In Praise of The Margins

22 October 2018

Inspired by "Bader Al-Humoud" part of "TANWEEN" talks

The hero that is Never Mentioned..
Margins are looked at as a secondary thing that only exists to support the original text. The body is always in the center, although margins are more accurate and credible as they either address the reader directly and don’t leave him to develop his own impressions and ideas, or they are rich and open the mind to new ideas away from the original message of the text. 

The margins in books and publications are an unfair reduction of the idea of margins, so let’s look at it from another point of view. In art, sport, science, culture and social life, there are manifestations of the idea of body and margin. Examples include the idea of the star and his audience, the maestro and his orchestra, the team leader and his team, and so on. All of these examples consist of two roles: the neglected, overlooked margin, and the celebrated center. But still, describing the body and the margin as one is more important than the other is not a very concrete description. 

Let’s take Cinema as an example, people’s memories are full of titles, character names and personalities; still, behind every great work -in a dark, shadow area- there are crews consisting of photographers, directors, artists, lighting technicians, audio engineers and a lot of people with other professions and specializations that produce these series, programs, movies and songs, through their hard and continuous work. This is not limited to art only. It is found in other “dazzling” professions that only look this way because of the exploited workers whose names are never said in executive boards and their accomplishments are never praised. This working class builds cities and their glory, while exposing the falsehood of all the slogans that speak of sacrifice and hard work. 

Those people who will remain unknown.. who will know nothing about flashes other than their sound, and nothing about pictures other than their reflection, are another representation of loving mothers who take pictures, collect photo frames, and act as a shadow protecting their children. This leads to the question: What if that margin didn’t exist? How will reality look? What would be there to build on? 

In today’s world, what constitutes a margin in a certain context could be the body in another. An obvious example of this is virtual reality platforms that enable the audience to present themselves and their ideas. They even became a space of sharing and highlighting talents and skills, whether they are music, acting sketches, pranks, painting, cooking, sport, training or teaching. In spite of the continuous criticism of the negative sides to those platforms, it cannot be denied that they have presented us with a wide range of talents, and gave an outstanding example of the margin that achieved stardom, and reversed the roles. 

It’s clear that margins are not isolated from the body anymore, and that the body has lost its total power over anything outside of it. The rules of the game are changing, but does this change mean that the original text has lost all value? We will leave this ending open.