The Art of Critique

This blog post is a short one, but I believe it is a very important one.

In the past year, I came across at least two Facebook posts, by supposedly reputably individuals in the Tamil media/independent artist industry, which were seemingly targeted at certain individuals.

Such social media posts made me think very hard about the role of so-called reputable individuals in the Tamil society and the impact that they have. It goes without say that the Tamil artists’ industry is a very competitive one. That does not mean anyone is above anyone else. We are equal and in the race to victory together. We are all a team trying to work together to prove a point to everyone about what the arts can achieve. It is therefore very disheartening when I see social media posts by these ‘artists’ or ‘event organisers’ who talk about events, or indirectly about particular individuals. Even if their intentions may be positive, this does not come across in the tone and manner of their posts.

Why do I find all of this frustrating? Mainly because I find this very demeaning. It comes across very sarcastic and sounds as if these individuals are just using social media to mock others indirectly and quite frankly it comes across very stuck-up. Come on lads and lasses, there are better ways to critique. I believe that if you have genuine feedback to give, then contact the individual and do so in a way which does not bring their motivation down. Honestly, this is how I would like people to give me feedback – whether it be about my dance performance or an event I have organised. I would find it very unprofessional if someone plastered their feedback over social media and not once discuss it with me in a professional environment. This is especially important because no one aside from the individuals involved will know why certain things happened a certain way, whether it be regarding their performance or event. So who are we to post our so-called ‘constructive feedback’ without discussing the circumstances with them? We are all here to help each other, so with that mentality, we can all become that much stronger as a unit: this is regardless of whichever industry we are concerned with – performing arts, fashion or event organisation. The best critics are ones who celebrate best elements of something; identify the weaknesses and offer possible solutions; provide encouragement and motivation to ensure individuals are driven to push themselves even more. Why? Well we all want quality acts or events which come from nothing less than positive vibes, so let us all work together to create this environment.

You might be thinking that I am contradicting my own words with this post. Why cannot I just go up to these individuals and tell them what I feel? Well because, there are too many such individuals to whom I will have to approach. Furthermore, this being a very common issue these days, I wanted to write something which would hopefully make more people think before they start putting up or even encouraging such posts.

Before I published this blog, as with all my blogs, I sent it to my friend to proof read it. She summed it up in three sentences: ‘negative feedback is useless’, ‘positive criticism is not’ and ‘people are quick to judge and use social media to deliver hate.’ Let us learn and help each other out and build our professional stance in this society for all the right reasons, in the right ways, to ensure this industry is sustainable for the years to come.

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