The Malcontent

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The Malcontent

Bella Baillie

My entry is a pen and ink drawing over a collage. It depicts a community of workers separated from someone who has ‘risen to the top’. The entry symbolizes the isolation of individuals in society, in a success culture; a lack of control of individual fate; and our common humanity.

I care deeply about inequalities in society. My collage explores three of my core values. The first core value I explored was community. At a human, emotional level, big cities breed loneliness, competition and alienation; cities are built for the production of commodities and servicing of economic needs, not for the enrichment of human life - it seems to me. And yet, I believe community and a strong sense of belonging is critical in terms of helping people to cope with poverty, unemployment, ill health and ageing. The second core value I explored was democracy. My ability to make decisions, both nationally and on a smaller scale (at school) is one which I frequently undervalue, considering the lack of democracy across the world – although perhaps less so since getting the vote in the independence Referendum. The third core value I explored was the importance of human relationships in economic life. In my personal drive to be a high achiever, I rejected unfavourable aspects of myself but found my mental health suffered; I had lost vital elements of what made me, me, and dismissed what made me human.

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