Look back. Look to the near past and consider the near future ramifications. Consider for a moment, not too long as it can be torturous, what have you seen? What has changed? What hasn’t and what needs to? For me, a landscape is unfolding in an unsavoury filter. Rules and moral guidelines of progress are diminishing again, and history is repeating itself. I asked the artists to do this same exercise, and this book ’a retrospective’ is a compilation of creative reflections and considerations of each artist’s own existence.
The funny thing about these, so-called, unprecedented times is that no times are really that: “unprecedented”. Unfortunately, we as a species just have questionable recall. Our knowledge of historical events, of our traditions and roots, of the rules and our rights is blinded, is capped and restricted through our social constructs.
Am I a cynic? Perhaps, but if I have become one, it is likely from disappointment after disappointment, and ever increasing restrictions. As we look to a future where women potentially lose all autonomy and advocacy, I wonder how we are not all cynical. Have I been choosing to live in ignorance, believing that women in Scotland have it good? I don’t know. That we have autonomy and rights better than that of nations such as America and therefore we have it good. But this is a lie. One spun for us to be cocooned into submission. Women are still taunted, made to feel insignificant and dishonourable for making their own bodily choices. This is not okay. To sit back and watch things unfold as we do, is not okay. We are all tired, we are exhausted, and are the conservatives, the republicans, the right wingers, counting on us giving in. Will you? I will not.
I leave it to the artist’s perspective to approach a retrospective in whatever form they see fit. I urge you to take in these fresh or known perspectives and relish the concept of gaining a view of the alternative. Revel in the prospect of change, and don’t shy away from the discomfort of it. We have shied away from it many times I am sure, but considering the current reality, are you content with how the future looks? and in retrospect what are you willing to lose, to gain and to change?
As we look forward to an impending change, in a time where our activists are outnumbered by people who feel disenfranchised, when we are living in a time where our voices have never been louder online and in written word, yet our right to protest, to marry who we want, to have or not have children is yet again under threat. Progress is possible but so is regression, and we must take the time to think about what we are willing to live with. A retrospective is a chance to consider just that.