Tools of violence

Identity violence

Symbolic violence

Communication violence

Historic violence

Revisionist violence

Repetitive violence

Infantilising violence

Nostalgic violence

Communication violence

Prejudiced violence

Tiring violence

Destructive violence

Sexual violence

Gendered violence

Religious violence

Spiritual violence

Class violence

Linguistic violence

Colourist violence

Male violence

White male violence

Co-opting violence

Toxic violence

Co-opted toxic violence

Ideological violence

Paternalistic violence

Patriarchal violence

Symbolically patriarchal violence

Promotional violence

Just violence

Violence violence

Tiring violence

Too tired coz I’m broken and it’s the result of all the above and more violence

Mental violence

Inferred violence

Implicit violence

Bright-eyed violence

Broken souls violence

The once you had bright eyes but then you got co-opted and are stuck but still need peeps and I get it but don’t you get that I get it, so why you gotta erase the stuff we excavate and stop us entering and flinging open the doors-no revision check, not open the doors break all these fracking symbolic capitalistic colonial walls – so that we can all evolve together and your tired eyes can weep and rejoice in celebration with us all, bold beautiful and brave and bound to the forward March of completing our shared ancestors abolitionist principles and journeys to create a new fair fresh deprogrammed society so we keep being we and us, and you and me, happy and free together… urgh! Gah! For f***! *sigh* but you can’t and that’s violent, violence.

So instead here we stand. Ina pyramid and I keep trying to educate and create and collate and collaborate while we survive and you thrive but I don’t even cry coz I’m proud inside that at least someone who got one part of our ancestral spirit souls good side to the table where it’s all about whose there to dine, and whose outside… not about our fellow people who die and are also pushed towards pipelines to die. Whether quickly or slowly, that’s for us all to see with our eyes.

I’m too tired to speak, so I’ll leave it to that… and sleeps for the night.

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Diversity Initiatives in UK Media

This is a quick post rounding up some of the diversity initiatives, keynote speeches and policy document links. These are ‘texts’ I’ve come across when exploring the recent changes being fought for and advocated regarding diversity, representation and changes to UK broadcasting. All of them are publicly available, but I collate them here with a view to mapping out the contemporary terrain of UK broadcasting. The combination of governmental lobbying with industry involvement (and petitioning), is arguably creating new frameworks to improve the UK media ecology. Media ecology is a term to denote the study of media, through looking at the technology that media consists of, the communication that occurs through it and how they affect human environments.

However there is still a tendency within New Media scholarship that situate these changes, termed as political or national as belonging “In Real Life”, as though they do not touch upon or progress all media environs or have an impact globally. Especially as the driving force of many of these changes to the UK broadcasting, is under the banner of ‘Diversity’, a theme concerning identity/ies that resonate across global diasporas. Diasporas that are increasingly becoming connected through ‘cyberia’¹, cognisant of their history and practices and communicating for understanding and change.

A couple of years ago, in 2014, I fervently followed Lenny Henry’s call for action and diversity. Henry launched a petition to affect change through parliament, to boost the number and positions of workers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, or else there would be a mass boycott of the licence fee. In short, action was called for. Meaning significant changes needed to be made and promoted, made visible, through lobbying the then culture minister Ed Vaizey. Here’s an article by Tara Conlan on The Guardian, which also showcases the “call to action” video that was sent out. A video that collects and projects narratives around how “diversity” or rather differences are encountered by media professionals who are marked as different in the industry. Started up in April 2014. This change came off the back of published polls and research, whose findings prompted calls for ‘media regulators to be more vigilant in addressing coverage of combustible subjects such as immigration and race.’² The poll by the Runnymede Trust found that ’78 per cent of respondents of all ethnic backgrounds believe that media portrayal of minorities encourages discrimination’².  The media is important to people across the world, as it gives people a sense of who they are, what they’ve been and who they can become. In that vein the people across the media industries, within all positions came together to be visible in their calls for change toward media institutions and governments.

A few months later in 2014, ’50 leading creative figures’ sent an open letter to the BBC director general, Tony Hall and the executives of ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB – in short the broadcasting corporations that oversee our great media institutions. Articles here, and here. This time however, the call for change was clear. Dismayed at the numbers (5% of employees in creative industries are BAME despite making up 12.5% of population), the call was to ring-fence money to create a stable environment for BAME talent both behind and on screen. To increase the quality of programming. A similar economic framework exists to fulfil programming coming from outside of the London area, but here again these industry professionals feel the focus is on quantity, or ‘box-ticking’ perhaps,  rather than good-quality creative productions.

Now, lets be clear the pace of change has been slow. But by placing spotlights on the lack of diversity in media institutions, across the UK and even in the US, progress is arguably being made. It’s significant that the changes are being called for in the two culturally imperial centres of the world, the US and the UK. All of which reached mediated peak in 2016, so very recently. We’ve seen the ‘#OscarsSoWhite’ campaign, the ‘#BritsSoWhite‘ campaign, ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ – all of these requests from media environments, themselves communicated through mediation and technology show how identity has become a salient problem that must be countered with.

At the beginning of 2016, Idris Elba was invited by MP Tessa Jowell to give a keynote address Parliament on Diversity in the Media, full video of the address is here , a transcript that omits certain things is here. Also, an article by Paul Revoir at The Guardian that gives an overview and contextualising Elba’s career alongside other British talent, who feel the UK media industry needs change is here. Though the focus seems to be on celebrities, or the most visible a number of other persons have also got together to enact change. A debate occurred in parliament in April, 2016, though I must note it seems sparsely attended.

 

The tying together of Government and British media broadcasting has been there since the inception. But as the government resolves to make key changes and monitor our traditional media industries for the sake of equality, the key market of “new media” is often seen as a separate entity over which no control can be exerted. Despite the fact that the UK government is moving a number of legislation through Parliament that has affects upon the overall media ecologies around us, and will no doubt have repercussions on representation, connections and communication for years to come.

 


¹ J. Dean (2011) Communicative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics in Cultural Politics (Vol 1: 1 ; pp 51-74). Berg.

² I.Burrell (2014) ‘Media coverage of ethnic minority Britons ‘promotes racism’ in The Independent. Thursday 9 January 2014. Link

 

Tyrannical rule in UK. On the #EveofWar I cried. Now I cry #GivebackmyTax

The world is in a sad state of affairs.. Protests and the will of the general people, those who express it are not being heard, protests online, offline, mass-MP emailing, die-ins etc.

Our fellow countrymen who extend their voices in this arena who are impassioned either against or for are not being counted. Instead the politicians in their big house all seem to care about their record, their ego, their will that they are speaking for the common man/woman. Oh and following the party whip line, so they can keep getting paid for working toward those localised and personal projects that they care about. I honestly see no difference between many politicians and benefit cheats or unproductive “fine artists”. You know those people, the ones who could chew off your ear with eloquent bullshit, work hard at not working hard, be so organised to keep their effectively cheating and selfish way of life afloat. But above all it is about themselves, their thoughts, their work, their beliefs and we the ordinary folks grinding in our mills should deign ourselves honoured they are gifting their services, their intellect to the world.

Well I say no, no Mr/Mrs/Ms MP. Enough is enough.

The gulf war, the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 9/11, the “War on Terror”, Afghanistan wars, the Iraq War, The Great Double/Triple-dip recession, 7/7, the Blood in the Arab Spring, Libyan war, the tension and escalation in the Middle East .. The list is endless.

All these have occurred in the last 25 years. There are countless gun-attacks, massacres, bombings and attacks, not sure of the difference apart from geographical location, not listed. Not to mention other “natural disasters” that seem to be heard of more widely due to our networked society, but conversely also make the emotional affect of each marked event more impactful, as it is felt communally across the world.

But what is it that you do know? The people with the leisure and payment from the people to work towards a peaceful co-existence with nature with the world. Those who are paid to study life and people, of patterns and learning from last collective mistakes? What is it that you do with power that has been instilled within you by me and my fellow UK citizens.. You ignore a vast, vast chunk of societies will.

So hear this from the ground; we do not want war. We want those billions of pound that yet another war sinkhole will pump towards arm dealers, fascist nation-states (allies and otherwise), pockets of trade associates – we want that money. Our money. The money given into this nations great coffers for the use of its people. (and the Queen and her ilk – but that’s another story).

We need that money to feel secure. To feel great once again. To ensure our bins are collected on time. That our streets are awash with dirt and disease. To make sure public transport runs on time without asking for more than we earn ( which it already does in most parts of the U.K.). For the NHS and all that that umbrella contains; keeping baby incubators alive and in plenitude, beds in ER for loved ones, research into ailments, cancers, disease made with the general public and access in mind. Hospices to keep loved ones comfortable towards their departure from this world. Helping the displaced, the homeless, the lost, the sad, warm and functioning of sorts throughout the year. Keeping an honourable emergency services running with the people it’s serving in mind. Not targets for funding, but targets to save lives, to protect, to help.

I came to age many times over these past two-and-a-half decade. I was a week into my year 7 class, aged a mere baby at 11 when 9/11 occurred and the world was struck with this bug. This War that seems greater than the Great War, which I’ve learnt about since. This “War on Terror”, begun by ideological miscreants, with no end in sight but their future burning even brighter.

While my fellow people and I, us general folk who have managed to clamour and hold down the semblance of a life. One modelled on the lives you before us lived. You middle-aged and always care-free drivers of the road, perusers of retail departments, of long luncheons and coffee mornings.. As I aged 15 at the time of the recession hitting us have worked hard to keep hold of jobs, of paying taxes and fitting in like a jigsaw piece into the society I have seen before me, have served you.

My fellow generational, economic and social peers and I have been there, the mass that in our hurry to be part of this society, of “getting on with it”, not rocking the boat and being sensible have helped fund your tyranny. Even as you claimed expenses unjustly, were found out, were asked repeatedly to declare your true intentions and serve the will of the common people. Now, as we the people will that there is no war on Syria. A country whose people have no links to the attacks that occur here in this part of the world.

Your pontification and shallow arguments made me, your in every ways a lesser cry. As I saw everyone around me dying a little, frazzled and a social mess. You not only locked the doors to your big house, but also to the lives of the people you serve. You are no better than any tyrant you wage war on.

This is why I am excusing myself, economically from the situation you rule and that allows you to rule. As economics is the only ideology you hear.

Give me back my tax.
#GivebackmyTax

A lived personal “truth” on mental health and healing.

Emotions that rollercoaster severely often lead those of us between 15- 32 to widely speculate that we are flawed, mentally unstable, unfixable and an absolute failure. From experience, this is what “growing-up” is like for many of us today. As someone with a family of mental health issues I know this burden more than most. Coupled with the fact my lived knowledge helped me, empowered me even to become an intuitive carer, I was again blessed  to be a proximate therapist for many of my friends, loved ones, colleagues and even strangers, through the last decade. Though it could also be a curse  depending on the framing of each context and how I felt.

The flip-side of this knowledge is though that it is harmful. Toxic. It threatens your very being because it undoubtedly flaws your understanding and structuring of your environment, it’s cultures, people and most of all your own self.

I have found in the last few weeks that I am a multi-faceted being. Something I have run from, for… well a very long time. I shouldn’t feel the need to classify myself as “unhinged”, “emotional”, “bi-polar” (undiagnosed) or “mental”. However this is the lived reality for our culture. We are pushed to “process”. I myself love this term. But what does it mean? Is it not just another way for cultural perfection and the need for simplicity  to over-ride our individuality? Our autonomous perceptions? The nurtured genetic truth that every single one of us is different. Unique. My truth is not your truth. My mind is not your mind. My pain is not your pain.

This is where my criticism of mental health or rather personal mindfulness comes in. I am sick and tired of the world thinking that there are quick fixes. That time only exists to be spent not given. Because this the truth as I have seen in. The world is a quagmire of ideological paradoxes. There is no one truth, but this does not stop our governments, our organisational structures, our media, our communities, our schooling, our healthcare, our families and friends even from portraying that there is. No-where is it more evident than in mental health.

Healing can only begin until you, YOU learn the way that you can become grounded to yourself, to your loved ones, to your life and to your context. Only then can YOU move forward. Take those steps to realise and be content with yourself. The entirety of yourself. Meaning…. well meaning whatever that means for you.

Now this doesn’t have to be on your own. Please don’t think I am saying that. As someone who herself is a very communal being, I know the (at times harmful) disconnect that occurs when you are trying to heal the rifts you find in your life. Healing comes in many different ways. It could mean a darkened room you lying on a couch, or a drink with a friend where you literally spew, vomit, pour out everything that ails you. It could even be colouring, doodling, or simply writing a very long-winded [some might say pointless] piece of writing. Or something short like a pathetically simple bit of poetry that regurgitates old syntaxes and quite possibly taxes your souls and those that are joined to it. What I will say is that all of this takes time. The one commodity we never think of. The one we dedicate and plaster everywhere but never truly consider. Never appreciate. Time.

It takes time to learn what is best for ourselves. It takes even longer working damn hard to achieve that which is best for ourselves. Especially when at times it can feel that you are losing the battle with your own misgivings, or community-wide nay-saying. Particularly when professionality, or lack of it, is held out as a “Stop” sign to halt any healing you are perhaps in the midst of.  So what if I didn’t train how others saw the illnesses I see before me? Or if I didn’t learn how we as a species learnt to dissect, disturb and define our experiences – and then destroy the visions that were not held to be “true” enough, down the years? Or if I didn’t learn the language to decipher these encoded inherited knowledges, so I could further obscure, “cure” and minimise our hurt?

We as a people forget at times that there was a time when it was only us. The old saying; “You leave the world as you enter it- alone”, for me is a great way to start forging my inner-strength again. It reminds me that the only path and timeline I should consider is my own. Harder to do than to say. I think it is more difficult for me, being a person who believes unreservedly in spirituality, community, souls, soulmates, romance and familial contexts and love in all it’s forms. Doubly hard as a women who has internalised my oppression so that I find that I can easily sacrifice my time for others, without regret for my own path. (This sounds so weird to write, but it’s so true it’s scary. Anxiety and introspection overload)

I must end. This knowledge serves only to share my story. My re-found power, whilst I still have it and before my shame, anxiety and fear causes me to loose this clarity in which I find myself. Because despite my confidence and belief in my words here, I equally know that these self-affirming statements I start creating, often disappear in the face of my crippling inner-anxiety that I have learnt to mask, by learning from true masters of course (<3 Mothers). The me I kill every single day.

In short, we are individually a collective. We form a vast, confused, unknowing, educated, blinded ilk. We have many abilities. None more so to vocalise, describe and create. What we create better than most is oppressive ways to silence ourselves. Eradicate our existences. Our uniqueness. We must stop this communal self-harming by accepting our own truths. Whether it’s by arriving at a very individual system or process, or one that requires a greater number of people than just yourself. We must end the obscuring of our hurt and the ingratitude of time.

No-one must be allowed to capitalise on our basic human need to heal. To share, to oralise our hurt so that compassion can be given, in turn so that we may travel down our life-paths to attain self-knowledge and contented security, pass on our love and leave this world in the way that we arrived. Happy, free and with a primal breath.