- " Michelangelo achieved the feeling I’m after, he makes the viewers feel that they are trapped in a room where all the doors and windows are bricked up, so all they can do is butt their heads forever against the wall. "
I stood in the Rothko room at the Tate Modern; that sentiment rolling round and round and round inside my head. Did Rothko achieve his aim? I don’t know (probably, considering what comes next) but what I couldn’t stop thinking was that this is exactly how the feminist struggle and constant striving for intersectional politics makes me feel. We are trapped inside the room of our cultural, our society and this political climate. It is a place where the shouts of women, people of colour, trans people, disabled people, people of all genders and sexualities are easily ignored. A place where the screams of those fighting are shut down and blocked off (bricked up).
I don’t like this place. It is bad for all of us (except maybe the very few, the exception to prove the rule). I want to remove the bricks from the windows, to knock down the walls and let in the light.
Through my art work, and in my life I am trying to explore every angle of feminism and intersectional politics that I can. I am listening to the stories of people who have experience of the things I can never truly know and should never assume to understand. I sam trying hard never to speak over someone else or disregard their experience of the world, however different it is from mine. I am reading and writing and learning all the time. This road is long and tough and sometimes I want to give up, or at least stop for a little while.
In fact, I could give up! And that is part of the problem. I am a woman and so can (and often do) experience sexism and discrimination based on that, but the reality is I am in a place of massive privilege. I am straight, white, able bodies, from a wealthy country, I have a family that can support and love me. These things protect me, I can walk away from these battles secure in the knowledge that I will be fine. So many, many, many people don’t have that luxury and so it is my responsibility not to walk away, even when I have really, really had enough of butting my head against the socially constructed walls of our world.