|Shake! intensive at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre|
My name is Paula, I joined Shake! as a volunteer last August, and I have recently become part of the Shake! core team. Most of my work is around art and social change, be it as an artist, activist, or cultural manager. I am also, at the moment a research student at King’s College London, working on the role of artistic performance within activism and social movements.
The following paragraphs present my reflections on how the words Remembering, Re-imagining and Reparations are already present in, and can be articulated into, our daily practices as artists, activists, and as members of our communities. These paragraphs also reflect how the ‘3 Rs’ are already part of what we do at Shake!, and how these concepts can allow us to think about what we do on different terms.
Reparations: Reparations in a broader sense are about justice. They are also about restoringa people or a land to their initial state. But total restoration is never really possible, since even when material aspects are restored, the memories of wrongdoings and injustice will still live on. Reparations are then not so much about restoration, but about taking what has happened and building a better future. Reparations rely on remembering. It is not about forgetting a part of history, but rather channeling that memory, and using it for growing. Reparations is also about re-imagining, because building a new present and future can only happen if we keep the memories of the past alive, and use them to re-imagine what we want our lives to live. Reparations and re-imagining go hand in hand: as we re-imagine a more fair present and future, reparations are taking place.