An Introduction to D.A. Powell by Shane McCrae

Introducing D. A. Powell’s “Against Officialese: On Solmaz Sharif’s Look,” I am responding to a response to a response. This, I want to say, seems to me a profoundly American thing to do—the United States of America is, after all, an echo of responses. But the United States has become, perhaps inevitably, a country through which responses toward change resonate slowly and with no likelihood, even, of acknowledgement by those best positioned to effectuate change—and when those responses are heard, as we see today with the Black Lives Matter movement, they are too often distorted and re-disseminated in a form that strips them of their righteousness. Our cries are retrofitted with newspeak and thereby colonized. Solmaz Sharif’s Look is a force against such colonizations. D. A. Powell hears Look, and responds—not to distort what it says, but to see with it, and to change what is seen.