Mind The Gap
“There is more ado to interpret interpretations than to interpret things, and more books upon books than upon any other subject; we do nothing but comment upon one another. Every place swarms with commentaries; of authors there is great scarcity”. Montaigne
“Then gentlemen, let us wait a little. When your enemy is executing a false movement; never interrupt him”. Napoleon
I am a young observer of and participant in the cultural scene and movements in Sudan; moreover I personally live experiences in regard to the old/ young generations conflict issue. This allowed me to have the much more of sights, pictures, knowledge and memories. Because of my highly levels of concerns; in this article which is not going to be scholarly or philosophical writing rather than it is going to be more personal, full of concerns, fears, and Love, all at the same time. Maybe I am also going to write this with anger or sadness, and maybe without any sense of professionalism but this is what I see in my cultural community in specific.
I am almost 27 years old now, I am a Fiction writer and I used to be a journalist, why I said "used to be" that is because: the first time I started my career as a journalist in the cultural field at couple of Sudanese newspapers, I was just completed my 19th years of old. I faced lots of barriers, verbal attacks and being filled with doubts about my ability and intelligence just because of my age which was bonded with "lack of experience" and in other language "ignorance" by the senior generations. I remember I was really shocked by that very anger, I was notexpecting anything but enlightenment passed to me from them. I sadly left my jobs at the newspapers one after another, I started to question myself about the truth of what I thought it is a myth; that the old generations or as what the young generations love to call them "Dinosaurs" might be a real fact that they do break our wings as youth and always twisted and played by the compasses so we lose directions. So the youth started digging for new paths. And the old generations now want these new "inexperienced" paths with mania. I always wanted to close my eyes and never think about the conflict between old and young generations nowadays.
But we as youth, we are neither angles nor victims. We are pure little selfish devils, full of energy that we have no idea how or where we can invest it. We as young generations we have our own problems and conflicts; we do not support each other, we divided ourselves into groups and any other young person who does not belong to one of these groups will be abandoned and eaten alive. When I looked back to that golden era as we have been told, when the old generations where young then; I found out that they did support each other, they criticized themselves with fully respect to the dignities, diversities and differences. They valued the originality of each other work, and they even kept it in their own offices or house archives, they celebrated with joy and proud the new published works by anyone. Literally they had very strong bounds and friendships.
Now here at the other side, in spite of all this completely new generous era we are living in now; we as youth we do notappreciate the originality of anyone’s work, we do not support, push, and criticize in logical words. Maybe I am volumizing all this but it is somehow the very true. We as youth are ignorants, yes we live in this very time where everything is available in a touch of an index but we are complete ignorants as long as we do not know how to take care of each other, how to treat with respect, how to build a culture and a history to stay alive in the future minds. We are lost and we are afraid. The senior generations did not see this in us, and they got afraid of this fake skin so that is where it all got worse.
We as youth, we are full of thoughts and enthusiasm for experiencing these thoughts. We do not believe in frames or rules, we put our own ones just for sake of breaking and not following them. So first of all let us interrupt Napoleon and not follow his rule, though there is no enemy; interrupt anyone who is about to make a false move whether from old or youth, and keep the dialogue open well covered by respect, also let us keep in our minds that there is no expiration dates for the old generations, and there is no ovulation or incubation periods for the young generations. The cultural scene’s pendulum, will keep bouncing and keep its balance because of both the old and young generations. The passing experiences, the new thoughs, the contemporary experiments, it is all about hugging the past, building the present and handing a future.
In our unique country Sudan, we already have the gorgeous mixture of Arabic and African, Sahara and Nile, let us keep on this mix always on our minds and reflect it in our Old/ Young Generations Conflicts and I am fully sure that the dialogue and the mix between both of them will last even longer than anything on the earth as long as we do not eat our own species alive and so our culture.