I’m thinking about space today. Not necessarily the physical kind, although that is quite real. More like the, “Is there room enough for my voice in this conversation” kind of space. Or larger still, “is there room enough for me in this world?”
We live in a pluralistic society (or at least one that says it aims to be that way), and yet there are still many people who feel unseen, unheard, unknown, and ultimately undone. Their existence is taken for granted, and their work unrecognized even with the smallest of acknowledgements.
Towards the end of his life Harold Cromer, a tap dancer and performing artists with a vast and long career in the entertainment industry, talked a lot about there being no room at all. His experience of being blocked from reaching his fullest potential as a performer was real. He reasoned it was because the business only had capacity for one “leading man” or “leading lady” or “top banana” or “world famous comedy duo.” If you happened to be the person who filled that space you had it made. It that wasn’t you…well, your journey was going to be a lot harder.
With the consolidation of the market into a few digital platforms it has felt to me that everything is shrinking. While the promise of digital is growth, and expansion, and reach, it seems as if there are less gatekeepers, fewer marketplaces, and less room.
Wondering what making space would look like in our current context?