The Personal Isn’t Political

Brexit happened and it seemed earth-shattering from abroad. The live updates escalated to the point of farce: Nigel Farage triumphantly soapboxing his way through press junkets, clownish Boris Johnson becoming clickbait on countless occasions and, of course, the coverage of Trump’s timely and bizarre Scottish interlude. David Cameron went so far as to step down, hoping everyone would forget Brexit was his idea in the first place. The European Union seemed to be cracking at its very foundations as the United Kingdom theatrically made its exit. Visiting the UK, one would expect some sort of cultural shift after this ostensible cataclysm. Oddly, no one wanted to speak of Brexit.

A Saturday afternoon at London’s 10th Bermondsey Street Festival was light-hearted. Obviously, attendees did not want to engage in political talk. It seemed intrusive to do so since Brexit has become a topic akin to taxes or something equally tedious. The UK’s departure is the largest disruption in EU history, but that does not necessarily mean that Brits have felt the change hit home. Yes, there are demonstrations and a continuation of dialogue, even violence, yet not every public gathering engages in politics. Post-Brexit is still unfolding and opinions are incubating. Though, what is being British if one’s country is no longer attached to the EU or, even, they feel disconnected from their country’s own politics? Do these politics even matter to the average person’s day-to-day life, or is Brexit simply too chaotic to mull over? These questions are yet to be answered as street culture, dance, art and the weekend are seemingly untouched: a circus separate from the political vaudeville. Here’s a glance of the Bermondsey Street Festival.

Mariah Katz

Images: Mariah Katz