I was out with my friend enjoying festive foods and an overdue catch up when ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’ started playing on the radio. Despite being blasted loud and proud for all to hear, I wondered, aren’t people concerned about the lyrics of this song?
In the UK, history textbooks often reflect a deep unwillingness to acknowledge the full story of our blood-soaked colonial past. Consequently, very little is said to challenge the racism and injustice which forms the backdrop to our present day…
September. Autumn. A new season has begun. As I look to the year ahead, I realise that things have changed, and I consciously try to reorientate myself to a new reality.
When I was fifteen, a woman from a feminist organisation visited my school to have a discussion with us about equality. I don’t remember much of what she said, but I do remember that she started the discussion with the question “who here is a feminist?”
This lockdown year it was especially important to find meaning, but looking back, I think I was prone to finding too much. I have held on too long and too tightly, to people, or ideas, or expectations, and it’s time to let go.
I had this repeatedly screamed at me once. It was the most bizarre and intense interaction I have ever shared with anybody. Now I can laugh at how the situation came about – it involved a pair of hair clippers on a very hot day – but I won’t get into that.
A few years ago, my friend and I were leaving school and walking to the bus stop – we were having one of our daily post-school debriefs. I walked that walk twice a day, every day, for two years. The walk is ultimately one long road between the school and the bus stop, a long road down which I have had many a conversation with many different people…
There is a lot of stimulation in the modern world, demanding our attention and competing for our focus. The option to say ‘no’ is always present but when we do, it is all too often ignored. Ignored by algorithms designed specifically to pretend to listen, but which actually discreetly disregard our less convenient answers.
The discomfort has been omnipresent; on a global, national, societal and personal level, COVID-19 has interrupted every area of our lives. There are many factors that can affect our vulnerability to the virus, like income, age, profession, homelife etc – factors which should be arbitrary but unfortunately are not.