You can earn a voice in society through a variety of ways. You could earn a title, position, profession or what not. You can get a position of mobility and become an expert in a field. These types of pathways are mostly open to everyone but not in every case. I once clashed with an expert in the field of street art and art, who has earned their stripes, has a respected readership and audience and is well respected. It felt to me that they wanted to shut down my opinionated and derisive remarks by making sure I knew they were the expert and I was a nobody.
They weren’t wrong in their quest to affirm their dominion over my rather unimportant existence yet I still felt that I am allowed to have a voice and feel confident in my own ideas whether they are misguided or wrong according to the position that they fulfil. I feel when shock jocks berate the ‘Welcome to Country’ for example, even when spoken by highly accomplished individuals it shows that the allowance of a voice is contested territory. These examples may seem to have nothing in common but the similarity is simply the ways a society affords to give a voice to some and not to others.
Take for example the media championing a downtrodden story of woe in public housing such as happened to a friend of mine. People will claim to rise to the challenge and fix the problem yet when the camera is turned off and the show is over nothing gets done and the short affirmation of importance was nothing more than an attempt to lubricate the wheels of illusion and keep people voiceless and downtrodden. Personally I feel my clash with an art expert was not much different, as far as he was concerned I was too big for my boots and if anything he would cut me off and pretend that I never existed.
I don’t really mind because I am not here to have people tell me what I am allowed to say or think, of course I find myself in a precarious position but simply want to have a voice even at the cost of looking like an idiot. I mean what else do we have? Do we have to wait for people to give us permission to exist, in most cases this is the truth and there are hoops you can jump through but even then nothing can be taken for granted. So people sit around wondering why graffiti is out of control and they can’t see that the real problem isn’t the graffiti artists but a society that won’t allow people to exist. That is how the problem started but really it isn’t a problem but actually the solution.