what is this
This is not a passion project or a sob story or even a portfolio or professional website. Not really. Although all those terms could be used to describe this. Maybe that was and remains partially the intention behind all of this - my grown-up, not-so-private journal - but despite receiving feedback about how I could make things clearer, I've stubbornly chosen to stick to my way of doing things.
There's a reason for this.
I have devoted the great majority of my resources, privilege, opportunity, energy, effort, time, blood, sweat, tears, and whatever else, to the pursuit of knowledge and excellence. I'm happy to report that I think I've succeeded on the knowledge part because I know now after having completed multiple degrees from reputed and prestigious institutions that I really don't know anything at all. And as for the excellence part, well, as highly subjective as I believe that may be, I guess I'll devote the rest of my life to its pursuit and combine it with that other ephemeral word - success - and then be satisfied that I did what I was meant to do.
There came a time - well truth be told I'm still living through this time right now - where everyone just said without saying it - what the hell are you doing? I think I said it the most. I've definitely reiterated this fact a lot, even whilst being somewhat aware that I'm not meant to write any of this publicly. So, this is what that is - all that perhaps I was never meant to do but managed to do through hard work, self-belief, opportunity, privilege, all that jazz, some magic dust, and dare I say, audacious bravery. I haven't given much thought as to what it will lead to since commercialisation and monetisation have not made it to the top of my priority list. And trust me, I've heard it all. Condescension: "you can't live on love and good wishes," "do you even know what pragmatic means," so on and so forth. In the digital age this seems like my way of reaching out, without trying too hard, to anyone and everyone who may be remotely interested in what I have to say. Yet, I'm not exactly trying to sell myself, or anything else. At least not here. Not really. I just want to do the things I perhaps was not meant to do - and I have done them, often self-destructively so - and not because I believe it makes me more interesting, rebellious, or attractive, but simply because there is poetic justice to experiencing myself. And that experience is largely inexplicable, but I do want to try, as that is in my view an integral part of my artistry.
Before becoming a commodity, an employee, another headshot, glossy photograph, or whatever else, I wanted to ensure that I carve out a space for myself, which I am not going to hide, but which I'm going to keep as mine. It has its hidden costs and obvious disadvantages. But I like the idea of people being open about themselves. I think there is immense value in vulnerability. We are taught to hide it at all costs. And it's extremely interesting that I used costs twice, once to imply what you may lose or are losing, and once to imply prevention of loss at a loss - it's incredibly stifling. Not everyone chooses to be in the arts or declare themselves an artist. All artists don't make websites where they go off on philosophical - if we can call it that - rants about several things. It's not about is it necessary. It's about artistic freedom. Shaking off shackles, leaving behind pressure, emotional blackmail, subjugation, oppression, sexism, misogyny, regressive ideas, and embracing a process that you are acutely aware involves a great deal of everything a lot of people will never have, but you do it for you, and then you hope it means something to someone else. At least that's how I've come to think about it.
There is great inequality in the world, many restrictions, a severe lack and abundance of everything - yes, but anyone who has managed to end up here should know that despite the odds of it all, despite the glaring discriminations and injustices, if you find yourself in a position to have a voice, and you have both the intention and conviction to stand for something that means something to you, then even with the tiniest amount of immunity, it is my belief that you must use it, whatever the consequences may be. And yes, that is dangerous. There will be conflict, right and wrong, moral, ethical, spiritual clashes. Maybe even outright war. I know there are viewpoints I abhor and fight against. There are people with ideas, opinions, and beliefs, that I think should change because they don't align with my worldview or sense of humanity and it's not rebellion without a cause.
There is inequality because there is disparity in power, and the desire to fight the power wherever and however it presents itself is not something I came up with.
Nor did I come up with the desire to improve the world, ourselves, and create beauty.
It's who we are. It's what we have to do. It is living.
So, I believe wholeheartedly that whenever and however possible you must make yourself visible and heard because "to think differently from those in power does not make you irresponsible" and nor does being different make you incorrect, abnormal, or an outcast.
That's what this is.