I hope that you won’t mind that I am choosing a public forum to respond to your most recent blog post. I guess I’m mirroring your form, and I guess I’m hoping that somehow, at some point, this responding to each other in a public way will make some kind of a difference.
What I would really like to be doing, in this letter is to tell you that it is going to be okay. That this funding didn’t come through, but that some other will. I’d like to tell you that if it doesn’t, it will be okay because you will find some other way in. I’d like to tell you that if all else fails, you might also just give up and do something else, and that, that too, would be okay.
We’ve not known each other for a long time, but I am guessing that you already know that if I said any of those things, I would be lying through my teeth. The lie would be so big that they would rot in the process, falling one by one until I have to go out to the pharmacy and buy dentures so I can get on tomorrow, and speak properly, and keep taking up space…
Instead, what I will tell you, is that your voice, your ideas, your doing, your taking up of space, your leadership has been invaluable to the development of my artistic practice, my professional skill – and also, all these things are making me a richer human.
This is partly because that you are one of the few people who holds a mirror out to me. You are one of the few voices that says… there are things about me that you cannot see, that you cannot hear…
In my show that never gets the funding, never gets the commission, there is this section:
Tonight, as I stand here in front of you, I find myself wondering what you can already know about me. What do you see? What does my accent tell you? What about the colour of my skin?
[Ewa makes the image: This is what an immigrant looks like.]
As I stand here in front of you, I find myself wondering about all the things that you cannot see.
The serpentine scar at the back of my head.
The beating of my heart, slightly more rapid than usual, pumping blood to my lungs so air can be let out, so you can hear me.
The steps I took to be here this evening; on a map and from within.
I wonder these things about you, too.
It won’t get the work done, and it certainly won’t pay the rent – yours or mine – but I’d like you to know that I am grateful for the attention you bring to the things others cannot always see. There is a new, quiet, kind of a revolution.
It is of care and attention
It is of unexpected lineage
Of coming from a past that knows
There are many futures
Here’s to the one that will work!
Your stranger of a friend, never competitor,