We Are Young….
It is interesting that the gifts of creativity and expression are not reserved for the old and wise, not in these days anyway. It seems art has decided to speak for itself no matter how young it’s medium may be…it must be heard…seen…felt…
This I believe is no coincidence, it seems pure art has no representative in the older generation anymore; everyone is too busy trying to use it for all sorts of selfish, bigoted purposes imaginable. An Uncle of mine who is a Historical writer was called to the North during the festive season, to come resolve a fiery intra-ethnic war with his pen. It turned out the chief who called him had plundered a clan of lower social class than his and thus the ‘bush men’ surprised them by retaliating. In a nutshell, a report of the incident was required and the Chief needed my Uncle to ‘refine’ the report in favor of his clan, at a handsome fee of course.
Hungry musicians have resorted to praise-singing and sculptors seem to be concocting more gothic nonsense in our era than any other in the name of ‘abstraction’. Not that I don’t cherish abstractionism in art, I just wish that it served a purpose. I once asked a colleague what his work meant and he replied; ‘to be successful these days, your work has to be open so that each person can find his own meaning, and buy it.” And this is the sad reality of our world today. As an artist in these times, you now have to sing what people want to listen to, write want they want to read…in essence, you are not allowed to have any message nor identity. If you don’t sing dancehall music or write torrid romance scenes, you just might starve with your family.
If you feel too young then tell that to Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9 year old Black American actress who recently won over 25 awards for the 2012 movie, beasts of the southern wild, breaking the record for the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Oscar. Or Chibundu Onuzo the prestigious Nigeria born writer who came to critical acclaim with her debut novel, the spider king’s daughter.
It is prerogative that we the young ones realize and develop ourselves now, before black and white fades to grey and other things take the place of truth, justice and purity for we don’t have liabilities; we don’t have families to feed or favors owed to men of power yet, so we are free. Free to fight for what we believe in not with weapons of war, but with our voices, our pens and our hands. The peak of our youth would be the strongest days of our lives, so let’s fight now, for we are young.