Content warning: the following post and video discuss sexual violence and assault.
[Updated 2/16/17, 11:53AM] Check the bottom of the post for photos of the performance from Jejomar Erln Ysit ’19
If you were on campus at any point from Fall 2014 – Fall 2015, you might remember Karmenife Paulino ’15 as being something of a legend. Here are a few ways you may be familiar with her:
- She became a very public activist against sexual violence, openly talking about her assault at Psi U her freshman year.
- She also spoke out against members of Eclectic (which she was also a member of) for allowing her rapist into their home and perpetuating rape culture. Along with controversy surrounding a racial slur on a membership application, this contributed to Eclectic losing their house for the 2016-2017 school year.
- She, along with Tess Altman ’17, created a photo project titled Reclamation during the Fall 2015 semester. We covered the project in a 12,000-word interview with Karmenife, and then the photos went viral. Even Margaret Cho took notice.
Since graduating, Karmenife has gotten involved with numerous projects and collaborations. She created a portrait series of black icons and turned OKCupid harassment (and her comebacks) into art. She’s written and spoken extensively on how white feminism perpetuates rape culture. She’s a very active presence on social media. And, to top it all off, Karmenife has started to perform as a comedian.
She returned to campus last Friday for a one-hour stand-up routine, “Make Your Own Reparations 101,” and delivered a rousing set to the packed basement of Malcolm X House. Her jokes covered everything from the Wes administration, to casual racism at her workplace, to scamming white men on Tinder. Watch the video of her performance after the jump: