"...pain comes unsharably into our midst as at once that which cannot be denied and that which cannot be confirmed. Whatever pain achieves, it achieves in part through its unsharability, and it ensures this unsharability through its resistance to language" - Elain Scarry
Pain and Hope and the relationship of these two states within each of us sits at the heart of my experience of this week. We talk of hope often and frequently in the research for Motherland and yet so much of what we are finding relates to pain. We exhibit our scars, those we carry from our own life experiences and also those that we have inherited from the generations gone before. I wonder if there is a sense of guilt that lurks in the shadows of this pain, whether when hope is added that the need for change implied in the proposition of hope and the current rate of this change acts to reflect our own (lack of) desire for radical change and (lack of) action. Therein lies the crux. If a work wishes to talk of hope must it also take action? Does it need to be more than a representation of pain and suffering? Has hope become the act of dwelling upon the pain of the past and present and stagnating under the weight of our own lack of positive action, apathathy and associated guilt?
Where do we draw the line with this logic? As we discuss gender politics, body politics and the politics of environmental change it’s easy to talk in absolutes – perhaps in reaction to the seriousness of the subject and yet action in harder. Each time you make a google search it will use the same amount of energy that it takes to boil a kettle of water (that’s a lot). Do you feel guilt, do you change, do you hope that it will all be o.k somehow?
What do we do next?