Opinion: Which tribe are you?

17/05/2019

 

Opinion: Which tribe are you?

17/05/2019

Share To:

Back to news

Article

As Grayson Perry has observed, “most people want to fit in with their tribe in some way or another, so they give off signals, whether it’s with their clothes, their behavior, their car, their whatever, and gain status . . . and the signals are an unconscious display of who you are and where you want to be.” But let’s be honest, at its fundamental level, a lot of our consumption of ‘culture’ in today’s society is about status as much as it is delight in creativity. We all participate in and consume culture and we hope that our accumulation of knowledge, behaviours and skills will demonstrate our cultural competence and so our standing in society. It’s subtle and causes great anxiety amongst the white middle classes.

You may have read that Felicity Huffman, a highly successful American actress pleaded guilty this week to taking part in a bribery scheme to get her daughter into a prestigious US university. Her efforts to increase her own status and her daughter’s social and cultural capital led her to break the law. Being smart, getting the grades, it isn’t enough when social and cultural capital is at stake.

This demonstrates the disturbing power, and inequality inherent in cultural capital. In Britain, the value placed on culture, as a society, is still heavily steeped in the white Western tradition. Though we celebrate our multi-cultural society, our value system is still playing catch-up. If it were a game, you’d score more points for going to see an exhibition or opera in London than you would an outdoor film screening in a park near your home. But what if you were in that film? What if the film celebrated your recognised talent as a kathak dancer, and your skills had been passed down through generations in your family?

Over the next two years, we will be exploring these questions in a dialogue between artists and residents of Queen’s Park, Bedford. At the Venice Biennale this year, the world’s most celebrated international art event, Ghana has burst onto the scene with its own national pavilion, designed by David Adjaye. Adjaye commented, “that Ghana’s cultural capital in the world is not being celebrated.” The same could be said for many of the different cultures within Britain.

 

Annie Bacon, Creative Producer

Image: Cat Lane 2018

Latest News

April 6, 2020

Press Release: BCA Receives Over £100,000 For Airship Dreams

Local contemporary arts charity, Bedford Creative Arts (BCA), has received significant funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as Arts Council England and Bedford-based charity, Harpur Trust for a new project: Airship Dreams.  The project is the result of three years of investigation and research into Bedford’s history with the airship and Cardington Sheds, working closely with award-winning artist Mike Stubbs, who grew up in

April 3, 2020

Community Surgeries: Can We Help?

The current Covid-19 crisis has left a lot of arts organisations and freelance creative practitioners concerned about the future.  Whilst there have been announcements from central government and grant funders about support, it can be hard to navigate that field if you’re not familiar with it. We are offering weekly slots to practitioners in the

February 24, 2020

Artists Appointed for Take Part Queen’s Park

We are pleased to announce the appointment of three exciting artists for our new project Take Part Queen’s Park!  Artists, Caroline Wendling, Andy Holden and Mira Calix will be part of the first phase of a two-year action research project based within this Bedford community.  Residents of all ages will be invited to collaborate with the artists on a series

See More

Want to get involved? Contact Us