Can't Teach Old Dogs new Tricks, or Can We?

Lecture: Zuleika Lebow


Curation: Think about my intervention space. What is the experience, and is it in-line with the change I want to see? Attention needs to be paid to creating the entire experience, from the moment they enter to the moment they leave, to be about the change I want to see.


Content: Trigger warnings

'Community care'.

The meaning of the word 'triggered' is changed.

What are the topics in my project that would trigger?

Topics that would need content warning:

Physical or emotional abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, violence, religious fanatics, cults, flashing lights, colonial/state sanctioned violence, swearing, racist/ableist/homophobic slurs/language.


Based on the fact that this is a deep dive into the psyche of both parties, the 'triggering' points are too many. However, it is important to understand this whole project is a trigger. It's supposed to trigger. The 'triggering' needs to be controlled that it doesn't have a negative impact.


Language:

Should we let go of old language? What is the lens we are looking at the world right now?

As a journalist, and carefully selecting words most of my life, it is ingrate in me that words have meanings. It has been a growing concern that the meaning of words are changing. There are too many words becoming taboos. Who decides which word we can use and which word we can use? Is there a quote such as 'If 93 people find this words offensive, society can't use it anymore'? Who decides that?


I have also been thinking about the intent behind the words. In Sri Lanka, a lot of these taboo words are used. Sri Lanka even have their own words. However, there are only very few words that cause harm. There is not much hate behind the slurs.


Being in the UK, this comes up quite a bit on politically correct behaviour. It all seem so confusing as one part is telling you to challenge the patriarchy, end consumerism, Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, Feminism is in, Feminism is almost Nazi like, and you cannot use certain words that means something very innocent because it's associated with a condition that someone might suffer from, but also not suffering because we need to celebrate the differences as they are gifted.


Where do we draw the line? Without knowing who decides this, and what power they have to decide this, I can't tell where we draw the line. Every decision we question, every word we ban, every action we stop, we exclude a group of people. There is so much hate built on this exclusion, that I feel like there is no clear checks and balances system. This will not end. How do I maneuver in a world I can't be myself in, but if I'm not, I become a taboo too?


Saviourism:

Does anyone in my TA need me to 'save' them?

Should I change my question to mention 'understand'?

Can colonial mean majority and minority dominant traits? The cultural and religious bias in a researcher.

Everyone's favourite topic and what they know about the most is - themselves.

Doesn't this 'saviourism' apply when the West tells us (East? South East?) tells us what words we can or cannot use? How to change our behaviour? What we should care about? Whom to love? Whom to hate? I understand that I am in a British institution, and therefore must learn to filter what is acceptable to my South East Asian stakeholders.


During a conversation with my friend about this, he said 'Don't they know Black Lives always mattered in Sri Lanka?'. It felt like a nuclear light went in my room. Do Sri Lankans need to be told that Black Lives Matter when they never stopped mattering? We might need to be told that Tamil lives matter or Muslim lives matter as much as the Sinhala lives, but the Western issues, the racism they have is not our racism. Sri Lankans would gladly support a Western cause, but I feel like there has to be an understanding that countries such The USA or the UK is not the norm for the rest of the world.


Cultural Relativism:

My ethics are not the same ethics as Gen Z. So my bias has to be checked with their bias. What the ethics of the rest of Gen Y and Gen X?


Ethics, Morality, Law

'Grey' areas. Discernment, critical thinking, and constant interrogation of the motives, bias, and research questions. Find the legal information for my project.


Seminal works:

Find work that are important in my area of interest.

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