tldr; I feel exhausted and checkmated by British White Supremacy, and I’m struggling to invest energy in engaging with it.
I’ve recently found it difficult to my research justice. Over the last few months I have been wrestling with ideas on how to preserve elements of diasporic culture in a society that aims to capitalize on it and, in the contemporary, hyper-productive values of rampant capitalism, give people more of the “good” stuff (food, clothing, music, aesthetic art, celebratory events, things that make people feel good) whilst diminishing the “bad” (historical grounding, cultural significance, the contemporary state of racial divides, things that make people feel bad). I used to believe this was an issue very separate from the arts, under the illusion that such an industry that prides itself on being forward-thinking could be believed. However, after 5 years of operating in fine art institutions, I have come to realize this is not the case.
I am both highly frustrated and exhausted by this realization, but more than that, I am conflicted about where to progress with my work from here. My immediate response is one of pessimism: regardless of what I do, or what aspects of the system of white supremacy I question, it can be appropriated into a new paradigm, which in turn can be made into something profitable by that system. The immediate follow-thought is to make nothing, and give up on providing kindling for an already all-consuming fire. Just observe how the Punk movement retreated to isolation in rural Scotland, while the dredges of it’s shocking aesthetics sells everything from butter to McDonald’s (being the most capitalistic example I can think of).
This is a difficult discussion to have on both sides: on one side being such a strong emotional attachment to the subject, whilst on the other side, a yearning to maintain the status quo of something that not only works beneficially, but also provides educational shielding from the realities of such maintenance. The combination of the two of makes the discussion draining, and I feel like I’m at the end of my energies to engage with it.
Self-preservation is my only option, however that manifests itself.