[NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts

Annie Abrahams bram.org at gmail.com
Sun Sep 14 18:30:02 CEST 2014


great mail Michael

On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM, michael szpakowski <michael at dvblog.org>
wrote:

>
> 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 change.
> 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.
> michael
>
>
>
>
>
>
>   ------------------------------
>  *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  <http://t.co/LqXQEQDy72>
>
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