At this terrible Brexit moment…
The Buddha of Suburbia, BBC, 1993
From The Guardian:
The British creativity I grew up with – in pop, fashion, poetry, the visual arts and the novel – has almost always come from outside the mainstream: from clubs, gay subcultures, the working class and from the street. Many of the instigators may have been white, but they were not from the middle class – a class that lacks, in my experience, the imagination, fearlessness and talent to be truly subversive.
The truth is, the conservative fear of other voices is not because of an anxiety that artists from outside the mainstream will be untalented, filling up galleries and bookshops with sludge: it’s that they will be outstanding and brilliant. Those conservatives will have to swallow the fact that, despite the success of British artists, real talent has been neglected and discouraged by those who dominate the culture, deliberately keeping schools, the media, universities and the cultural world closed to interesting people.
It is good news that the master race is becoming anxious about whom they might have to hear from. At this terrible Brexit moment, with its retreat into panic and nationalism, and with the same thing happening across Europe, it is time for all artists to speak up, particularly those whose voices have been neglected.
No one knows what a more democratic and inclusive culture would be like. It is fatuously omniscient to assume it would be worse than what we already have. The attempt of reactionaries to shut people down shows both fear and stupidity. But it’s too late: they will be hearing from us.