‘Where the great new vision,
The great world-view,
The high prophetic song
Of the immense earth
And all that sings in it
And our relation to it-
Poets, descend to the street of the world once more’
(from ‘Populist Manifesto #1’, 1976)

Speaks the voice on my left shoulder whose lucid lingo of drawing divinity from something within, something all has in their depths — an everything and anything called poetry.

When I started reading works of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, like many as a irrelevant feeling undergraduate, it held me close. I felt the tight manifestos of repetition, the scull/skull wordplay…

During the first lockdown in Spring 2020, places of worship were treated, in many ways, the same as museums and art galleries. They were asked to physically close their buildings. When the new Tier system was announced in October, Tier 3 included the closure of our public museums and, while not explicitly asking places of worship to close, the rules restricted any congregational worship. Yet as the Christmas-crumbling December announcements of Tier 3 and 4 to many parts of the country were made, the museums all closed once again, while places of worship were now not only to remain open…

WESTERNESE: a “system of significance” that constructs ‘the West’ as the future for ‘the Rest’ (Salman Sayyid and Barnor Hesse, 2002)

CURATESE: a clique driven culture of ‘Goldsmithian’ art school jargon and self-importance (coined by artist and writer, Hamja Ahsan)

There is a self aggrandising exclusionary soulless aspirational culture in the ‘art world’, the ‘art school’ and moulds performances out of ‘artists’. Its a culture based on ‘specialness’, of individual extravagance to conceptualize your own brain out of existence and work in a lexicon that has no relevance to anyone outside of the clubhouse. Its a culture based on constantly…

As a *national public cultural institution*, we have the utmost responsibility to amplify, support and commit to absolute, resolute and dedicated action in addressing systemic, historical and continuous crushing, erasing and killing of Black experience and existence. We have seen our fellow national institutions put out statements, tweets and Instagram posts, ‘in memorial’ of the lost soul of George Floyd, whose martyrdom at the hands of a police system birth in white supremacy has galvanised the latest foregrounding of the everyday existence of systemic racial inequalities and dehumanisation. We have seen our fellow national institutions share solidarity to #BlackLivesMatter, yet…

As Ramadan commences, I want to reflect on the artwork Infinite Structure by the Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair which is in the Tate collection.

In a global pandemic, this year Ramadan, like other spaces and symbolic events of prayer, practice and community, it will be restricted for many in isolation and in various degrees of hardship. A hardship increased for so many across the globe, offshoots of the gluttonous West, historically and in the present. …

Hassan Vawda

Researcher in art, culture, community, religion and the art museum

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store