I've been working with this person around ideas of ghettoization and (art) institutions. He is white and from a particularly privileged background.
Today we met again and he said that it's funny because this week must have been his week for hearing loads of racism. I answered that maybe he's more attuned to it now. No, he said, it was definitely a week of more than usual racist comments from the people around him.

He later said, as we were planning the workshop we were going to do together, that the few works in the gallery by non-european descent artists were not British - not even black british so how could participants relate to the work? There are many ways to go on this one but I chose to explain that though 2 of the artists were born elsewhere, they made work and lived in Britain. The third lives in the USA. One came over as a child. But still, the fact that they are immigrants and NOT BRITISH, he believed, might be a stumbling block for audiences, 'even black people'.

hmmm... where to go on that one... Firstly, I'm an immigrant, and so was one of my parents and two of my grandparents and at least one of my great-grandparents. Nationhood is difficult and tenuous when you are an immigrant. In a lot of ways I have 2 nationalities, and sometimes one is more important to me, more how I see myself, and sometimes the other is.

No one sees me as an immigrant though, because I come from Australia and maybe because I'm white. In the past I didn't understand myself as an immigrant either, because my stereotype of immigrants are poor people, from poor or war-torn countries and mostly they are black. There seems to a lot of young russian-speaking immigrants in our area and they are white, but in other respects they fit the stereotype. They are poor and I would never want to live in their country... whichever country that is.I imagine it is somewhere very poor and war-torn. I don't know, though.
Maybe that's why no english person is able to see me as an immigrant or as english... because many english people think they would like to live in Australia... because Australia isn't war-torn or poor, maybe? It's an idyll. But I guess it could be true to see me as an economic migrant. You could see it that way, if you wanted to .

Everything in this diary is subjective. Others may understand the situations described differently.

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