Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fresh growth, Colonialism and Red 233

We've (in London) had a blast of what feels like spring, I've  managed to spend some time down on the allotment and also performed the first cutting of our lawn for 2016.
Back to Ground

It's good to do these things as the seasons all have their good points but Spring does feel like a fresh chance to get things right and prove that we can learn from mistakes.
A Grassy roof

Small fire


Of course a big part of the pleasure of being down there was seeing and hearing what people are up to - a shed with grass on the roof?

It's true!


Colonialism


So much talk and thought of colonialism today.
I have read a very challenging chapter of Frantz Fanon's 1952  book Black Skin White Masks (The chapter The Negro and Psychopathology)  - I came to it cold without realising the writer's own history and the context of the writing - it made for an uncomfortable reading for me - I wonder what he'd write on the subject if he were alive today- it does (to me) have an element of  a 'Victim mentality' which I would hope is less prevalent  in the 21st century but I have undoubtedly not had to experience or the struggles that Frantz did.

The weight of language and the significance of translation should not also be totally discounted

Also I heard further discussion of the topic of statues and commemorations of those  once heroes of empire  now discredited as racist colonialists - should the colleges of Oxford be renamed and the statues removed?

I can understand the nature of the  discomfiture but am not sure if the statues to Cecil Rhodes should be removed - how would Plato measure up against modern morality - is there any one individual who can be viewed as anything other than a human being (including Gandhi for example)?

And a more nuanced and celebratory example of the British Empire could be seen (as one reading anyway) of the British-Nigerian Artist Yinka Shonibare who was Kirsty's guest on Desert Island Discs today.

Yinka provided a nuanced example of an artist and of nationality who has risen above his physical limitations and constructed his own identity beyond the simple one we may choose to impose on him, he was too the subject of a smashing BBC 4 TV documentary on What artists do all day which you might be able to find somewhere.

Red 233


as seen on army knives


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