I’ll be honest, being a born and bred Brit often doesn’t sit well with me. It is impossible to live in a country and on a continent so tortured by British colonialism without feeling a deep sense of shame and despair. I watch so many British immigrants become defensive about that truth once they are faced with it head on. All sorts of absurd justifications come to the fore, as a means of avoiding the depth of the grief, and the growing realisation of what our nation’s wealth is built on. Sometimes I catch myself being wryly sarcastic about it as a means of coping, but that too is a form of disrespectful denial. There are no jokes to be made about torture, theft and genocide.
So I often steer clear of my home culture and upbringing. I struggle to make sense of it in this context. Once in a while, though, I am reminded that there are people in my country who have extraordinary talent, and I shouldn’t hide myself from that. This week I’d like to share the work of three lovely artists; Laura Mvula, Grace Petrie and Kate Rusby.
Laura Mvula holds a special place in my heart because she films so many of her videos in South Africa. And, like me, is from the British Midlands. I have shared this video about a hundred times before, but that doesn’t matter. It is worthy of being watched once a day at least!
I particularly love the work that Laura Mvula has been doing around anxiety, and how honest and open she has been with her own experience.
I heard Grace Petrie only recently! I was listening to a podcast called The Guilty Feminist, and she performed a song that caused me to cry in the car! Imagine my joy to discover that she is also from my hometown, Leicester!
Last, but by no means least, is Kate Rusby. She sings English folk music so beautifully. The song lyrics I shared above have been in my head all day! Here’s the full song.
Happy weekend Beloveds!