Grenfell Notre Dame
Notre Dame has quickly raised far more money for its rebuild, than for the tragedy of deaths in the Grenfell Tower. The majority of the money raised for Grenfell was donated by the UK population. For Notre Dame the money came from billionaires. The UK Government offered the French help and to ring the Westminster Abbey bells in solidarity.
At face value this is blatant prejudice against a poor section of the community. People in power with money have no interest or care about the people of Grenfell. This is the result of a classist heirarchical country of haves and have nots. Time is money. Profit is the goal.
Yet 72 people lost their lives. In the UK. In London. From a fire in a building not adequately fire protected. We are all culpable as we live here. It was in our country. It was avoidable. There is a collective guilt which we cannot escape from. A pain, a hurt that others suffered and died in our home.
They were innocent like we are. We did not build Grenfell. But we are all at risk of buildings, transport and infrastructure being under funded, and possibly unsafe. Accidents can happen. We are all at risk. It could have been us. This causes us bad feelings. Which we want to deny, repress and escape from. We are humans and wired to avoid pain.
So Notre Dame where nobody died, is undeniably a building of great beauty. We mourn its loss, as it is a safer object/symbol we can project our pain and loss onto. It mainfests feelings of history, of pride of nationhood. We are in control of what it symbolises for us. Some thing or nothing. It is a pain in our control. It is not a person with the complexity of a story of a life, a childhood, a family. It is not messy. It has a simple beauty of a building. Three dimensional. Not multi complex. Not flawed. Not rich or poor. Bricks and glass. It can be rebuilt. Ironically it was waiting to happen. Under funded and needing renovation when at most risk of fire.
The other ugly thought is that art comes before people? Do we rate Michelangelo above other humans for what he created? Would we trade a hundred stone labourers for one artistic sculpter genius? Do some humans have more value than others? A taboo to admit to thinking like this?
Grenfell Notre Dame
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique