window is a blog Maria Amidu started writing in January 2015. It is a repository for her random musings on significant and insignificant things…
Minority ethnic, nope
BAME, hell no
Brown, yep my skin is definitely this
I’m coining Colourful, it’s positive, and because none of this should have ever happened in the first place
So does that mean to be white is to be colourless…
…labels, they are a murky business!
Recently, someone asked me to complete a survey about my racist experiences in the arts, sigh
Them: I just wanted to flag this survey, which closes on the 28 July. It’s coming from a genuine place. Hopefully you’ve already clocked it.
Me: I did see the survey, I made the decision not to complete it for these reasons: I have too many racist experiences to mention over my years in the arts (and in the world), which are often too painful to recount; and in all honesty I’ve been filling in these kinds of forms for years and I’ve now reached saturation point. What I would find more helpful and progressive is if people completed a survey to recount incidences where they expressed racist attitudes or acted on racist assumptions. I totally understand the survey is coming from a good place and I sincerely hope it helps yield the vital social transformation so many of us are longing to witness and experience.
Them: Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this survey. Would you be okay if I fed those back anonymously to CVAN – particularly your second point? I suspect a lot of people feel as turned off as you do about another survey like this.
Me: I would say that people are more than turned off, people are exhausted and fragile, and do not want to be re-traumatised. We have, without doubt, moved beyond the point of colourful people recounting our racist experiences. It’s time to have conversations about accountability, we’ve said and done enough. You can share my points with CVAN and I’m happy to be cited – it’ll make things easier for me if people know where I stand on this issue.
Sault’s Untitled (Black Is) is an incantation made from racist trauma. It describes and mirrors precisely the emotional tornado that comes from living in a world where people feel entitled to hate you for no reason, and act on that hate in subtle and overt ways, the cognitive dissonance of this daily experience and the courage it takes to carrying on living through it. This is why brown people are so good at music, sometimes it is the only medicine. Miracles literally saved me from disintegrating, not just because of the melody and lyric but because it comes after all the outpouring in the tracks before it, just at the point in the narrative when your despair is about to destroy you. Genius!
with FrancisKnight about making public art
needed to put these two reoccurring thoughts somewhere:
who gets to define a good life… is it just the haves constantly telling the have nots where they have gone ‘wrong’…
and I’ve been wondering about this term common sense… is it yet another way of privileging conventional thinking over the imagination…
Bare Minimum Manifesto – new paradigm, bring it on