slow violence

In the current global political climate, it is easy to become shocked by and enraptured by the rapid and sharp-edged actions of individuals and parties. There is often outcry when politicians force personal agendas in seemingly broad daylight, sometimes surpassing policies that have stood for years, and ultimately creating a chaotic environment for journalists.

While these abrupt and uncalled for actions appear to be issues that need to be focused in on and addressed, they can also be a very intentional tactic that politicians use to distract from larger and more effective maneuvers. 'Slow violence' is a term made famous by author and environmentalist Rob Nixon, defined as "violence that occurs gradually and out of sight; a delayed destruction often dispersed across time and space." Although initially the term was used in relationship with the environment and how its manipulation impacts impoverished communities, it has become more and more relevant to issues like domestic violence in the past few years.

Instances of slow violence often happen behind closed doors or hidden under the facade of more immediately volatile actions. Examination of not only the policies and legislation coming forth from the government, but also of corporations that fund campaigns is necessary in order to understand the true motivations and values held in the current climate.

As a young adult, three months away from being eligible to vote I find it alarming that this sort of underhanded, closed-door method of grabbing for power is still commonly practiced. I am left with a deep sense of mistrust for anything I am supposed to believe at face value and not given the statistics to back up. Even within the party I align most with I am incapable of belief before doing my own research. Slow violence has pervaded my life and the life of every adolescent as long as we have been alive: desensitization to violence, the preparation to enter the workforce of a struggling economy, and the slow corruption of the free and true press. Generations of the 21st century will have never known a world in which these issues did not exist and press on us, leaving weight on our shoulders that our parents did not know at our age.

Being a poet and watching these events unfold leaves me in a position where I cannot remain quiet. It is my duty to be vocal and use my writing as a way to commentate on all around me; after all, art imitates life.

slow violence

how do you know what is real till it’s over? seeing is a paradoxical state of existence: the past is not over just passing, even ‘endings’ are future tense– in-ding, in the middle. nothing done

until it’s past. so the state of seeing is a state of being

uncertain, under the certainties of that which

is done, that which can be redone because there is no

research of visibility within. I am blind to all that is happening right in front of my eyes, I can

see but I do not under-stand– no one expects you

to when you’re in the middle, with-in-visble you do not disappear, only disengage from the truth. not by intension, but in tension who wouldn’t want to go away forget the world for a

little while? there’s no battleship in the harbor

only sinking, in the pit of my stomach at the thought of going for a swim in the blood that has pooled around the edges of skin. swelling tides

turn against the sure and is-land even there? I can’t remember the last time I was steady, but I swear I wasn’t always drowning.

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