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

Joel Weishaus joelweishaus at gmail.com
Sun Sep 14 19:00:03 CEST 2014

Right on, Michael.


On 9/14/2014 9:30 AM, dave miller wrote:
> Brilliantly put - well said "My greatest hope (and belief) is that 
> sometime before I shuffle off we will show them how wrong they were" - 
> yes!!!!
> On 14 September 2014 17:03, michael szpakowski <michael at dvblog.org 
> <mailto: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
>     <mailto:ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>>
>     *To:* netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
>     <mailto: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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