“Terveisiä Helsingistä”: What happened in Finland during the Helsinki Summit?

From Noora Virtanen – CEFEUS Postgraduate Analyst

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It has been a bit over a week now since the 16th July summit when American President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, in Helsinki, Finland. The Helsinki Summit definitely gained a lot of media attention, not just in Finland but all around the world. Furthermore, Finns saw this as a great opportunity to show the world Helsinki at its best. While I’m mostly surrounded by the British press, I could not help but take a sneak peek to what the Finnish press was saying about the visit.

  1. “Welcome to the land of free press”

Both the Finnish press and social media reported widely the Helsingin Sanomat campaign promoting the importance of free press. As the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat had put up 300 billboards with news titles from 2008 to 2018 commenting on the Presidents attitudes on the issue. One of the most notable ones said “Mr.President, welcome to the land of free press”. Other billboards included texts, such as “Trump calls media enemy of the people”, “Putin is trying again to bring the media to heel” (in Russian), and many others. According to the editor-in-chief Kaius Niemi, the campaign was aimed at welcoming the Presidents to Finland, but also to draw attention to both Presidents’ attitudes on freedom of press. Billboards like these continue the media attention Helsinki gained in November 2016 from the British press after a well-known two-day start-up festival called Slush and the Helsinki tourist board put up a sign at the Helsinki Airport to welcome arrivals. The sign said: “Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November. Except you, you badass. Welcome.” This portrays well the very essence of Finnish humour. The international media has been both negative and positive of the billboards put up for the Helsinki Summit.

  1. What did the Presidents actually talk about?

Yle, Finland’s national public broadcasting company, wrote a summary of the Helsinki Summit highlighting the topics discussed and their impact. The article mentions President Trump’s invitation to host President Putin in Washington in the autumn to discuss national security, and how this impacts the international community’s attempts to isolate Russia. The involvement of Russia in the US Presidential elections and President Trumps comments at the press conference were also addressed. The article mentions that the two discussed to an extent Ukraine, Syria and reviving economic relations outside the sanctions. Finally, the article notes that despite the first strong comments against President Trump’s performance in Helsinki caused the Republicans and Democrats to unite on criticising his actions, 68% of Republicans approved his actions in a recent CBS opinion poll.

  1. The costs of the Helsinki Summit

Some of the Finnish media also addressed the cost of hosting this Summit. According to Uusi Suomi, there were 1,500 reporters from all around the world to report on the Helsinki Summit. It has been estimated that just facilitating the media, providing security and other costs were around 3.5 million Euros. However, the benefits of hosting the Summit are seen to outweigh the costs. The Summit was seen as an opportunity for Finland to promote its commitment to peaceful conflict resolution through formal negotiations and increase the world’s awareness of Finland being a land of much more than just Lapland and reindeers. While the exact revenue brought in by the Summit won’t be clear until later, experts are hopeful about the Summit’s impact on the Finnish economy.

  1. The First Ladies

The meeting of the two First Ladies was also closely followed by the media. According to Yle, while Melania Trump did not have a formal schedule for her Helsinki visit, the two First Ladies had a breakfast meeting. It was reported that they discussed the welfare of children and young people, and the Finnish welfare state for example. The media also reported on both of their outfits, with Melania Trump wearing a Gucci jacket and Jenni Haukio wearing a dress that was Finnish design. One of the headlines mentions how both of their outfits had butterflies on them. This caused some criticism in the social media regarding the role of gender in media reporting.

The response from Finnish Politicians was mainly positive. The Finnish Prime Minister commented on the Helsinki Summit on Twitter saying that he is “happy to note the #Helsinki2018 went well. It was an honor for my government to provide supporting facilities for the meeting hosted by President Niinistö. During these times rules based international cooperation and dialogues is extremely important for all of us”. A Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala, on the other hand, thanks the Helsingin Sanomat for their billboard campaign and says that “This campaign of yours will not be forgotten”. Another Finnish MEP, Petri Sarvamaa, tweeted that “The president of the United States siding with the Russian president is the gravest crisis between the two countries since Cuba 1962. No wonder Russia is declaring #HELSINKI2018 #TrumpPutinSummit as “fabulous”!”. To add another view, Finnish MEP Jussi Halla-aho commented on the summit saying that “it is silly to hold Summits in city centrals. It disrupts the traffic, makes it harder to guarantee security, there are problems around accommodation, anarchists are rioting and get to break shop windows and burn cars. Some ski resort in Lapland would have been an excellent place for a meeting”. It is hard to say how much of this tweet is sarcasm and how much is true criticism.

All in all, the Helsinki Summit was seen as a great opportunity and a success by most Finns, no matter how informal and secretive the agenda of the Putin-Trump private meeting was. I think it is safe to say that Finland is indeed more than just the land of the Santa Claus, Lapland and reindeers – and it knows how to put it on a billboard.

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The Irish Border and Brexit

From Fennel Wellings – CEFEUS Undergraduate Research Assistant

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The Good Friday Agreement signed in April 1998 has achieved ‘twenty years of relative peace’ as well as ‘enhanced prosperity’. Brexit has the potential to fracture this agreement unless a robust solution is put into place that avoids any disruption to the peace process. Below are three options that have been suggested in order to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic:

 

1. UK remains in the customs union

This would mean that the UK would have to accept the flow of goods, services and regulations set by the EU whist leaving it without a seat at the negotiating table. This would arguably be leaving the UK in a worse position than it is being a EU member state, as it would require the UK to accept rules and regulations that it had no part in negotiating. This is something that would be hard for the government to float politically and would be immediately shunned by Brexiteers, as it would put restrictions on UK trade.

 

2. The soft ‘invisible border’

This would oversee the creation of a soft border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This model is something that Brexiteers believe is achievable but in reality appears fairly unworkable, and is something that the EU has already referred to as ‘magical thinking’. Even if this option were technologically viable to implement there would still need to be cameras at the border, which has caused the police to worry that ‘that kind of infrastructure would be attacked’. In May this year Karen Bradley the Northern Ireland Secretary ‘reiterated the government’s pledge to have no new cameras at the Irish border after Brexit’ stating that any new infrastructure would represent a security risk.

3. A united Ireland, a border in the Irish Sea

This would effectively separate Northern Ireland from the UK, placing their economy under EU rule. This is something that the DUP are set against, so it is unlikely that it is something that Theresa May is likely to pursue herself as she lacks ‘the votes in parliament to go against that party’s wishes’. This proposal has been set out in a draft agreement by the Commission and referred to as their ‘backstop’ plan that will become effective unless a better agreement is established. This does avoid a hard border effectively as well as providing protections against British goods sneaking over the border, but Theresa May has stated that she will not reside over the break up of the UK.

 

These three options that have been suggested in order to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic each present their own difficulties and barriers to being politically and logistically viable. It is also worth noting that the Good Friday agreement requires ‘the secretary of state to trigger a border poll if it appears likely that a majority in Northern Ireland would vote to join the Republic of Ireland’, in December 2017 polls found that in the event of being faced with a hard Brexit 48% would vote for a united Ireland and remain inside the EU, with 45% stating that they would prefer to remain as part of the UK and leave the EU. In the event of this becoming a reality the confidence and supply agreement between the Conservative Party and the DUP would have crumbled, leading to their parliamentary collapse.

 

The Chequers deal looks to have made some key policy shifts that would move the UK towards a Norway style arrangement, a deal that would cover ‘at least part of the EU single market’. The proposed model of a “free trade area for goods” that sees the continuation of ‘existing regulatory and customs arrangement for manufacturing and agricultural products’, is not inclusive of services, something that does set alarm bells ringing when considering services cover 80% of the UK’s economy. This stance has already been viewed by some negotiators in the EU as unworkable due to the difficulty the UK will have in detaching services from goods. In spite of this the UK still views this stance as the solution to the Irish border problem and is included in the white paper, the most recent development from the government concerning the UK’s exit from the EU.

The paper sets out the need for a ‘principled Brexit’, stating that the UK is committed to ‘protecting the peace process and avoiding a hard border, safeguarding the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK’. In order to maintain a frictionless border the white paper sets out details for a free trade area for goods in order to protect the peace process as well as avoiding any harm being caused to the internal market of the UK. The UK’s proposal of a free trade area for goods states that jobs and livelihoods and will also ensure that there is ‘no requirement in any scenario for new permits for transport services between Northern Ireland and Ireland’.

John McGrane the director general for the British Irish Chamber of Commerce has echoed the EU’s concern with plan for the border that was initially set out at Chequers, stating that a goods only Brexit deal would be unworkable and would be ‘resisted by business leaders’. McGrane held that the separating of goods and services would be impractical as ‘goods do not exist in isolation’, as well as stating that ‘a goods only deal would not remove the need for an Irish border’ as this does not solve the freedom of movement of people across the border that impacts ‘EU citizen employees, tourism and communities’. This is also something that the EU will not look upon favourably as it is inclusive of an element of ‘cherry picking’ from the four freedoms, something that the EU will want to safeguard whatever the outcome.

It therefore looks as though the question of the Irish border may rumble on for some more time, and if the proposed plans in the white paper are unworkable then the most likely outcome will be the ‘backstop’, the fall back plan proposed by the EU. The questions of the Irish border has most definitely presented itself as a barrier to the Conservative party seeking a hard Brexit and going forward will require the cabinet to address the matter devoid of ‘creative ambiguity’ and ‘magical thinking’. If the Conservative party are unable to achieve this they run the risk of presiding over the disintegration of not only their own party, but also the disintegration of the UK, whilst throwing the peace process into disarray as a possible consequence.

References

BBC. (2018). Bradley repeats ‘no new cameras’ on Irish border pledge. Available https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44133527. Last accessed 12th July 2018.

Barker, A. (2018). The Soft Brexit Chequers Deal: What it Means. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/aeb53c82-82ac-11e8-96dd-fa565ec55929. Last accessed 11th July 2018.

Green, D A. (2018). The Politics of Brexit Has caught up with Harsh Reality. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/6cd2421c-838b-11e8-a29d-73e3d454535d. Last accessed 11th July 2018.

Henley, J. (2018). Brexit: What is the UK’s Backstop Proposal? Available: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/07/brexit-what-is-the-uks-backstop-proposal. Last Accessed 11th July 2018.

HM Government. (2018). The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Available: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/724982/The_future_relationship_between_the_United_Kingdom_and_the_European_Union_WEB_VERSION.pdf. Last Accessed 13th July 2018.

Leary, P. (2018). There are Three Ways out of the Irish Border Impasse. All are Closed to Theresa May. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/01/irish-border-hard-theresa-may-brussels. Last accessed 12th July 2018.

O’Carroll, L. (2018). Soft Brexit Proposal Welcomed on Both Sides of Irish Border. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/07/soft-brexit-proposal-welcomed-both-sides-irish-border. Last Accessed 11th July 2018.

Rankin, J. (2017). UK accused of ‘Magical Thinking’ over Brexit plan for Irish Border. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/25/uk-accused-of-magical-thinking-over-brexit-plan-for-irish-border. Last Accessed 13th July 2018.

What makes you middle class?

From Katarina Hill – Intern in Politics and International Relations 

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What does it actually mean to be middle class?

Since moving to the UK from Denmark I am certainly aware that I am middle class – but why? I never thought about social classes much in the 19 years I lived in the supposedly happiest country on earth (do not believe it, it is an elaborate ruse). Being English and Danish (and some other heritages but let us not get into that) I grew up with two cultural influences, however the delightfully British concept of social class never snuck into the various cultural traits I adopted from my dual nationality. Three years of living in Britain and I am suddenly painfully aware of social classes and just how middle class I apparently am. The reality of my evidently middle class habits, and how they are not feasible on an undergraduate student income – even with a decent monthly educational grant (thank you, Denmark) – hit me during my first year of university. Shopping at Waitrose on a regular basis (they may overcharge for milk, but their veg is nicer) was no longer an option, and Nescafé Gold was now a luxury rather than a cheaper-but-still-nice alternative for my morning coffee. I am good at budgeting and bargain hunting so it was not a big adjustment, and hardly something that really bothered me. Yet, some of my friends did tease me with the odd comment about just how middle class I was. My boyfriend is also quick to point out and lovingly poke fun at my middle class traits; whether it is my taste in food, the way I dress and speak, or the fact that I tell him he cannot wear an un-ironed shirt to dinner with my family. But what does it actually mean to be middle class? Does it really come down to things such as our clothes, vocabulary, and general demeanour? The dictionary definition does not help clarify things. One quick Google search of “middle class” and the first thing that appears is “the social group between the upper and working classes, including professional and business people and their families”. That honestly does not offer much of an explanation… So upon seeing a quiz from the Telegraph entitled “11 signs you’re a middle class summer cliché” which I could not access without a premium subscription (oh, the irony), I decided to put my middle-classness to the test. Literally.

I searched the internet for some class quizzes and found a large variety from websites such as Buzzfeed, the Independent, and the Telegraph. Some of the questions were almost identical for a lot of the quizzes, such as whether you say ‘pardon’ or ‘what’ if you did not hear someone, or if you call it a ‘front room’, ‘parlour’, ‘sitting room’, etc. While some tests were based on vocabulary, others such as the Buzzfeed quiz, focused on slightly different traits. For one question, I was asked to “pick a Jennifer Lawrence”, and was presented with various pictures of the lovely actress with short descriptions of the moods she apparently displayed in each shot. I picked “just getting on with life Jennifer Lawrence” along with the Daily Mail as the paper that makes me angriest. The results of my answers to the various quizzes included “Not middle class at all”, “Just plain old sort-of middle class”, “Elite, if you eat more canapés”, and “You’re the bloody queen aren’t you?”. So that internet venture did not aid my quest to find what truly makes you middle class one bit.

I assume that most of us can agree on a few things that determine whether you are middle class. Financial capital for example; your job and income is probably one of the most defining factors of your social class. But what happens when you throw social capital into the mix? Who you know, what you know, and where you learned what you know seems to be even more defining than just your job and salary. The area you went to school in, and even more importantly which school you attended can quickly send you from lower to middle, or middle to upper class. Except these characteristics can then become contradictory. You do not have to come from a certain area or level of income to attend inherently middle and upper class institutions such as Oxford or Cambridge University. It certainly helps if you do, but it is not a prerequisite (they need to meet their quotas, and Eton simply does not represent all demographics). Coming back to the dictionary definition of ‘middle class’ stating that it includes “professional and business people and their families”. ‘Professional’ does not say much in terms of social class. Generally, if you are paid to carry out something you are a professional at that specific thing – it is your profession, you are a professional. But I doubt very many people would look at a professional builder and think he is middle class. So ‘professional’ is honestly a bit of a grey area. Further, to include the families of these professional and business people, is somewhat of an assumption as well. Just because your parents are middle class does not necessarily mean that you are. It may often be the case that people are, but I also know plenty of people who come from rather well off and very middle class families, yet they see themselves as working class  – or vice versa. As the picture so eloquently illustrates, if you are middle class you are somewhere in the middle between rich and poor. Except these days middle class seems to mean upper class, and upper class means you own a lot of horses and go fox hunting. ‘Upper class’ is almost a filthy term now, which is why I think some people say middle class when really we mean upper  – they do not want to admit that they are wealthy.

So really all I can seem to make sense of is that the middle class is in the middle. What your definition of that middle is may completely differ from mine. I do agree that although I do not have a substantial annual income, and I sometimes live in my overdraft for months at a time, I am middle class. I also have some preferences and habits that when I compare them to others, sometimes seem hilariously posh (my pinky occasionally pops up when I have a pint – who does that??). It does seem, however, that in the current financial and social climate in the UK it may be along while before we truly discover exactly what makes one middle class.

Banking on Banksy: The Celebrity Bias Within Political Art

From Katarina Hill – Intern in Politics and International Relations.

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You know how fashion designers and celebrities get away with selling really ugly or extremely basic clothes for hundreds, even thousands of pounds, because it carries their name? Take Kanye West’s clothing line for example: you can find half of it in Primark for a tenth of the price, but because it is ‘Yeezy’, a vest top suddenly costs you £100. There seems to be a similar trend in the world of politically charged art. There is a fine line between ‘offensive’ and ‘artistic’, and that line is usually where the artists name is written. Art critics, magazines, and galleries are often more than happy to praise ‘creative’, ‘witty’, and ‘powerful’ art if it carries a certain name. A name such as Banksy.

Conducting interviews on the CCCU collaboration with the Tate Exchange gave me a lot of curious insights, including the notion by one interviewee that society has an issue distinguishing what is acceptable and what is not. Graffiti was used as an example, and the idea that even though it is art, it is generally deemed unacceptable – “unless your name is Banksy”. Last week I then came across an article on an art piece Banksy submitted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The piece (see picture) was originally submitted by Banksy under a pseudonym, and was rejected. However, when the Royal Academy contacted the artist asking for a contribution, he resubmitted the very same piece which is now a part of the exhibition. Taking a stab at the EU referendum with his art, Banksy’s initial rejection proves that sometimes you need a recognisable name to get your point across.

So when is political art acceptable? And when is art good art? When do we cross that line between ‘artistic’ and ‘offensive’? The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition apparently features several installations of a contemporary political nature; and such an institution showcasing something like that, must tell you that at least some of it is acceptable and undisruptive (we would not want to upset any of the patrons, now would we?). Personally, I have known many people to make rather candid works of art, whether it is paintings, plays, or dance. I myself have made a few political choreographies in recent years, some more metaphorical than others (neither of them splendid works of art in all honesty). I can hardly see any of my friends’ art works, or my own, showcased in larger galleries or performance spaces. Not because they are bad, but because we are unknown, young (read: inexperienced) university students producing what to some might be perceived at crude and vulgar material. However, change the name to *insert any well-known artist* and we might have a good chance at a decent showcase. Obviously, I am not encouraging plagiarism (I do not have the money to deal with the lawsuits). I am merely trying to point out that the quality and value of a work of art and its message, is often not in the eye of the beholder, but in the signature in the bottom corner. Banksy’s ‘Vote to Love’ piece specifically, I would not deem crude at all – in fact I think it is rather clever; yet, it may have been interpreted as such by the more anti-EU demographic (I will refrain from passing harsh but probably true judgement on that particular group). I read through the comments on Banky’s Instagram post where he told the world how the Royal Academy had rejected him under a different name, and found several explanations offered by fans and critics alike for why the piece may have been rejected: Perhaps it was thought too serious until the name of an artist known for his sense of humour appeared? Maybe it was really just a bad piece, but the Royal Academy wanted to cash in on the well-known artist? Or maybe (a bit naively optimistic) they changed their minds after getting a good look at it the second time? Whatever the reason, it is hard to argue with the fact that being famous worked in Banksy’s favour.

I find myself contemplating how this outlook on art has affected the Tate Exchange exhibition. Hidden away on level 5 of the Tate Modern and hardly signposted, you would not necessarily expect to find any kind of confrontational art there. The other exhibitions by well-known artists, such as Joan Jonas, were well-advertised and located in rather obvious parts of the Tate Modern. Obviously, something like the Tate Exchange is not the most lucrative showcase, with free entry for visitors and even free coffee and tea. But why not put it up in the Turbine Hall for example? It was empty at the time, and lots of visitors had to pass through anyway, automatically giving the project lots of exposure. I am sure that had it been suggested, it would not have been feasible anyway due to issues such as safety concerns – fictional or otherwise. But surely a group of teens should not be allowed a Hyundai sponsored concrete block with a main entrance for a display of art concerning classism, sexism, and marginalisation. Best to hide the no-name, angry, hormonal beasts away and have people enter that world at their own risk. So perhaps political art is becoming more ‘fashionable’ when it comes to social acceptance. It does not necessarily matter whether it is good or not or what the message is, if there is a big name on the label, we will allow it. If a questionable dress can receive applause on the runway because it is haute couture, why should art not do the same? I guess as long as the big brand artists are at least using their platform for good, and exploiting the opportunity to get a valuable and truthful message across, the fame and celebrity bias may be rather harmless. However, if it stands in the way of talented artists expressing themselves and have their art deemed socially unacceptable, because they do not carry a bankable name, then we have a serious problem.

Levels of Exclusion: What floor are you on?

From Katarina Hill – Intern for Politics and International Relations.

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I tend to forget that most art galleries offer free entry. If I am going to a museum or gallery my first thought, being a student, is usually along the lines of ‘how much is that going to cost?’, but then I remember it is free and open to all – in theory. While interviewing the visitors at the Tate Exchange space at the Tate Modern the week before last, one observation made by many was the notion that yes, galleries are open to everyone, if you have the money. While most galleries in the UK are free to enter, if you want to see certain exhibitions, you may find yourself having to pay. If you are a student or above the age of 60, this price is probably quite feasible, but if two working parents want to take their three teenagers out for a day of cultural exploration (a suggestion that would probably be met with the obligatory hormonal groan), suddenly you could be looking at spending a pretty penny. Of course, there are still plenty of exhibitions and engaging art that you can visit for free, such as the Tate Exchange. I was talking to one of the young artists behind the work exhibited at the Tate Exchange about the exclusivity of galleries. On asking her if she thought galleries are open to everyone, she answered that “it depends what floor you are on”.  This answer has played on my mind ever since, and for the remainder of my time at the Tate Modern, it made me look at the space in a different way.

Outside the Tate Modern there were numerous posters advertising the current exhibitions including one on Picasso’s 1932 works, something that seemed very typical for any gallery. But step inside the Turbine Hall, and you would never know the art of one of most adored artists of all time, was located somewhere in the building. The massive hall is essentially just a big grey concrete box, and although it is at times used for art installations, it is currently empty; making for some serious echoes as you walk across the floor (in my case while wearing flip flops which were embarrassingly loud). Entering the Tate from any side comes with a mandatory bag check by security. Even though the security staff were all very lovely, walking up to the building every morning, always triggered that sense of panic. You know the kind of panic I am talking about. It is the same one you get when you are driving and you see a police car; you have done nothing wrong, but you still think you will get arrested. Opposite the Turbine Hall is the Blavatnik Building, named after a member of one of London’s greatest treasures: the Russian oligarchs (let’s face it, we need them to keep the diamond business alive since we millennials don’t buy any). Apart from a café that makes a rather satisfying cup of coffee, the Blavatnik Building does not seem like much at first glance. Jump in the lift up to level 3 however, we suddenly see a much more gallery-esque setting where the Picasso exhibition, which is £22 per adult or free if you are a member, is currently taking place. I had the pleasure of visiting the exhibition one morning, and with the concept of levels of exclusion linked to different floors (see what I did there?) in the back of my mind, I started to notice the differences between this gallery environment and that of the Tate Exchange environment on level 5. After spending a few days surrounded by some rather confrontational art and performances, loud toddlers running around in fairy wings and feather boas, and dance music playing non-stop, the quiet and somewhat serious setting of the Picasso exhibition felt like quite an extreme change. I almost felt as if I was in a library, and had to be quiet as a mouse. I kept thinking the more senior visitors were looking at me with the kind of judgement and resentment often reserved for my ‘snowflake’ generation (in my defence, Generation Z are much worse than we are). And although the stares were most likely something I imagined – at least I hope they were – it made me question whether I really ‘belonged’ there. Am I looking at the art the right way? Will I be in trouble for photographing the art with my smartphone (or iPod, as my wonderful grandmother calls anything remotely electronic)? Should I maybe have worn kitten heels rather than flip flops? So many concerns, so little time.

What I noticed the most with my new perspective, was the difference between visitors at the Picasso exhibition and the Tate Exchange Space. The Picasso exhibition sported many gallery goers of a more serious and snobbish nature; the occasional whiff of Chanel No. 5 here, a duck egg or blush coloured twin set there (yes, I am stereotyping – just go with it). All of them with very thoughtful and profound expressions on their faces. The Tate Exchange visitors were of a much more casual demeanour and dress, and quite a bit louder too. Exiting the level 3 gift shop, purchasing a fridge magnet for my stepdad’s collection, and returning to our glittery, musical, feather boa wrapped room on level 5, I almost felt as though I had been through quite a culture shock. In all my apparent middle classness I never really noticed whether gallery spaces were particularly open to all or not; but being told “it depends what floor you are on” suddenly shattered those rose-tinted glasses of mine. Although I really only spent time on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th floor of the Tate Modern, I started to see some truth in those words. The Tate Exchange space on the 5th floor also seemed like such a free and welcoming space to those of all shapes and sizes, whereas the Picasso exhibition the 3rd floor seemed so much more restricted and monotonous regarding the types of visitors. Oddly enough, it seems that as far as the Tate Modern is concerned, the exclusivity of gallery spaces becomes more relaxed the further up you go. Perhaps a metaphor for the lower classes having to work harder (or climb more stairs) to earn the benefits?