Brighton Road Dissidence?
Wandering along Brighton Road, I overhear a leisurely but intense and highly detailed conversation about Worthing events. I gauge probable friendliness and interrupt the pair, explaining that I’m intruding because they sound like real insiders who know Worthing well, are passionate about it, and probably have informed opinions about The Question. Whoa! I’ve opened a tinderbox.
Worthing is not the new Brighton. Brighton is culturally diverse and it meets all areas of equal opps. Both business and the voluntary sector are thriving over there, unlike here. Here, we’re sandwiched between some very good local authorities – Brighton, Chichester, Eastbourne – and we’ve just not got the same thing. Look around! There’s so many business rates being paid here by BAME business owners, but they do not have a place at the table. No voice. This is what we need – more voices. Not tokenism, but real voice. Where is Black History Month, where is International Women’s Day? What initiatives get taken here? There’s women, gays, BAME people here paying council taxes, paying business rates, but they’re not being given a voice. It’s the same old networks who run everything here. Same faces in every place, on every committee, all of it – check it out! And they don’t have any idea. They keep filling in grant forms and not getting grants – because they do not understand about working with local partners, or with local communities – they do not know how to do it. Norwich is an old cathedral city, but is more 2017 than this place!
Blimey! Oligarchy? Stuck in the past? Worthing governed via white (het? cis? male?) privilege? Do they mean stuff like this? I’ve no idea what’s true or what’s hype in all this, but it sounds like something I’ll have to be attentive to, in case it comes up again. Anthropological technique: make an index card / nVivo entry, file it, wait … If it’s important, there’ll be more than one entry.
Homage to Schwitters. Martina Ziewe.
Martina Ziewe is an Artist based in West Sussex. The work shown here is very recent work made from found objects on her walks along the Sussex Coast. She treats walking as a meditation and creates art work from the found pieces as a continuation of the meditation practice.