Friday June 14, 2019. Two years since the horrific wildfire tragedy of Grenfell tower—a time for reflection has never been more haunting on the brain. Upon such reflection I’ve found myself trying to piece together the right words, or even the words that are just about adequate enough, to express how two years of government and public apathy have simply flown by. Finding in that time the word “tragedy” would become a sentimental and whitewashed concession for indicting our government with social negligence, and preventable slaughter of working class people of colour. Maybe you, like me, woke up this morning, and thought “wow, has it really been two years?” The world in recent times has been saturated with tragedy and sensationalism. Perhaps, this “tragedy” just fell to the wayside as they all do in a time so swiftly gratifying as this digital age. As they may forever do. And as the news cycle roles on, and the world makes a spectacle of more unnecessary horror, we may forget to ask ourselves if anything has ever even changed.
One of my favourite pastimes has been engaging with creative spaces. Whether it's exhibitions, plays, or crying to Avengers: Infinity War, my university experience has been one seeping with different artistic experiences. Of course, there are many different factors, which have made this a lot easier for me than other students, that would love the chance to do the same. Studying History has meant that I have a lot more free time than other people (I should probably be spending that time studying, but mind your business), and I usually have just enough funds to afford to go to some of these events, or at the very least, prioritise them over other things. With that all being said, something that I've increasingly found myself trying to make the time for is volunteering in creative spaces.
On the March 15, 2019, the world witnessed yet another chilling reminder of the dangers of white supremacy to innocent lives. As it stands, 49 people are known to be dead and over 20 in critical condition following a live streamed slaughter of two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This cold hearted and meditated act of murder has resulted in the loss of innocent lives. Lives of men, children and women who migrated from countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan with the only intention of living and thriving. Some of these lives include Mucad Ibrahim (three), Daoud Nabi (71) and Talha Rashid (21). Rather than validate the poor excuse of a man that felt it was his right to steal these people’s lives, let us remember these names instead and keep them in our thoughts.
A few days ago, my phone pinged with a message from NHS Blood and Transplant reading, “We’re just checking that your appointment to give blood is still convenient?” And though this question filled me with a lot of dread, I knew that realistically the only inconvenience to giving blood is, and always will be, my anxiety towards needles—and nothing more. Giving blood has recently become something at the very top of my agenda in a way that it never was before. I’ve always been on the organ donor registry and that was something that I’ve never really questioned, after all, when the day comes that someone might need my organs, I won’t be alive to need it or feel inconvenienced by the whole process. But, as someone with a genuinely massive fear of needles, I have always been happy to leave blood donation off the agenda. But that has all changed very recently and I hope that with this blog post I can convince more BAME people to do the same.
At the end of last year, British TV was introduced to the new face of Doctor Who with its first-ever female actress, Jodie Whittaker, as the leading protagonist. Being a person who’s generally interested in the discourse of popular culture, as well as being a veteran “Whovian,” this was something that really intrigued me. It pushed many questions to the front of my mind about the show and its agenda in a way that I never considered before as a sci-fi loving pre-teen. What sort of messages were to be made about diversity and inclusivity? Were they ready for the potential backlash that could come from it? To be honest, after a while these questions fell from my mind and public interest shortly after the announcement; the UK government’s falling to pieces and I had a history essay due to think about. But it was one day recently, after stumbling upon my favourite childhood show, that Doctor Who came to the forefront of my mind once more but for some less than comfortable reasons.