Sometimes there are months on end where we get stuck in our own heads. We get trapped and consumed in our bubbles of work, eat, sleep, Instagram, what’s for tea and Netflix. There are so many distractions in our peripheral vision that we can hardly see past them to the outside world.
And for our generation, for the millennials and youth of today, our eyes are glued to screens but we barely seen anything beyond hashtags and filters and auto-focused images. We have the news on in the background and skim past the headlines to the celebrity face photoshopped into the corners of tabloids. But it’s time for that to stop. On Sunday 30th October a protest took place in Nottingham’s Old Market Square. A community of Turkish citizens collected in the street to raise their voices and rally against the media oppression in their country. They called out to the residents of Nottingham to help them protect their family members, their friends, their rights from the constraints of their governmental laws. And the residents of Nottingham did nothing.
A quick Google search will tell you nothing about this protest. The latest headlines from the Nottinghamshire media contain noting more than updates on the new Waitrose in Edwalton and an upturned bin lorry in Old Bamford. Unless you were there, you would know nothing about this protest, know nothing about their banners, their signs, their giggling children or their undiminished pride.Now, I don’t claim to know anything about geographic politics. I don’t religiously follow the news or riot with the rest. I use my Twitter feed to upload photographs of coffee and my favourite skincare products, and my Instagram for angles of pumpkins and laptop screens. I’m a 20 year old privileged white girl with shallow intentions and some truly terrible spending habits. But this protest shook me.
Excluding various degrees of misogyny, I’ve never been oppressed, and I hope never to be able to empathise with the struggles of these communities. But I can notice them, and I can share these photos and I can help by learning about their campaigns and boosting them to my audience, however small it may be. Currently in Turkey, political journalists are being shut down and imprisoned cross the board and media freedom is at an all time low. England has one of the most independent news and media coverage platforms in the world. No wonder this community chose Nottingham to protest within.