Saturday, September 03, 2005

Back To Black

I went to the Whitechapel's Back To Black exhibition today, focussed around contemporary Black art, and, frankly, I was quite touched. Someone there remarked that he had never seen such a strong proportion of black people in a exhibition, as opposed to the masses of white intellectuals that usually roam the sterile rooms. And it kind of hit me that I did not know this culture very well. Apart from the commercialized Malcom X, Black Panthers and Luther King, I do not know their medium of expression and their cultural manifestations. And, especially, I wondered if black people themselves were in tune with their art and cultural history.
Stupidly, I could've asked one of them, but I feared it somehow un-politically correct as a casual (white) reader to inquire about such a predisposition. I know it may sound stupid, but there still is a lot of stigma and controversy around the subject of racial black and white, and, as a general observation of my surroundings, they are quite a closed-knit exclusive community. And having lived in Beirut for so long, where the black community is virtually non-existent, I admit that I have only met a handful in my past year in London, and "black" areas on the outskirts of the city always feel uneasy for the whites...
Why is it still a touchy subject? The recent events of New Orleans have angered me in the sense that the degeneration into anarchy is almost exclusively among the black population: that could easily lead into more stigma about black communities being violent and dangerous, anchoring the prejudice against the black. It is the same with fundementalist Islamists creating a distorted view of milllions of 'regular' muslims.
I don't know where this post is leading to, but basically... what the fuck is going on with this world?! And when the fuck is this all going to end?!

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