Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: white

White Night

I went to a thing last night at one of our theatres. This is not about the thing itself, but more about who these things are for. There were two shows going on; one in the big theatre and another in the small one, but they were white shows, and almost all of the audience was white too. The whole feeling in the space was one of whiteness. And the whole thing felt like there were a hundred white elephants in the room. Big, old, stinky, immovable, Surf white elephants filled the space and all the white people squeezed past them and said nothing.

Now of course it is funny that I am saying this. I am white. My date was white. And most of the people I spoke to (except for the people at the door, obviously, and the ushers, obviously, and the bar people, of course) were also white. The people I spoke to and connected with are fantastic, and enwhitenened, and aware and concerned. But we were all in a huge room together in Cape Town, South Africa, and the whiteness was blinding in the night.

This is not how we change things. Almost all white casts playing to almost all white audiences is not ok. And we will pay for these mistakes if we aren’t already paying. We need to change it right now.

The deadly whine of inaction

Did I promise to write something every day? Did I commit this to myself? Here is the danger. I have been stopping myself from writing because my thoughts turn political and I keep trying to gauge the temperature in the room for my own political voice. I have become self conscious, and awkward, strung between what’s politically correct (I mean that quite earnestly), rebellious, reactionary, very white, indulgent, racist, offensive, privileged and passive aggressive. I haven’t felt like I have had this problem before and and I need help to traverse it.

But. Why should anyone help me with this? It is nonsense compared to what is really going on. People are busy with life or death scenarios. NGO’s doing amazing work have no money at all. People are victims of crime and injustice and poverty and genuine lack of any kind of delivery of anything. Even my industry of theatre is its own battleground of no resources, corruption, egos and patriarchy, with terrible feelings and hurts and rages and helplessness.

So I am a little paralysed and useless. And even as I say that I hear my own navel gazing bullshit. I want to be part of some radical change and yet I have no idea how to initiate it. I am desperate for someone to whisper it into my ear, but I am suspicious of the who, and will criticise the how.

And all this has silenced my voice of indignation, of outrage, of ideology. When I woke up this morning though I saw a very particular trap. This is the design of politics right now. This place of corruption and capture, of shenanigans, greed, total lack of consequence and blatant criminality can only happen when there is no genuine push back. To expect it from other political parties is useless and naive. To expect it from the poorest and most suffering is wrong. To expect somebody else to help me find the way to do it is a waste of time, and a privilege I cannot afford.

I don’t know what I am going to do yet, but I am going to start by finding my voice, and then calling shit out.

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