Fairytales, transgression and chasing waterfalls with Season Butler
Oriana continues the interview begun on The O Show live edition on Instagram with the artist and author Season Butler. In that initial discussion, they spoke about the racial empathy bias, climate change and Bill Cosby, each of which has played a key part in Butler’s work. However, they both regretted not getting to discuss their shared passion for The Little Mermaid in all its incarnations. So here they jump straight in with an analysis of varied versions including the original Danish folktale, Disney’s animation and Splash from the perspective of two grown women for whom these narratives played a formative role. In this way, the conversation begins with the topic of boundary-crossing and then unfolds and meanders to address race, addiction, coming of age, the role that community plays in one’s tastes and self-judgments, as well as the end of the world, themes dealt with in Butler’s debut novel Cygnet. Toward the very end, they touch upon topics that are more central to the focus of this podcast series, that is, the risks and benefits of using one’s self and life experiences as the fodder for creative work, about which Butler provides a unique perspective.
Oriana Fox is an artist with a PhD in self-disclosure. She puts her expertise to work as the host of the talk show performance piece The O Show, which has been filmed in a variety of London locations including Tate Britain, Town Hall Hotel, The Hackney Showroom and The AllBright.
Season Butler is a London/Berlin-based writer, performance artist and teacher, and an associate producer of the I'm With You art collective. Her debut novel Cygnet was published in 2019 by Dialogue Books in the UK and Harper Collins in the US.
The discussion makes reference to the following additional cultural reference points: Deborah Pearson’s podcast The Whole Darned Thing; Robin Bernstein’s book Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights; Nicolas Roeg’s film Walkabout; Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility; Elizabeth Anderson’s lecture What Has Gone Wrong? Populist politics and the mobilization of fear and resentment; and Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man.
- Hosted, edited and produced by Oriana Fox
- Post-production mixing by Stacey Harvey
- Themesong written and performed by Paulette Humanbeing
- Special thanks to I'm with you, Henry Mulhall, Katie Beeson, Janak Patel, Sven Olivier Van Damme and the Foxes and Hayeses.
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