• Idit Nathan

Imperfect tenses

This research for this project is almost half way through and as the world around us changes so does the way we see the future. This weeks postcard, to be found in and around Homerton college corridors or online here) was produced long before the war in Ukraine has grabbed our ( almost ) undivided attention. Tightrope Walking has always intended to harness knowledge and insights gathered from historical documents, alongside responses in the ’here’ and ‘now’, to reimagine the future which was already pretty bleak. Now what? How will this war, which we’re told will change everything, impact on our prospects and the future?

Even before I imagined Tightrope Walking, the present was imperfect and tense, especially in relation to what lay ahead- Climate change, mass migration and endless wars, all happening continuously, almost habitually, even if far away. Then the pandemic hit us all and much was said about the oppurrunities the disastrous situation offered. Two years later and none of it has come to be, the world seems intent on going back to the old corrupt and obliviously criminal normal.

I am reading Lola Olufemi’s ‘Experiments in Imagining Otehrwise’, nodding furiosully in agreement at each line and page. Especially striking is The Linguistic Loop (p. 56- see photo below) ’A total transformation is needed’ says Olufeand I’m thinking a total transformation WAS already needed ages ago. Maybe the role of ’doominess’ is to jolt us into actions and rethinks? I agree with Olufemi that writing ( I think all art) doesn’t have ‘the power to do anything grand enough to help us‘ and setting out the despair is an important part of reimagining the future. And just as her beautiful collection is ’not a book about despair‘ but a series of experiments I hope Tightrope Walking will pose the BIG, and often hard even unpleasant, questions such as the one above, unsettling the present imperfect and rather than giving in to despair, experiment with making small steps to thinking the future otherwise…

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