gal-dem interlude series episode 2: silent oppression
19 Dec 2015
This is interlude, a moment to consider subjects you may have disregarded or never even noticed. It’s us digging up buried conversations, working our way through dialogue from the often silenced perspective of people of colour. We’re examining the norm, breaking apart patterns and asking questions – uncomfortable ones.
Silent oppression encapsulates a familiar imbalance that we, as people of colour, regularly feel and yet struggle to find the words to communicate its complete effect. It manifests itself in seemingly inoffensive verbal and non-verbal communication, generating patterns that often become internalised within us.
This intangible oppression operates as a casual reminder of power structures and racial hierarchy, creating discomfort whilst masquerading as everyday expression. It is found in the way our culture is picked apart, commercialised and seen as a frivolous disposable trend whilst we’re expected to celebrate its new mainstream position. It’s the worry sitting in your stomach when October rolls around each year as you prepare to be reminded that the shade of your skin is just yet another fancy dress joke. It’s the anxiety you feel as you step into a shop and are automatically assumed guilty of something.
Silent oppression doesn’t give us the option to detach ourselves. Silent oppression is isolation. It’s your language being denied. It’s your experience being overlooked. Silent oppression is trying to explain the depth of these instances without having the space or words to do so.