For my final project, I decided to revisit my New Hive. My original New Hive was a representation of five of the things I am most passionate about in my life – it included sports, music, television and film, nature, and literature. Originally I was going to rework this original concept, tidy my existing project up and perhaps change some of the imagery I used. However, I figured since I had already made a New Hive about my passions, it would be interesting to make one for the exact opposite – my biggest fear.
As an international affairs student, my eyes are opened to a lot of the going ons in the world and their impact on my personal life. Additionally, I enjoy history, which if it teaches anything teaches you that human nature is cyclical and our race tends to repeat its mistakes. That’s why some of the recent developments in Western politics have been so troubling. There is a rise of a sort of crude nationalism that comes in the form of red hats with catchy patriotic slogans, cries to “Build the Wall”, and votes to separate the UK from the European Union. While this may seem harmful enough, it constructs an identity of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ in regards to politics and humanity. Nationalism was the leading cause in the First World War and then again in the rise of fascism. Therefore I used the imagery of a road, alongside it a sign to Build the Wall and imagery of Brexit. Ahead of the road are the fascist armies marching in their typical goose step style – this image should be behind us, disappearing into the past, but instead it is ahead of us on this road of fear, intolerance, and nationalism.
In addition to the imagery of wartime ahead of us on the road we’re currently taking I included a quote about fascism from Sinclair Lewis. He nails a concept that has been especially troubling to me – while it’s easy to use hindsight to point to Nazism as bad, it’s very easy to see how a poor German citizen destroyed by the terrible economy would be allured to it. It doesn’t start with the Final Solution but rather a Germany First sticker in a storefront. That is why it is so troubling to see some of the political movements springing up in the Western world. While none of them can be classified as fascism quite yet, they spring from the same source, and play on the same fears.
Finally, the song I used was a song by Radiohead called ‘2+2=5’, which was written in 2003 about the Bush administration and its dishonesty leading to events such as the Iraq War. Many of its themes are relevant to political life today, especially concerning the disinformation put forth by the current administration, oftentimes as brazenly deceiving as trying to say 2+2=5. Additional imagery includes the use of a polluted city in the background, since if we don’t destroy ourselves with warfare and intolerance, we’re already destroying the planet we depend on.