FCX #1: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ANTI-FRAGILE FOR GEN-Z?
The Fashion Communication Exchange (FCX) held its first event in July 2019. Here alumni, students, industry and academics came together to unravel our collective unconscious with a shared objective to interrogate the inherent qualities of this cultural moment in time and determine what is meaningful to us. We explored our vulnerabilities and values, and attempted to sketch out the personality of this zeitgeist.
Collectively is a distinct sense that we are in a phase of transition. Exasperated with authority and their phallic displays of power, neoliberalist promises now feel lost, we are disillusioned by post-truth and exhausted by platform capitalism. Hyper-woke through the explosion of content we find ourselves reconsidering our agency in affecting change; in this state of emergency cynicism has no place, we are determined and we are hopeful.
In this new paradigm of citizen responsibility and multi-generational activism the need to stabilize the core self is paramount, whilst our ability to communicate and make meaningful connections with others is crucial; desire for collective joy and opportunities to express ourselves becomes much more important than things. Families are paramount, but these are not always tied by blood. Alternative ways of living, working, learning and loving are emerging, structural hierarchies are being challenged whilst we find new ways to be free.
This idea of the community or the collective was the most passionate insight to come out of our event, that neoliberalist ideas of wellbeing are no longer relevant, we need a collective wellbeing invested in the idea of the tribe and our ability to connect with, and express ourselves with, others about being human, would be the most powerful way to emerge from the trouble.
With this collective intelligence harnessed we intend to approach how and where fashion and visual culture more generally reflects these tonalities, or how as progressive fashion academics and practitioners we might respond to these provocations and prophesies locally through the School of Media and Communication, LCF but also out in industry and beyond.