I was in a school today.
Did I almost regress
We were talking about lots of different artists' work, including one guy's called Yanagi. The kids stumbled through his name even though it's completely simple, pronounced exactly as it looks. In fact it's much easier than the French names - though admittedly they had a hard time over those as well...

I tried to point out that they have experience pronouncing foreign words because they all learn at least one other language. Then they tried harder and actually started to pronounce the names.

One guy asked me what languages I had learnt. I hesitated and then answered, French and Hebrew. Him and his work partner both looked a bit surprised. Then he said, wow do you have a thing for dead languages? I didn't correct him.
I guess I felt it was too hard. It was a school with a big majority white population and two of the kids had already displayed xenophobia during the day which I'd attempted to address head on at the time. I feel shame now that I didn't take up the opportunity to be proud of who I am and my background... especially given that they knew I was an artist and were going to find out that my work is about ideas of foreignness and home, the Other...
I don't know if I chastise myself for long enough whether I'll ever learn to be brave and proud, in that way, in my religion, my culture, my background. It's much easier to fight other people's battles and not my own internalised stuff.

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