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Devoted & Disgruntled 12: What Shall We Do About Theatre and the Performing Arts Now?

Making Things Easier To Understand (or F**K Art Speak)

Fergus Evans - 16 January 2017

WHO WAS THERE

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This is Bad Enough
This is bad enough
So please …

Don’t give me
gobbledegook.

Don’t give me
pages and dense pages
and
“this leaflet aims to explain … ”

Don’t give me
really dodgy photocopying
and
“DO NOT REMOVE
FOR REFERENCE ONLY.”

Don’t give me
“drafted in collaboration with
a multidisciplinary stakeholder
partnership consultation
short-life project working group.”
I mean is this about
you guys
or me?

This is hard enough
So please:

Don’t leave me
oddly none the wiser or
listening till my eyes are
glazing over.

Don’t leave me
wondering what on earth that was about,
feeling like it’s rude to ask
or consenting to goodness knows what.

Don’t leave me
lost in another language
adrift in bad translation.

Don’t leave me
chucking it in the bin
Don’t leave me
leaving in the state I’m in.

Don’t leave me
feeling even more clueless
than I did before any of this
happened.


This is tough enough
So please:

Make it relevant,
understandable –
or reasonably
readable
at least.

Why not put in
pictures
or sketches,
or something to
guide me through?

I mean how hard can it be
for the people
who are steeped in this stuff
to keep it up-to-date?

And you know what I’d appreciate?
A little time to take it in
a little time to show them at home
a little time to ask “What’s that?”
a little time to talk on the phone.

So give us
the clarity, right from the start
the contacts, there at the end.

Give us the info
you know we need to know.
Show us the facts,
some figures
And don’t forget our feelings.

Because this is bad
and hard
and tough enough
so please speak
like a human
make it better
not worse.

Elspeth Murray.

Art speak is a barrier. If we don't break down what we are saying we will never diversify our audiences, so the same people will go to the same shows etc

Its fine to use language but not to use jargon.

You gotta think, what would my Nan make of this

The best and most successful ways to break down barriers and arts speak etc is to create spaces for conversations between artists and communities (see Trinity Centers IGNiTE project)

Say what it is not what it will make you feel (as an audience member can decide for themselves how they will feel).

What does it look like? (what happens if I lick it?)




EDIT TAGS

COMMENTS: 1

Elspeth Murray

17 January 2017

Thanks Fergus and friends for calling this session and welcoming a badger into the discussion and sharing my/her poem here too :-)

I sometimes think that professional language is something we hide behind - *professing* to know what we're talking about when sometimes we'd be better just speaking our truth in simple terms and owning up to the parts we're still not sure about.

And yes - asking yourself what your granny would make of it is a great question!

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