We are all very anxious*.
Some of us feel overwhelmed by the multitude of choice. Others feel insecure because of the instability of the economy. Some of us live for suspended periods in states of precariousness due to visa statuses. Some of us see crossing borders as a fun and enriching adventure; for others immigration control make this a nightmare. Others feel replaceable at work, be that by a machine or by just someone who will complain less about the working conditions.
Some of us feel that we should be happier. Social media inundates us with news of other people's ‘’success’’ stories. Everyone seems so happy, so healthy, so beautiful, so interesting, so calm, so cute, so individual.
Why am I not feeling it?
We don’t communicate all the truth. We are continually comparing ourselves to others. Are they more interesting than me? Are they ageing better? Do they have funnier comments under their Instagram posts? Are they more connected to what really matters? Could they replace me?
We are under constant surveillance in public spaces and now this has extended to our own homes, to the intimacy of our own pockets, where data is gathered on our phones with and without our consent. We are being observed. We are being protected by increased ‘’security’’.
We feel the effect of this lack of privacy. Am I doing something wrong? Will I be punished for bringing extra liquids on the plane? They must know it was me.
We grasp to the last remains of our privacy by expressing ourselves less in public spaces. Our anxiety is a public secret.* Is there something wrong with me? Should I take pills? Meditate? Cut out gluten? What self-help practice should I do? It’s my fault. I have to fix myself.
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Clean your room and you'll have a fresh start, it’s easier to breathe. Get rid of the clutter. In your room, in your closet, in your mind. You have less. You have enough. There is less that distracts you. There is less that you need to worry about. The minimum remains. It calms you. Focus only on what is necessary.
On what really matters.
Jan Bernstein https://janbernstein.com/
Nikita Zhukovskiy https://nikitazhukovskiy.com/
Zac Endter https://zacendter.com/
Dārta Treimane https://www.instagram.com/atrad.a/
Jeremy Knowles https://jeremyknowles.co.uk/
Curated by Darta Treimane
Sound by Marce Braun https://soundcloud.com/marcebraun
Voice by Ula Liagaite
*to quote We Are All Very Anxious. Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy, and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It. The Institute for Precarious Consciousness