I went to the end of year exhibition of a group of students I worked with a while ago. I looked at one work, a stage design piece, and asked the student to talk me through it. She explained that parts of it were things that refer to her African (Ghanian) origins. There was a collection of instruments. I asked whether one was an Oud, inordinately proud that I might know the name of an African instrument.
No, she said, it's a guitar.
Oh a normal guitar, I said, and immediately apologised.
To cover up my eurocentrism (normal = western europe/ north american), I asked whether she was annoyed that I had asked her to interpret her culture for me in her artwork and began a conversation around that.

She has always made me nervous.

<< | >>