is a word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flames
I am Black because I come from the earth’s inside
now I take my word for jewel in the open light.

—Audre Lord