Steganography is the practice of embedding secret messages within openly accessible information systems. For centuries the tactic has been used by underrepresented communities as a tool for protection, survival, and resistance in the face of oppression. Today, in an age of permanent surveillance, steganography remains a powerful strategy for groups looking to subvert inequitable structures of power and exploitation. In the ongoing column Dark Cousin on Sourcetype, I offer embodied reflection into the evasive territory of the visible and invisible, and take readers down a meandering path of coded language throughout history.
For this second piece of Dark Cousin, I consider on the pros and cons of oblique communication, labyrinthine tactics for survival in Chinese diasporic realities and musings on how my mother and I navigate these treacherous entanglements.