you - them


The few people I've told about this project are very self-conscious when they speak to me. They tend to ask me not to write things they say in the diary. Most of what they tell me, I wouldn't even consider adding in.

And then there is everyone else, who doesn't know about this project and confide in me things that they think are safe. Telling me because I'm white, or 'like them'.

K. told me yesterday about an encounter she'd had in a part of London which has a high percentage of black british and black or african carribean people. She was trying to outreach to the community which is local to her work, to try to bring in a more diverse audience for Tate Modern. She told me how she'd found the people aggressive and said maybe it was becasue they are black or maybe its because they were from that area.
I'm not including this here because I thought she was being outrageously racist, but because I believe she was telling us because we, her audience, are 'white'. There are things that people talk about and ways that people talk about things that change depending on the company.

This is interesting to me. I wonder whether it is appropriate, though. I know I definately talk about outsiders differently within my community - because there is some kind of understanding, maybe some kind of mutual oppression - but I'm not sure that it's right. Why is something appropriate to say in one kind of company but not in another? Does context change everything - make right, wrong and wrong, right?

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