So Brexit has happened. It’s been 4 years in the making … 4 years of a headache … 4 years of worry for people … and it’s still not complete. They’re still going around in circles with negotiations … dodgy trade agreements not fully defined, bleached chicken and chlorine washed meet scares, pro-eugenic advisors being hired and fired and the BBC being privatised. Although I know everyone in the United Kingdom will survive, I’d say it is one massive continued headache for whatever political affiliation and no amount of paracetamol will calm it down.
On Brexit day, I was hanging out with my UK friends from Yorkshire and whilst laughing and chilling with amazing peeps, I was keeping an eye on social media and the news regularly to see what was going down. I was also in Tory country, where fireworks were being lit, union jacks being waved and intimidating messages, subtlety directed at migrants, crudely spray painted on motorway passings and ring roads. Although friends and I laughed about it and took the piss out of the rhetoric of the day in jolly fashion, I had genuinely an underlying worry about what this means for the future. Especially with so many friends and colleagues either from Ireland and living in the UK, or from the UK and living in Europe. After the 2016 referendum, I know for a fact a lot of my UK friends that had parental connections with Ireland/Europe where running for new passports. Other options Irish folk started looking at was moving back home to raise their families.
On Brexit day I got to explore Leeds City Museum and Leeds Art Gallery. I bumped into this piece by Tony Cragg (see below). It was his Postcard Flag. I sat and looked at it for a while. It’s a piece made up of broken trash, painted and arranged as a Union Jack. Originally the piece was to highlight the people’s broken relationship and identity with the Royal family, National Pride and UK politics. It was 1981, and the UK where in a bad place, Margaret Thatcher was in her third year, privatisation was rampant, there were multiple strikes going on across all industries, there were race riots happening throughout the country and the troubles up North were in dire need of attention. With all this going on, Princess Di and Prince Charles get married, and for those days there were mass crowds celebrating a royal wedding. Tony was perplexed by this psyche and the relationship/attitude it had between tradition and modern chaos. Whilst I studied it, I felt it was a piece of work torn between politics, people’s well meaning, and a battle of vocal bandits. It was anti-establishment having been made out of broken trash, et it cries out for unity and a sense of identity with colonial failure still happening. I felt it was prominent for Brexit day, and thought about who fills the bits in between the shards, and I believe its migrants that can complete that flag if the UK will let them. Drop a comment on your current thoughts on Brexit to discuss further.
On more of a fun note, here are some pics from my journeys:
And a video happy to be returning home: