There is a time for hope and there is a time for realism.

But what is needed now is beyond hope and realism.

This is a time when we ought to dedicate ourselves to bringing about the greatest shift in human consciousness and in the way we live. We ought to consecrate ourselves to bringing about a conscious evolutionary leap forward.

 No longer can we be the human beings we have been: wasteful, thoughtless, selfish, destructive. It is now time for us to be the most creative we have ever been, the most far-sighted, the most practical, the most conscious and selfless.

The stakes have never been, and will never be, higher.

LEOTARD: Tschabalala Self, 2019. Courtesy https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/12/why-black-contemporary-artists-shouldnt-just-be-shown-through-a-western-lens

What is called for here is a special kind of love for the world, the love of those who discover the sublime value of life because they are about to lose it.

For we are on the verge of losing this most precious and beautiful of worlds, a miracle in all the universe, a home for the evolution of souls, a little paradise here in the richness of space, where we are meant to live and grow and be happy, but which we are day by day turning into a barren stone in space.

So a new existentialism is called for……. a brave and visionary existentialism, where as artists we dedicate our lives to nothing short of re-dreaming society.

We have to be strong dreamers.

We have to ask unthinkable questions.

We have to go right to the roots of what makes us such a devouring species, overly competitive, conquest-driven, hierarchical.

We ought to ask questions about money, power, hunger.

CONVERSATION: Riki Wemega-Kwawu, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, 2003. Courtesy of the artist.

The scientists tell us that fundamentally there is enough for everyone. This Earth can sustain us.

We can’t just ask the shallow questions any more.

Our whys ought to go to the core of what we are. Then we ought to set about changing us.

We ought to remake ourselves.

Somehow civilisation has taken a wrong turn and we collectively need to alter our destination, our journey.

We can’t drive ourselves to the brink of extinction a second time.

ORANGE PROFILE 1: Ablade Glover, (2019)Courtesy of the Artist and October Gallery, London.

If we survive this brink, if we pull ourselves back from this apocalypse that’s awaiting, then we have to find a global direction that is one of sustenance and justice and beauty for the whole Earth, and for all the peoples of the Earth.

This is the best and most natural home we are ever going to have. And we need to become a new people to deserve it.

We are going to have to be new artists to redream it.

This is why I propose existential creativity, to serve the unavoidable truth of our times, and a visionary existentialism, to serve the future that we must bring about from the brink of our environmental catastrophe.

We can only make a future from the depth of the truth we face now.


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