Featured Image: Actor, Singer, Artist, Angela Wynter
Angela Wynter as Mama and Alisha Bailey as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun JOHAN PERSSON look at their heads: heart shaped…..they are energy, they are life!
It’s impossible to give credit to everyone but we should try to share the possibility.
When billionaire Robert F Smith paid off the student loans of the alumni of Morehouse College on Sunday 19th May 2019 and asked them to pay it forward, meaning do your best, create something better, he was speaking to the past and future, in the present. The students chanted: it’s an ‘MVP’. The shock of the possibilities that had been given them made them immediately want to share it.
An MVP is a Minimum Viable Product: a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. When the class of 2019 in Atlanta cheered ‘MVP’, they were using irony to say ‘no product, no success comes without a human source, price, value’ that should be acknowledged and itself valued. They saw it being scaled up, through and with them. They were the product, the hope in its every dimension.
In trying, Robert Smith is taking us all to a higher level of understanding. At the Morehouse College address, there was something humane, spiritual and organic that we need to restore in Britain because we need to see beyond our selves, to learn: reciprocity, call and response, value, appreciation and a belief in the wonder, fun and entertainment in living: the practice of the belief in trying.
We’ve allowed the rights of a few to plan, develop, accrue, without accountability, for too long. The shadow of colonialism, racism and slaveries is a long one and the redemption that young dancers like Nafisah Barba see in art to me seems like the way this need for possibility, resolution and happiness are part of a worldwide need to be valued and contribute something as individuals. The arts are always developing and evolving our personal relationship to personal, social, cultural and political expression that we need and aspire to collectively.
The art of being human and humane is in our hearts, it teaches, stands in for, acts for, fights, is a friend and a spirit guide: it helps us find ourself: we need a culture that encourages an individual to act well as well as to be well(!)
History is always important and our right to individuality is part of that shared history.
To find the places in our own bodies, minds, personal journeys where we can understand the wheres, whys and hows of their own ‘before’ in relation to other ‘befores’ means that we develop our own capacity and have the ability to help develop the capacity of others individually, socially, economically and culturally.
The reason why this is so important is that this will help us move into a different future: with capacity for all, not a contest wherever we are for our right to exist with whomever we are with, partner, family, friends….
At the moment we have an understanding of human capacity that serves the interests of the gig and gang labour economies and supply chains that manage legal and illegal trafficking of people and products as well as developer control of land and assets in a way that argues to itself that rights for everyone is too expensive.
The gap between the need for housing, proper, sustainable work has been laid out in the Capita led One Public Estate programme where social house building only reaches 30 percent of all new development on public owned land. Two Million people are homeless and we need 150,000 houses a year to be built to begin to meet the lack. Companies like PSP (called Public Sector Public Limited company), have been engaged by local authorities to dispose of public assets without scrutiny.
The feudal vestiges of the old forms of possession, are still present in the supply chains that straddle crime: legality and labour exploitation that’s often dressed up for the summer on the great estates and the ‘festival season’, the market towns and farming: much of it is about the same old privileges and exploitations that some try to improve (but still continue the same kinds of relationship of patronage and superiority).
The bullying of this culture (we are permanently here, you are our ‘guest’ or you have ‘licence’ is part of this language of domination to anyone who doesn’t agree with this monocultural/permacultural economy. Relation is self interested and it pretends that the person it’s exploiting is just as self interested and if they’re not then more fool them.
The rentier and gig and gang labour economy likes laughing at the advantage it has over the people it sees as its constituents and laughs at anyone who takes their own past with as much historical seriousness. What this means practically is that if you aren’t part of the story that this version of the economy writes about itself and its family, it’s not interested in you and your future and your capacity is irrelevant. People who manage this part of our economy have convinces themselves that they are helping people who aren’t quite right and if they didn’t do it these people would be homeless.
My feeling is that if there had been more council house building and more jobs between the owner manager and professional class created with education, training and humane work contracts then the kind of economy we would have would be much more dynamic and resilient, less fragile and less dependant. Mrs Thatcher was mugged by the party she brought to power and the supply chain monster and its lobby that’s distorted and deformed the evolution of parliamentary accountability pretends it’s called UK plc when really it’s like an addiction itself and needs to be confronted, addressed, broken up and down so that MPs and the country can get to grips with a better quality of life for everyone.
Instead of parliament having time and space to mitigate the markets in everyone’s lives where all the parties work together to balance economy and vested interests we’ve got a cambridge analytican hate propaganda culture maintaining segmentation in the franchise: streaming networks and connections that push stereotyping fatalism, misinformation, hate speech and a view that wealth is the only goal and don’t question where it came from or how it was made.
The problem with technology pushing the ideology that tech can only agglomerate when we all know that really it can be very different: criteria for communication not based on wealth, privilege and convention and not assuming children are part of their numbers without permission. We can have better tech than one that asserts leaders and followers and serves the worst character instincts of people, that works well on twitter but causes life problems. We need a social media that is truly social and creative, that is small, local, environmental and encourages beauty and expression.
We need humanness and myriad potential which has nothing to do with class, gender, age, physical or mental attributes but to do with how that human awareness is received and perceived in the world. At the moment we sit in various parts of the gig or gang labour, rentier part of the production process and supply chain, pretending that we can spot the signs of incompetence, fragility, in our product, in our team, in our environment and finding ways of accommodating the venture capital supply chains and mechanisms rather than criticising them and changing them to a smaller, more humane and ethical scale and really engaging with the job, our potential and with others without fear or favour.
We need more than one view of how everything needs to be, more than one way of understanding what a skill is, what a job is what a profession is, what new jobs could look like. We are multiple, yet we are incrementally reducing the rights of people, decapacitating them by administering care as if it is our right to snuff people out of conversations, debates, discussions we want to have but decide they can’t be involved in.
When was that democratically decided? We’ve overpowered our bureaucracy with endless meetings and discussions about shared databases (that we promptly outsource!) and now, like demented algorhythms ourselves seeking viral recognition, we act like bits of tech: forever looking at detail instead of a bigger, strategic picture: policing ourselves and each other in our relationships, inside health, education, workspaces, determining who should be given space for their identity on the basis of criteria we all know are suspect.
We need to fine tune our sense of what capacity is to liberate ourselves from the slaveries of then and their legacies now: Nazism and the second world war, how atrocities in India and Pakistan after the end of British and European, Chinese and Russian colonisations happened (and might not have happened, the same of Afghanistan and Iran and Iraq), as well as the continuing horrors of organised mafia and militia crimes. How often future horrors are empowered by the scale of technologies and how agglomeration in society prefigures agglomeration in the algorhythm.
We need to control the need in ourselves to segment and control that has come from beta versions of tech and to understand what we aren’t seeing under our noses that, like the purloined letter of literature is there, under our noses: and ask the questions that will help us know more about the chains around supply and demand and seek ways to change them.
We need to know where the power struggles are: who they are for and against: who or what can move, are moved, can speak, so we can make relation, trade, ethics the new world of emotion and expression and capacity so that people in affluent and non affluent parts of Nottingham, as well as in America, Europe, Africa, India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan have the capacity and confidence to participate equally in the future of our world.