So here we are. A time of year for reflection, musing, and moving on. Take a look at my three top inspirational women of 2016!
We are all agreed it has been a turbulent year, from the seemingly unstoppable terror attacks, the destruction of Syria, and the rise of the populist Right in Europe, 2016 has been shocking to say the least. And then, Brexit and Donald Trump. A man when talking about women says, and I am sorry to remind you but… “I don’t even wait. When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p****. You can do anything”.
Yep. That actually happened.
So, I thought I might leave the year with a nod to three amazing and inspirational women who would tell Donald Trump where to shove his private jet if they got the chance.
Inspirational Women top Three!
Wise Woman One:
Kate Tempest. If you don’t know her she’s an English poet, a spoken word artist and a musician. In 2013 at the age of 28 she won the Ted Hughes award and she is now a fellow at University College, London. And she rocks. Why? Because she is bold and brave. A friend who knows her describes her as a ‘force of nature’ and she’s not wrong. Her last album she performed at ‘The Waterfront’, ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is at once an aching rage at the world and a measured consideration of the human psyche. It combines the personal and political with passion and prowess, taking aim at capitalism, celebrity culture, political corruption, but localising meaning through her beautiful, at times dark, desperate, and sad, description of 7 strangers, who live side by side on a London street, who are all, for very different reasons, awake at 4.18am. There is some of all of us in those 7 people. In her song ‘Europe is Lost’ she reminds us to look inward:
“Top down violence, a structural viciousness
Your kids are dosed up on medical sedatives
But don’t worry bout that, man, worry ‘bout terrorists”
She reminds us that, ordinary people like us cannot stop ISIS or get rid of Trump, but we can make a difference on a smaller scale, and that value should never be dismissed, as that difference is humanity. We can love and notice our kids, we can keep on teaching them good will win, we can buy a homeless person lunch, we can smile at people, write to our local MP’s. At the end of her rage and passionate set Kate simply reminds us to: “Wake Up and Love More”. Yes.
‘Wake Up and Love More’. An idea that I am sure was shared by the inspiring and visionary Jo Cox. There is no need to say more except that her family and the way they responded was so humbling, so good, so graceful.
Wise Woman Three:
Helen Marten. The Turner Prize is an interesting reflection of where this country is at and Helens work with ‘junk sculptures’ made from everyday objects are complexed, in flux, intangible. Maybe Helen is trying to suggest complexities and challenges in the world today? I’m no art critic, but what I do know is when she accepted the prize money (which she shared with the other nominees) it was moving. She says “(with the) ever prominence of far-right groups having a very visible and political platform for their xenophobic, homophobic and racist outlook on the world, I think as artists today and as people in this environment (we are) deeply privileged to be in a community whose lifeblood is diversity and exuberance”.
Yes. And we are deeply privileged here in Norwich and Norfolk to have the ability to get up tomorrow, make a cup of coffee and ‘Wake Up and Love More’. So let’s just do it.
This is the Telegraph’s top 10… who were yours?