My artistic week has again been dominated by events at the Fayetteville Underground. Unfortunately it seems that the vision for the future of that organisation, as the Fayetteville Arts Alliance, is on the verge of expiring.
From my distant hideaway my thoughts swing between anger and depression at this turn of events. Up close, I cannot imagine how it must feel to have spent so much time and effort on the enterprise and to have put your reputation on the line, only to witness this sad decline.
Of course, no one asked me to get involved, nevertheless I did because I believed in the organisation. I believed it was more than just the sum of its parts and that it would go on to bigger and greater things. It is a terrible shame that this belief was not wholly shared.
Ironically, I realise now that I share some ideals with my father, as he was thirty years ago. At that time he was a shop steward for his union, which marked him as hard left and a trouble maker, at least as far as the establishment was concerned. In standing up for his beliefs and for those around him, he was black-listed by the Thatcher regime and was never again able to work in his trade. I am very glad that today, it seems, standing up for ideas beyond the self is becoming a global phenomena, even in places such as the United States where for so long the individual has been prized above all else.
The need to look out for each other has never been greater, than it is now. We are under constant and daily threat from the powers that own our governments, powers that have caused our world to turn away from post-Second World War dreams of liberty for all, into an undemocratic pro-capitalist corporate entity. Only by standing together can we hope to make it through this time, which I fear is likely to be the most difficult and dangerous that most of us will ever see. We need to stand together in every walk of life, in every way we can.
The Fayetteville Underground will cease operations at the end of next week. If anything is to take its place, if the Fayetteville Arts Alliance is ever to become a reality, at the core it is going to need a family of artists who will look out for each other, who will stand together, and do what needs to be done to support the group which, in turn, supports them. To me the Underground, at its best, was such a group. The Alliance needs no less to succeed and I wish those who are part of it every success in their future.