Tea and Tolerance has hosted the tea trolley at Love Arts Festival for the past three years. It is an amazing thing to be part of – celebrating people and raising awareness about creativity and mental health. And as we were unraveling, arranging and preparing pots and questions in readiness for conversations at Leeds City Museums, a short clip of wonder woman and her familiar theme tune blasted out…
Now this was part of the final rehearsals for a play and I wondered about wonder woman and mental health. And I thought about my memories of that character and all her fascinating contradictions. Was she a Feminist inspiration or failure? With whips to bind men in chains – was she a sexual fetishist or empowering protector? And perhaps, like her character, like our language, like our culture, it’s a fitting image for Love Arts conversations, offering a potential of creative contradictory and yet still powerful individuals.
How do we use language?
As a weapon, to ‘other’ and categorise people… a lot of words are outdated and we say those words sometimes with very little awareness of what we are saying.
It can be adversarial.
Language can be used to shock as well and get people to listen. A TED talk used it to wake the audience up to actually listen…I think someone like Antony Robbins did that?
I use swearing in my performance poetry. They don’t expect an older woman that looks like me to say the things I do and talk about gender the way I do.
In our family we had to develop our own language. If you hear voices and have to deal with that within a family then you need ways to talk about it. Traditional language doesn’t necessarily offer that.
What is going on?
Well I’m here interviewing people about mental health for a journalist assignment. This is just the start of the research actually. What is going on! – that’s the question I ask myself when I hear the latest news.
Do you have the right to end your own life?
Of course. How do we know if someone wants to end their life if they are no longer capable of choosing. People deserve quality of life and the right to decide when there is no quality for them to end it.
What does Culture mean to you?
Culture is a big subject. Might be easier to answer what isn’t Culture? Almost everything is culture. Culture is people.
Nature perhaps is the only thing that isn’t culture.
Though culture is affected by nature and nature by culture – species become extinct, geographies erode with the ‘help’ of cultures. Like a hurricane will have a big affect on the cultures it hits.
Love Arts Conversation is a festival-flavoured conference. The idea behind the Love Arts Conversation is to get people talking about the arts, creativity and mental health and took place this year on October 19th at Leeds City Museum.