Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
Reading this article - http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/mar/02/jo-clifford-transgender-christ-overcoming-fear-every-one-bac-london - with Jo Clifford talking about her career, a few things struck me.
She recalls going into a library and picking up a directory of playwrights in which she had once featured prominently, to find that she had been excised completely. “It was very strange and unsettling, as if I no longer existed.”At the time she thought that she was being displaced by newer, younger voices. But now she wonders whether it was because she was always pushing the boundaries.
An artist can be such a fleeting thing in a society. Falling in or out of favour seemingly on a whim. Then you've got the male/female thing and with Clifford being trans, who knows what kind of thinking goes through the minds of someone who edits such a directory.
Clifford smiles patiently when considering the Mail on Sunday’s coverage and says: “At least the piece didn’t insult me, and referred to me as ‘she’ throughout. It’s some kind of progress – they used to just call me ‘the sex-swap playwright’. But clearly for some reason they see me as a threat.” She suddenly looks quite delighted at the idea. “I want to be a threat. I certainly don’t want to court controversy. But every artist has to express the truth as she sees it and that gives us a power to change the world in subtle ways. And that makes us dangerous and means we have a moral responsibility for what we say and write. Words are very powerful and so is the imagination.”
So where do the reasons for writing and reading join? Where is the crossroads? If art is being made to challenge us and knock us out of the easy rut, then would they be read by those who want to escape a life of challenge and be coddled, not given yet more to think about?