May 25, 2021
10: What are the challenges with the dissemination/communication of knowledge?
Object 1: blurb of a video published by the BBC in 2021
This object is the blurb of a video published by the BBC in 2021. The video discusses the challenges that occur when Tanya Robertson promotes her lingerie company, ‘Womanhood’, to male investors. Bras can be considered as a ‘taboo’ topic and Robertson discusses the awkwardness and stiffness that occurs when she discusses her business, this in turn prevents expansion on the important aspects of the actual product itself. ‘Womenhood’ offers well thought-out and meticulous bras that consider style, shape and fluctuating body sizes, however, this is over-looked and instead “the topic changes to numbers, and growth”1, which is a lot more extensive. This switch, conducted by the males in the meeting, eases the challenge of the communication of knowledge, the taboo topic of bras. The avoidance of this challenge in the short-term, causes many negative repercussions in the future. The challenges raised by the loss of communication and dissemination of this vital information revolving the importance of bras can equal to less high-quality and inclusive bras made for women. This challenge results to body exclusivity, and in turn manifests into body image-related mental health issues, such as body-dysmorphia.
We can infer that Roberston is an expert in the field of bras and lingerie, yet her expertise and knowledge is disregarded by the male investors that she speaks to, thus demonstrating the challenge of gender-roles and male dominance in the workplace. This object enriches this exhibition as it demonstrates the challenges that gender plays when communicating knowledge, as well as the challenges that females face when disseminating female-related topics among men. This object is just a small representation of many other incidences that negatively affect females in the contemporary society that we live in. This example exposes the possible initial source of women constantly striving to morph their body into unrealistic standards, simply because essential bras and lingerie cannot cater to their body size, this is especially detrimental and mentally draining for women in our contemporary society.
Object 2: article taken from ‘The Guardian’
This object is an article taken from ‘The Guardian’ regarding the issue of race and translation in relation to Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill we Climb’, it was published in March 2021. When we consider language barriers and translation, we can infer that the initial meaning is lost due to the way that individual languages project abstract meanings of words through literary techniques such as metaphors, idioms, and euphemisms.
This object in relation to the prompt projects the challenges that are presented when translating, as well as whom has the authority to translate. Dutch and English, offer great differences, Amanda Gorman specifically chose words that could be considered unique to the English language to best project the themes of hope and recovery. However, the new way in which the poem is communicated to the Dutch audience could convey different meanings, themes and messages, as Dutch words cannot acquire what Gorman’s carefully chosen English words exude. This object in relation to the prompt demonstrates the conflict between translation and different language, as different languages cannot allude to the same nuances and connotations.
The other issue that this article implies is the differences between Rijneveld and Gorman as people; Rijneveld is a male and not a person of colour, whilst Gorman is a black woman. Poetry is a form of expression and Gorman has formulated her poem in that way, she alludes to the struggle that she has faced as a minority in society throughout her poem, and Rijneveld cannot project the same meaning that she does especially when having to manipulate the Dutch language to conform to her poem. Thus, this object enriches this exhibition as it demonstrates the challenge presented by the dissemination of one’s knowledge is that value and meaning can be stripped when someone of a different ethnicity and gender translates a poem which is an outlet for expression.
Object 3: ‘College Counselling Evening’
This object is picture of a ‘College Counselling Evening’ conducted by the college counsellor at school, the meeting took place via zoom due to the current lockdown in the UK. The college counsellor discussed the transition from secondary school to university, a shift which is perceived as challenging. This object in relation to prompt 10 fundamentally infers that those who are more privileged gain expert advice surrounding university applications, than those less privileged; and this can offer many challenges. We can infer that the audience of this ‘College Counselling Evening’ are supported and informed, therefore giving them more leverage into launching them into university, more than those who are less likely to get access to this kind of information, perhaps teenagers attending public school or home- schooled. This meeting provided thorough information about university, giving an advantage to those who attended this talk. This object enriches this exhibition as it illustrates the correlation between privilege and accessibility. This is literally illustrated as the meeting took place in the form of a zoom meeting, requiring a password, proving that the challenge of this imperative knowledge is not accessible, and not communicated to a range of people.
Another challenge of this dissemination of knowledge is that it may have a nature of forcing students into the trajectories that we are made to follow, due to the information about universities that we are fed. The pressures of expectations relayed by authority figures equals to less freedom when deciding the outcomes of individual futures. Therefore, the dissemination of this knowledge being pressurising results in the challenge of less freedom beheld by students. In addition, this pressure can result to mental health issues in teenagers, as they try to morph their idealistic futures into what is expected of them.
Fig 1: Howell Jeremy, BBC NEWS, “Talking to male investors about bras can be awkward”<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-56294680> Accessed: April 22
Fig 2 : Flood Alison, The Guardian, “Shocked by the uproar’: Amanda Gorman’s white translator quits” <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/01/amanda-gorman-white-translator- quits-marieke-lucas-rijneveld> Accessed: April, 24
Fig. 3: My own image