[NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts
michael at dvblog.org
Sun Sep 14 18:03:34 CEST 2014
It's interesting that the original article uses theatre as a starting point. Having started out in the late seventies working in the theatre and
keeping a toe in that camp until very recently I can vouch for the
I remember on my second job ever in 1977 I asked one of the guys in the
small touring company I was working for what he'd been before he became
an actor. "A burglar", he replied. It was true - he came from a poor working class area of a big industrial town and rebelled in perhaps not the
most social of ways. He'd wanted out though & learned to play the
bass, joined a band and then got into acting through the many connections and opportunities there were then ( and which were not tied to expensive
training). He later became quite a celebrated TV performer playing a
part that was related to his earlier life and authentically so.
Many of the people I worked with at that time came from similar working
class backgrounds to my own - I myself am the child of a Polish refugee turned furnaceman in the Sheffield steel.
Now , unless it is someone who worked their way in through the soaps,
working class accents are produced to order by the "skills" of the largely privileged cadre who can afford to make it
through drama school. In the 90s I taught theatre to FE students one of
whom (the daughter of a classroom teacher from Essex) went to RADA,
through merit not connections. I went to see her rather star studded
West End debut ( a triumph which gave her a good deal of class satisfaction) and she told me she'd spent three years at RADA playing
"second secretary" or similar whilst the sons and daughters of those
already in the "biz" or simply the well heeled and confident scooped the leads.
What is the timeline? - I can tell you exactly what it is - when the working class were fighting and winning in the UK, mid-sixties to 74ish,
miraculously there were ways for us to "better ourselves" in other ways than struggle.
It took awhile for these gains to be chipped away but it has been downhill in proportion to the series of (often entirely unnecessary) defeats
that have been the outcome of workers' struggles since the Winter of
Discontent in the late seventies.
The marginalisation of working class voices in the arts is a consequence of the fact that our rulers believe they have us licked and under control in general. My greatest hope (and belief) is that sometime before I shuffle off we will show them how wrong they were.
From: ruth catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>
To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts
Do we care if our arts are increasingly practiced, disseminated and discussed in the media by a privileged few?
Were the post-WWII gains in diversity an illusion? or did time
really stop, and start going backwards?
If so when did this reversal start?
Early 80s, mid 90s, early noughties?
On 14/09/2014 11:12, marc garrett wrote:
The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts | The Guardian - http://go.shr.lc/1wsoLXu
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