The Queen is dead
Invitation to a conversation
For a while, I am flirting and experimenting with the idea of a co-creative writing room. A room giving space to a diversity of perspectives, an experiment that invites voices from some places around the world to prompt certain topics.
When I woke up on Sunday, there was this impulse to follow up this creative adventure with the title ‚the queen is dead. As with all blank pages, doubts come along, is this a good topic to invite to co-create? Is it not too late already? I do not know and yes, there are many reasons to stop me from stepping ahead. Meeting a friend and process work colleague in Australia in a conspirative call - later on (my) Sunday morning - helps me to deepen the idea. Sharing it with my Finnish collaborator and creative sparring partner Iina takes it further in its realization.
The queen is dead. What does it mean for us?
Ok, I go first to share my reaction. To be very honest, it does not so much to me. Over the last weeks, I felt like a detached observer, wondering about this occurrence ’s attention. Of course, her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. was there all my life. My beloved grandmother (Oma) is of the same year of birth. She used to follow the royal family on every step in the yellow press. I am sure, Oma would be very touched about her death if she could catch it in the middle of all her forgetting (dementia). It was like a life-long soap opera - and Oma was a loyal fan of it. In a way, I took a bit over and got to know Elizabeth II. through watching Netflix ‚The Crown‘, but once finished it somehow vanished in my fictional memory and I did not so much connect to her as a still-living being. I can not find a lot of feelings in myself and therefore also did not feel attracted to watch ceremonies on television.
Let me slow down, there is a rebel energy in me. It says, what is the whole drama around a family (I mean there are dramas in all families, aren’t they) and why is the UK population supporting this quite expensive and overcome institution? Then I think of white supremacy and colonialism, about the cruelty in Irish British conflicts, I feel ashamed and suddenly get angry about my detachment.
This European royal family could take over responsibility and recognize the damage that was caused by imperialism in the past. If the new king would bring some of this ’grandeur‘, I could find a justification in his role. If not, I am for a system change.
Here we are, my inner activist is waking up, and I start to get more aware of my curiosity about this topic. Many questions arise … What made this queen‘s power last over 70 years and over continents? What made some people love her so much? Was there some feminine power of caring and holding the space - in the midst of a patriarchal system - that is worth watching closely? What do other people make hate in her? And what does her death mean for the ‚British empire‘? And what for monarchy in the United Kingdom? What effect does it have on working through all our history of colonialism?
And I am sure many more voices and aspects should be considered. Let me open the dialogue with all of today‘s limitedness/ignorance and honor my or our curiosity to listen to each other and build awareness by allowing the conversation to happen.
Her death seems to be an ending point and a door for something new.
Looking forward to reading you ….
Dear penny, thank you for sharing your perspective and help me watch through Australian glasses. My rebel applauded your ‚penny crime‘. What a beautiful pic to set the kangoroo free ;) I know about your deep connection to the land you live in/on and I am always touched hearing you honor the original owner of the land before starting groups you facilitate. I am wondering what this could mean translated to a European context? And notice how much I am/we are devised from land and ancestors and how much somehow needs to heal in this relationship too.
Hi Stephanie, it is an early morning in Warsaw. A whole night I am listening voice of my father taking part in the second World World and many other wars all over the world. He is 92 and partly on the other side of reality. There is my 92-year old mother laying after stroke in the other room. I have been on night and day, 24 hour, full time shift for the last 3 weeks. The Queen and the King are not dead here yet. But who cares about them except me?