It’s good to go to places new, to find new stuff you never thought there was. To be honest, this idea you need to get out your comfort zone is wrong: discomfort is not a valuable property in life. What is valuable is slowly beginning to feel comfortable in most scenarios you encounter, whether familiar or not: with people of all kinds; with cultural rub and dissonance; with difference as a given, not an exception.
That is what I have discovered this time in Dublin. How it’s possible to be at home – even in a place where you’ve experienced both the worst as well as the best of times.
Predict 2017 – not only the intimate and warm pre-conference event in Kennedy’s Pub on Monday night but also the conference and conversations yesterday themselves – was the best conference I ever did visit: ideas, people, places, a full Irish welcome. I even began to feel there were people interested in me for what I have become, instead of interested in always radically becoming me quite something else.
Work must follow on from this experience – for actually, I have no other alternative; but then neither, at all, do I want one!
And so work I look forward to. The year of exposure to both academia and bleeding-edge artistic practice – via the guiding and firm structures of LJMU’s institutional framework, via Dr Emma Murray, my dissertation supervisor, via Mike Stubbs and the wider organisation that is FACT Liverpool, as well as via a whole host of other good persons, particularly those I have encountered here in Dublin as well as back in Liverpool – means a man who had lost his way in life has rediscovered a hunger for driving good change. Change as the property of all, that is; no longer the privilege of the few.