The Cultural Appropriation of East London.

If you haven’t noticed, East London is overflowing with ostentatious yuppies, the majority of whom are all culturally appropriating the same persona of East London Artist in an undiscerning attempt at appearing relatable and edgy. Personally, I think the East London Artist cliché is exceedingly exhausted at this point, so much so that it’s becoming little more than reoccurring satirical trope like when a grand piano spontaneously falls on top of one of the character's heads in a cartoon show.

As a genuine East Ender, I’m tired of privileged kids masquerading as underdog artists of East London attempting to overcome adversity from the brutality of living in luxury Shoreditch penthouses. This narrative is ludicrously preposterous and makes a mockery of the highly problematic lives and problems faced by regular people. However, it’s self-evident that our lives don’t matter to them, overcoming genuine adversity is an extraneous concept to them, deep down they despise us and we are continually caricatured in the media as illiterate outcasts too psychologically tormented to be worthy of compassion. The delicate social fabric that defines the East London aesthetic is nothing more than a fancy dress costume for them, something they can don whenever convenient to perpetuate the illusion of being authentic without ever being subjected to the institutionalisation and calamity associated with growing up in a working-class environment. They continually punch down on us and remind us that we are too uncultured to be proficient enough to wield the gauntlet of excellence, they continually remind us to be grateful for them expropriating our culture as it ‘raises awareness’ for our plight, without us ever receiving anything in return. Our representation is nonexistent within the art-world despite East London being arguably the world capital of contemporary art. The system has been rigged against us since the day we were born and they assume that we are too vacuous to notice what’s going on, when we complain about our circumstances they employ psychological class warfare tactics against us identifying our vulnerabilities as moral justification for our predicament, ostracisation, and misery.


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