QOTD: Saziah Bashir on playing at poverty

A great read at Pantograph Punch, on the problems with how we talk about poverty.

Poverty doesn’t take breaks on the weekends, or holidays over Christmas, or a week in Bali to escape the winter. Poverty is relentless.  Poverty is a daily humiliation. Poverty makes you especially vulnerable to substance abuse, violence and crime, which in turn keep you locked into that cycle. Poverty is hopelessness. Poverty takes away your agency and your power, and your voice. Poverty instills shame and parades your circumstances for judgment by strangers at dinner table chit-chat and late night talkback radio for those who have never met you. Poverty hangs over your entire life like a dark cloud that stretches to your furthest horizons, casting a dark shadow over every aspect of your personhood. Poverty is also reductive: you may be a complex creature, a full human being with loves and hates and particular tastes and preferences, but firstly you’re poor.

Poverty is not being given credit for carrying on, in the face of all of this, against all odds, in spite of naysayers and without the guarantee of change or liberation or even a platform.

Hat-tip to Morgan Godfery on Twitter.

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