Dear LL – Merry Kwanzaa! Given Shia LaBeouf’s recent artistic misadventures I was interested to hear whether you’d experienced any similarly shocking violations during your time as a street poet and performance artist devoted to sparking a political, economic and gender-role revolution through the power of your performances.Serena, Leichhardt
LL replies: Funnily enough, I was incorporating themes of sexual assault into my work long before that showpony Tinseltown plagiarist LaBeouf. At the height of the Tampa Crisis, I inserted a pineapple carved into the shape of John Howard’s head into myself while dressed as a Hazari refugee woman on King Street. Dead Kennedy’s ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ blared on an endless loop from my nearby ghetto blaster. Inexplicably enough, no female passersby chose to mount me while I was holding up a funhouse mirror to the Islamophobic selfishness of Australian society but I did experience various forms of microaggression – and some macroaggression – from those who didn’t appreciate me highlighting their venal hypocrisy. Many chose to roll their eyeballs and snigger rather than entering into a dialogue about Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and one bogan, no doubt on his way to get smashed on Jim Beam and coke at the Marly, felt the need to point out what other objects I could violate myself with if I really wanted to prove my credentials as a “reffo-loving poofter”. Nonetheless, I regarded any public humiliation I endured as a small price to pay for raising the consciousness of Inner West residents about the racism directed towards the kind of people who can’t afford to buy Inner West property. Certainly I didn’t run crying to the media like a pampered diva and I like to think my actions that day convinced at least a handful of people to join the Greens.