Emerging- /Nairobi to Atlanta

Seeing Mark Smith’s “Emerging” in person was an absolute treat. Inspiring is an understatement.

Two things set my mind on fire as I stood there transfixed:

1- the revolution underway in the land of my birth as the sounds and images stream in;

2- the fresh reminder of the shocking scourge of homelessness in cities of rich and powerful economies as I took a walk through Atlanta.

Much like this sculpture, a young generation in Kenya is emerging– downloading itself into its own light, connecting their daily pain to the inhumanity inherent in extreme capitalism. It’s an unloving system, cold and uncaring. They’ve had enough.

Much like this sculpture, a silent suffering sits with those vomited out by the flames of extreme capitalism in Atlanta. The despondent faces of homeless people – living and defecating right beneath the glitter of the city’s skyscrapers – was a tad shocking, as if I hadn’t already seen it in every architecturally stunning city I’ve visited in the US.

There was one who looked like he just fell off a sky-high office and right into a pit of homelessness. He dragged his blankets into a corner trying to hide from my curious eyes. He had the sheen of wealth and the privilege of race still clinging to his face. They all looked resigned to the darkness of invisibility, perhaps hoping for a miracle, a deus ex machina moment.

The tribes arising from inhumane economic systems the world over, from Nairobi to Atlanta, speak the same language – the language of an emergence happening, emergence about to happen, or emergence dormant for an unforseen while.

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