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It is ironic how post modern identity politics often deepens differences and makes the underlying problem worse
The most distasteful article from TE I have read since a few weeks ago.
Decolonize via colonization? Defined as establishing political and cultural control over another, those who are fighting a noble fight nonetheless are falling into the trap of becoming what they abhor.
Instead, establish your own spaces and invite the world to take in a diverse range of voices and choose who they prefer to lend and ear to. Enforcement simply provokes reaction, which in turn leads to more provocations.
Leaving aside the political motivations of some of these campaigns and, valid or not, charges of "institutional racism," which no two persons seem able to agree on what "racism" means, let alone the phrase, there seems a better option than the protesters' or activists' approaches.
In his book "David and Goliath," author M. Gladwell relays stories of how underdogs overcame those much more powerful than they. The underlying theme to all the underdogs' stories is that they made the best of their constraints and used their limited resources to greater effect than their counterparts. They often had to be dogged to play the long game as well with no immediate signs of success.
Comparatively, the author noted how 1860s Parisian Impressionist artists not selected to exhibit at the Salon amongst the elite of the day decided to make the best of their spurned lot and competed head-on with the Establishment by forming their own exhibition venue. They eventually won out.
If the "art-justice" activists feel they're being treated unfairly and that their stories aren't being told adequately, there is plenty of room for competition. Best of all, if their competing view is powerful enough, then everyone wins including art creators, critics and admirers over time.
Campaign of "shame," again regardless whether such is a fair response, is bound to lead to backlash, games of one-upmanship with no winners and eventually nowhere but at best token, insincere gestures meant to pacify.
A phenomenally insightful post. Thank you so much for writing it.
perfect post, articulate an concise
I find particularly intriguing the "gal dem". George Eliot was English. As was Jane Austen. As was Mary Shelley. As were the Bronté Sisters. What was the objection to them?
The "political correctness" (or is it "incorrectness"??) meme has gone totally crazy.
As someone who grew up in a province with two competing versions of history it is self-evident that different communities have different stories to tell. It isn't "politically correct" to point this out. But there is a certain irony that an exhibition on punk was the target of disruption. More conflict between immigrant and white working class cultures?
This sort of thing is always subject to the likelihood that worthy objects of attention will be replaced by less worthy that fit politically correct categories. If that pitfall can be avoided, the more the merrier. There is no doubt that many wonderful things can be rescued from an unmerited neglect. Of course, the culture-consuming public has the last say. Supporting empty galleries ought to be the last result of bringing forward things that deserve an audience.
More identity arguments from so called educated university students. Deeply disturbing. If you want to convince me that a particular work is worth reading/viewing over another, make an argument based on the relative comparison in quality of the works, not on the identity of the person/people who made and wrote them.
I guess that the point is that many of these students have problems to evaluate the value of a book, which leads them to arguments on diversity and colonial stereotypes. I think that it is difficult matter to decide if some post-colonial books should be included in the curriculum since they can widen the world view of students but their literary value may not be sufficient. Unfortunately, there are no objective criteria.
"....but their literary value may not be sufficient. Unfortunately, there are o objective criteria."
Try read, if you haven't, Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country, published in 1948. Objective criteria not only are a plenty, they stare at one in the face.
I haven't read the book but if it is so easy maybe you can manage to name few of them. I am really curious.
Oh no! I didn't mean to say it's easy (for that matter, anything is easy). I just meant there's a post-colonial book that is good. Not just good, wonderful!. Re criteria, perhaps following link will help. I certainly cannot do better than the material imparted there, not lightyears away: Principles of Literary Criticism | work by Richards | Britannica.com
I can only wish I had an access to this book and time to read it.
What a load of nonsense. Most of the literature in the English language has been written by English people; it's not institutional racism when literature classes end up mostly including white authors. English-language literature from the former empire is relatively recent and relatively nascent, and has not had the same impact on literary culture as British and American writing.